ONDANGWA – Founding President Sam Nujoma has expressed his hope in the rapid recovery of the Namibian economy, which has left many of the country’s key economic sectors and industries in a squeeze, led to massive government budget cuts and freezing of employment of nurses and teachers.
However, the recovery requires concerted efforts from every citizen, he said. “I am aware of the difficult circumstances the country is going through hence it is up to all of us to coordinate our efforts and work together so that we improve our economic situation,” said the founding father at the Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition on Wednesday.
Nujoma said given the country’s economic and human resource acumen, he has “no doubt that Namibia’s economy will recover rapidly”. This year’s trade fair is celebrated under the theme ‘Embracing economic growth through entrepreneurship’, and has seen a drop in the number of exhibitors with only 125 exhibitors compared to the 250 exhibitors who participated last year.
Nujoma said trade shows and exhibitions are held to primarily demonstrate and showcase goods and services, as well as encourage innovation and stimulate best market trends and opportunities available within the economic sectors. He stressed that innovation is a strong tool towards wealth creation, adding that developed nations grew via industrialisation through difficult yet humble beginnings.
It is against this background that Nujoma appealed to the country to promote productivity and competitiveness “as it is a critical tool in wealth creation and economic growth”.
He said the competitiveness of an economy is not only as a result of improved infrastructure and administrative reforms, but is heavily dependent on the innovativeness of the business community.
“Therefore, innovation should become the cornerstone of all our business strategies if we have to grow and contribute meaningfully to the growth of our national economy,” said Nujoma.
He further appealed to the government to promote public-private partnerships, especially in infrastructure development.
He said the country should further invest in the training of human resources to enable entrepreneurs to develop new products, add value to the country’s raw materials, enhance value chains and promote growth and investments.
He also appealed to Namibian businesses to venture into manufacturing and value addition as it is the only way to grow the economy from the primary sector of extracting raw resources, and to start processing resources into finished goods for consumption at home and export.
Also speaking at the same occasion, the Governor of Oshana Region Clemens Kashuupulwa was optimistic that this year’s trade exhibition will attract more visitors to support the exhibitors and invest in the industrial development at the town, as well as create jobs.
“Through this trade exhibition show, Ondangwa town is not only accelerating its local economic growth but will also benefit the local businesses, exhibitors and the entire region,” said Kashuupulwa. The trade fair started last week Friday and will end this Saturday.