02 Sep 2015 12:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 02 SEP (NAMPA) Keetmanshoop Show Society president, Leon van Wyk on Tuesday officially opened the flagship community event.
Although visibly disappointed with the absence of many invited businesspeople, regional and local councilors, Van Wyk applauded the latest infrastructural developments on the showgrounds.
The show, now in its 60th year, is held annually at the Keetmanshoop Stadium which is also home to other sporting and community events.
The Ministry of Industrialisation,Trade and SME development and the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) injected almost N.dollars 12 million into the upgrading of two large halls and sporting facilities on the premises.
Van Wyk said that with savings of several years, an additional hall was added by the show society at a cost of nearly N.dollars 500 000.
He emphasised that all show society members were volunteers who worked for free, ploughing all proceeds back into the annual business and fun event.
The Anglo-American Namibia Foundation (AANF) availed a similar amount for the construction of 14 small-to-medium enterprise (SME) stalls.
Ten of these stalls have been booked by the SME development ministry for local SMEs, one being the //Karas Huisen Craft Centre, operated to support women affected by HIV.
The centre is experiencing a revival after a lengthy downturn caused by the withdrawal of its Czech Republic donor and the subsequent departure of key project workers when business declined.
Speaking on the sidelines, Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) consultant and Peace Corps volunteer, Steve Link, who is assigned to the craft centre, said the project was receiving new orders and had just been given a N.dollars 108 000 grant from Bank Windhoek.
Richard Cook of the AANF said his organisation has been involved in getting the craft centre back on its feet by providing nearly N.dollars 400 000 over the last two years for the centre's prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme.
On Tuesday, Van Wyk reiterated his call for a united community to build a better tomorrow today.
He said the purpose of the show was to create a platform for the business community to showcase what they have and to help build the regions economy.
He also said that the show presented an opportunity for the community to relax and to escape the usual humdrum of life.
We do not only measure this event in dollars and cents but also see it as an outing to meet old friends, make new friends and simply escape the normal routine of life, Van Wyk said.
The show opens to the public on Wednesday and ends on Saturday.