Vendors and small traders, who have been conducting business under trees and along the streets in the vicinity of Tsumeb for years are said to be the backbone of the town’s economy, as they have steadily grown in numbers and now provide employment to a significant number of youth.
These are the sentiments expressed by Tsumeb’s former mayor Ndangi Sheetekela, who said the majority of them now owns big businesses and improved the town’s economic growth. “I, therefore, urge young people not to sit idle, but to venture into small businesses. You should start small and eventually with good management your business will grow.
“It should start with us. Begin something small, just in your surrounding environment, each of us should play a role in growing the economy of the town and nation at large. By doing so all of us are joining the march of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and thus make it attainable,” Sheetekela said.
He further noted that although significant strides have been made to boost the economy of the town a lot still needs to be done, especially in terms of value addition. “In our development plan, as council we had listed logistics, agriculture, tourism and value addition as our strategic goals.
“But not a lot has been done to enhance value addition in the manufacturing sector of local companies and I believe we still have the potential to change this by encouraging local companies to turn raw material into finished products locally, such as what Henning Crushers are doing by using raw materials to make bricks and re-using rubble,” the former mayor said.
He also said the town council was able to address the lack of serviced land by venturing into public-private partnerships: “This was the only way we thought was going to be a better way to achieve the provision of land to the people, because the investors have money and we have land. So when we work together as one, we are able to attain that.”