By Charles Tjatindi
Ulika Nambahu was elected new Walvis Bay mayor on Wednesday last week.
She replaces Derek Klazen, who has served the port town as mayor since 2006.
The Walvis Bay Town Council also elected John Ushona as deputy mayor, while Jeffrey Naobeb will lead the management committee as chairperson.
Outgoing mayor Derek Klazen will assist Naobeb as deputy chairperson of the management committee. The management committee also comprises of Adelheid Kandjala and Hedwig Mandean, while Benson Uakumbua serves as ordinary member.
In her acceptance speech, the new mayor called on town residents to shift their focus from merely relying on foreign direct investment as the only solution to job creation at the town, and instead to revert to building own capacity and stimulate entrepreneurship amongst themselves.
Nambahu said it remains imperative for the youth at the town to be equipped with the skills needed by the job market in order to attract more investors.
“An investor should be able to look at Walvis Bay as a possible investment destination and see human capital development as an added initiative. I believe that doing so will strengthen local capacity and develop the skills base of our town, lowering the reliance on trained people from outside,” she said.
Noting that unemployment remains a challenge despite efforts to attract entrepreneurs, the new mayor said she intends to focus on job creation to respond to such challenge.
Nambahu also pledged to advance the interests of women, minority groups and other previously disadvantaged communities at the town.
“The infinite needs and rights of vulnerable persons including women, children and the disabled need protection from exploitation, bodily harm or victimization,” said Nambahu.
According to Nambahu, it is vital to answer to the call of women by encouraging self-confidence and self-sufficiency in women who due to past stereotyping view themselves as incompetent and incapable of performing certain jobs.
She further pledged to mitigate through various initiatives the threats posed by HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases that threaten the quality of life of Namibians, and to ensure that the desired behavioral changes are effected in that regard.
Calling on the assistance and support of all Walvis Bay residents, Nambahu challenged them to consolidate and build on the achievements derived from smart partnership initiatives.