PM satisfied with Ohorongo's partnership with Govt

14 Feb 2016 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 14 FEB (NAMPA) – Namibia’s economy can only improve if local industries can compete without extra support from Government, says Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
“This will enable us to balance between ensuring the development of new industries in the country and boosting the production capacity of the economy, and also to ensure that the local products offered to the Namibian people are affordable,” she said in a meeting with executive members of the Ohorongo Cement in the capital on Friday.
Ohorongo is Namibia’s only cement-producing company in which the Namibian Government is also a shareholder represented by the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN).
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila applauded the company for voluntarily partnering with Government without being required to do so.
“I’m happy to hear that although it was not smooth sailing from the beginning, you faced challenges, you persisted through them and you achieved a lot of success, and I hope that others will draw lessons from that.”
The premier encouraged both foreign and local investors to look through the challenges that might arise from partnering.
“Those challenges are not insurmountable, they can indeed be overcome and we can be successful in pursuing business success while also pursuing partnership with locals, and ensuring that benefits from investments undertaken in this country are shared in a manner that is equitable between foreign investors and the local investors.”
Managing Director of Schwenk Corporate Group in Germany and Chairperson of Ohorongo, Gerhard Hirth says the inclusiveness of Government was a decision made based on trust, and on possibilities the company saw in Namibia.
“From the very first decision, we have always said we are not going to Namibia as a German company but we are here in Namibia to work together. Our know-how and your possibilities should create profit and should create success,” he said.
Schwenk Namibia (Pty) Ltd is the majority shareholder of Ohorongo Cement.
What the company has not yet achieved, according to Hirth, is having more than one Government institution owning Ohorongo shares.
“I can tell you that we are working very hard. We are looking forward to getting more Namibian partners into our company as owners,” he noted.
The parties then continued their discussions in a closed-door meeting.