By Reagan Malumo
Hundreds of young entrepreneurs flocked to the Caprivi Regional Youth Expo over the weekend to showcase their products and services, interact and learn more about business developmental opportunities.
The event provided a platform for young and aspiring entrepreneurs to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in areas of manufacturing, food production, drama and craft as well as modern and cultural dances.
The event was conducted on a plot near the Katima Mulilo Open Market and took advantage of nearly every shopper and exhibitor in town.
While opening this well attended event, the mayor of Katima Mulilo John Likando called on all young entrepreneurs to explore every aspect of all existing business opportunities in the town.
He said it was high time that the youth start forging ways to shift from subsistence kinds of business to commercial ones. Likando was delighted to note that a number of youth programmes were being decentralized to the region in order to root out unemployment. He said the Government through the regional council is busy establishing community centres to serve as training grounds that would equip the youth in the region with various knowledge and skills.
The Regional Youth Expo was sponsored by Nedbank in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, National Services, Sport and Culture.
According to Nedbank branch manager for Caprivi Region Postrick Kasungo, the event was an important step forward in the community’s efforts to nurture and promote entrepreneurship as a possible source of job creation, and to empower and ensure economic independence among the youth. He said Nedbank was delighted to sponsor an event such as the Caprivi Regional Youth Expo that is well vested with the capacity to tackle challenges of unemployment in the country.
Kasungo said that a sponsorship of N$10 000 by Nedbank towards the Caprivi Regional Youth Expo demonstrated the bank’s commitment in promoting youth enterprise throughout the country.
The Chairperson of the Caprivi Regional Youth Forum John Mukaya also applauded Nedbank for their generous gesture and said that the event was vital as it encouraged partnership among youth entrepreneurs, it fights unemployment as well as provides a platform for the youth to share entrepreneurship skills and knowledge.
Mukaya expressed disappointment to those businesses in the town that are too reluctant to render a donation to support the youth in this manner.
Meanwhile, the expo ended with a contest of Miss Caprivi Regional Youth Expo and an awards ceremony for participants.
A leather production youth group called “Katima Shoe Making” emerged the overall winner of the 2008 Caprivi Regional Youth Expo with a reward of N$10 000 as well as the overall winner in the manufacturing category.
The Zambezi Hospitality and Training Centre scooped first in the food production category. The expo started on Thursday and ended late Saturday.