In support of growth at home and commitment to contributing to local value addition, the executive chairman of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, Sven Thieme, on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the managing director of Dinapama Manufacturing & Supplies, David Namalenga.
During his address at the signing ceremony, Thieme stressed the occasion as a manifestation of the O&L Group’s passion and commitment to its purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life.’
Thieme said: “Today is a celebration of organisations and people who share a common dream, coming together to achieve even greater things through collaboration. David is in fact a great example of turning dreams into reality as he did not allow his current reality many years ago, when he was still a dishwasher employed by a local hotel, to stand in the way of him becoming the entrepreneur he is today – employing more than 350 people and actively contributing to further value addition within our country.
“In fact, it is our collective dream – one where each and every Namibian is gainfully employed; where each Namibian enjoys a decent livelihood; and where we as Namibians are creating opportunities for ourselves – it is this dream which sees us joining hands here today.”
He added: “And, it is up to us to make this dream come true, by taking the necessary actions to create opportunities locally. While there are certainly many examples of Namibians supporting local businesses, there is much more that can be done. Therefore, I herewith challenge business Namibia to create the future we want for our children, by taking the necessary action. We need to choose to support local and embrace the growth of Namibian businesses while developing local talent and skills; and invest in local infrastructure. This all starts with
committing to grow local.”
Thieme further stressed that it should be a collective dream that every Namibian has a job. “Every single dollar we spend on imports is a dollar of local value addition we export. We should thrive to create opportunities locally for our own people because if we do not take the people off the streets, they will take us into the streets.”
Through this new found partnership, the O&L Group and Dinapama aim to foster a more conducive business environment; foster greater competition in key sectors and strengthen the national quality infrastructure and technical standards to further empower and enable Namibians to meet international standards; improve labour and management skills; invest in technology upgrading and innovation, and strengthen supply chains to be able to supply goods and services reliably and within reasonable time. Dinapama Manufacturing & Supplies was registered in 2009 and started operating in January 2010 with five machines and seven employees. The business is now equipped with 874 machines and 356 employees, and supplies a number of products to Namibia and Angola, including, but not limited, to sports wear, corporate wear, work wear, safety wear, and bags of different sizes and shapes, with the capacity of employing about 750 employees.
Dinapama Manufacturing & Supplies managing director, David Namalenga, said: “We want to see organizations and businesses that live beyond ourselves. Businesses that can place Namibia above ourselves. O&L has over the years proven to be one of those organisations. Such organisations, and relationships such as the one manifested here today, will create a better life for the people of this country. We are humbled and very happy, and will make use of this opportunity to contribute even more to building the Namibian economy. This MoU creates hope for everyone, both in and outside of Dinapama.”
Namalenga further noted that the MoU will mean enterprise development, capacity development, product development, industry development, and economic development, and will further mean opportunity to grow Dinapama to prove itself and create an enabling environment for a people-centered economy and growth, which will ensure job security and improve the livelihood of employees and their dependants.
“We are proud to support and be associated with Dinapama through the signing of this MoU and I am confident that together we can fulfill the dream of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ for Namibians,” Thieme concluded.