Angolans court Omaheke for economic ties

29 Sep 2013 06:00
GOBABIS, 29 SEP (NAMPA) - Economic ties between the Omaheke Region and the agriculture-rich Angolan province of Cuando-Cubango could soon be on the cards, following a high delegation visit of top provincial executives to Gobabis.
The delegation, led by Provincial Governor Francisco Higino Lopes Carneiro, comprised top executives in the provincial government, as well as business people.
Given the similarities between Namibia’s ‘cattle country’ and the Cuando-Cubango province - where the majority of its residents practice animal husbandry - the Omaheke Region became ideal for the business interests of the Angolans.
At a brief meeting between the two parties here on Friday, the Cuando-Cubango Governor expressed hope that the two regions could enter into economic ties in the interest of bringing development to the respective regions.
Carneiro said the two regions could benefit from each other in the exchange of expertise and experience in the field of animal husbandry and other forms of livestock production.
He said his province, being the second-largest in Angola, has huge potential for mass agriculture production given its fertile land and abundance of water which could provide a welcome boost for farming activities.
“We have the ideal climate for mass agriculture, be it crop farming or livestock production, which can come in handy for the Omaheke Region given the prevalent drought in your region,” Carneiro said.
Omaheke Regional Governor, Festus Ueitele, who received the Angolan delegation, said partnering with the Cuando-Cubango province will be of great benefit to the Omaheke Region and Namibia at large.
“We are excited to explore areas of interest in which we could cooperate and create economic ties in, as such ties will not only benefit our regions economically, but will also provide a vital access into the Angolan market for those in the Omaheke Region,” said Ueitele.
Best known as 'The Land at the End of the World' in tourism circles, Cuando-Cubango is Angola's second-largest province, but one of the least densely populated, with an area of 199 335 square kilometres occupied by some 700 000 inhabitants.
It is situated in the far south-eastern corner of Angola, bordering with Zambia and Namibia.
As much of the province's southern border lies along Namibia's narrow Zambezi Strip, the countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa are also easily accessible.
The province thus forms Angola's main gateway into the rest of southern Africa, and has the potential to become a crucial hub for cross-border trade.
The population of Cuando-Cubango is mainly engaged in animal husbandry and agriculture, with maize being the principal crop.