Ondangwa-Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has implored businesses in SADC countries, including Namibia, to work towards creating border chain values so as to develop businesses collectively and subsequently benefit the entire SADC region.
The PM said business competition with neighbouring countries should be encouraged to improve efficiency and competitiveness of businesses in the region.
A delighted Kuugongelwa-Amadhila made the remarks while visiting various businesses at Ondangwa on Friday, where she also met businesspeople from neighbouring South Africa. She said countries should not flourish at the expense of another.
“I am happy to see a business person from South Africa not thinking that Namibia should remain a captive market for South African products, but saying, ‘We must develop that country. That is our market, because when they prosper we prosper too’,” she said.
The PM urged local businesses to create value chains amongst each other that will help grow their businesses and discouraged the apparent infighting among local firms over tenders. She advocated instead for the creation of value chains, saying such internecine fights deprive communities of much-needed services.
In addition, the PM encouraged business people present to spearhead the realisation of government policies through translating plans into concrete action.
“Business people should know what is in the plans (government plans) and make input in those plans, but most importantly you should not only participate, you should spearhead the realisation of government policies,” she said.
She further discouraged employees from “toyi-toying” and stealing from their employers, saying such acts negatively impact on the economy of the entire country.
According to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the owner of a business typically only benefits from a small fraction of the income, generated while the rest benefits the entire society.
Speaking against corruption, chairperson of the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sven Thieme said business should be a champion of good governance and take a strong stand against corruption and instead lobby for a better world.
He said corrupt officials, who conspire to serve their own selfish interests, have wreaked havoc, destroyed communities, and perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
“We should be fighting to build and support strong and healthy communities, because the people who live in them are our employees and customers, our suppliers and investors,” Thieme said.
The owner of Roama Gates, Robby Amadhila, encouraged the local community to take a lead and be productive, rather than to wait on government to feed them.