The 8th edition of the Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition gala dinner held on Saturday evening generated close to N$500,000.
The gala dinner raises funds for the preparation of the event and to ensure a smooth and successful exhibition.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said Ondangwa is the oldest town in northern Namibia and has a history that should not be forgotten.
“Developing Ondangwa to become a town of choice will add value to the history of our country. I am therefore humbly requesting the town council to think of reconstructing Okaholo Centre to become a museum, thus enable our people to understand and appreciate why we had to fight for our independence. It will in turn attract both national and international tourists,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said she is encouraged to see some development in the town, though she also expressed the sentiment much needs to be done, adding that there is a plan for a biomass power plant to generate power and a state-of-the art sports stadium in Ondangwa.
In hosting the exhibition, the town council will assist the corporate and business community to showcase and market their products and services. The dynamic of the exhibition has changed, to the extent it is no longer just concentrating on exhibitions, but being a business forum and networking platform, she said.
Worldwide, exhibitions offer exhibitors an opportunity to network, exchange best business practice and create new interests in their brands through innovation, she noted.
Nandi-Ndaitwah urged business people to invest in targeted training and to venture more into manufacturing and value addition.
Close to N$500,000 was raised during the gala dinner with the main contributor being FNB Ondangwa branch that pledged N$60,000, while Emirates Group pledged N$50,000.
MTC, Ondangwa Private Hospital and Standard Bank are some of the other sponsors.
The fair will be hosted from April 27 until May 5, 2018 at Ondangwa Trade Fair Centre situated near Ondangwa Airport along the Ondangwa-Oshakati main road, under the theme “Embracing economic growth through entrepreneurs.”
The CEO of Ondangwa Town Council, Ismael Namgongo, said the Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition exists with the purpose to generate funds to grow and sustain businesses and SMEs and to create a platform where the business community and manufacturers can interact and market their products, and also to attract investors.
*Maria Namupala is a freelance writer at Kundana, a sister publication of New Era.