Business people affiliated to the Oshikango Business Association have expressed concern over the inflated exchange rate between the Angolan kwanza and Namibian dollar.
Chairman of the Oshikango Business Association Raed Hijazi said that while the implementation of the agreement boosted currency exchange activities between the two countries, he said it made little impact on trade activities.
The revelations came to light during President Hage Geingob’s town hall meeting at Eenhana last Thursday.
The exchange rate is said to have been gone up by 40 percent compared to the official international exchange rate in just two months.
Bank of Namibia (BoN) had set the exchange rate at N$1 to 10.8 kwanza but that has since increased to 15.8 kwanza since June.
Hijazi urged BoN to take into consideration the recommendations which were submitted through the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry northern branch earlier in August.
“One urgent matter that is disadvantaging traders in Helao Nafidi is the inflated exchange rate that the Angolan National Bank is applying to the Namibian dollar or kwanza rate,” said Hijazi.
At the meeting, Geingob called on the nation to put aside cultural differences and build one Namibian house.
He also further called on the community in Ohangwena to uphold the peace and stability that Namibia continues to enjoy.
Another pressing issue highlighted in Ohangwena was the scarcity of water.
Josua Udjombala, who spoke on behalf of the Ohangwena Traditional Authority, suggested that government subsidises water point provision as well as increase the number of boreholes in the region.
He said at present, many of the water points have been closed due to non-payment.
“The community cannot afford to pay, hence both human and livestock are feeling the pinch,” said Udjombala.
The Governor of Ohangwena Region Usko Nghaamwa related that his region is hard hit by the drought, following erratic rains at the start of the year.
Nghaamwa said the situation is much more serious in Epembe and Omundaungilo constituencies.
According to Nghaamwa, due to the two constituencies’ geographical area, they lag behind in the provision of services.
“Because of the geographical location, the two constituencies have no access to services because of the thick sand and so there is a lack of water for both humans and livestock,” said Nghaamwa.
Other issues raised include the abuse of alcohol and drug abuse as well as the increase of the social grant.
The meeting was attended by various cabinet ministers, local and regional councillors from the Ohangwena Region and the business community, among others.