January 10, 2017, 11:21am
Dear Renewing Members and Potential Future Members:
1. 2016 has been a good year for the Chamber and for Northern regions in general. We have exciting new developments to the region, and a sense that, this time, things will actually happen. We recognise these developments are not seen universally as all good, but we are also pragmatic and understand that change is inevitable so we will work with them for the greater good. In order to have continued growth and success we hope you will continue to be an active member to the chamber, and if you are a potential new member, I ask you to strongly consider joining.
2. First of all I want to thank our members and other stakeholders for supporting the chamber during the year under review 2016 and hope to receive extra support this year as well. On the onset, I would like to make just a few comments on our Namibian economy today because our economy is relevant to every community in Namibia and more depend on SME’S businesses that are regarded as the backbone of our economy and more importantly they are the job creators. The Government of The Republic of Namibia, under the focused direction of the current good leadership governance, has embarked upon tangible economic reforms whose achievements require supportive private sector participation and boundless involvement. The reforms are principally directed towards narrowing the gap between the poor and the rich, through the provision of desired basic necessities to both rural and urban sections of our society in the form of clean water, health centers, schools, rural electrification, etc.
3. As responsible citizens, we will seal our commitment towards local economic development by spearheading the promotion of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME’s) whose role is deservingly significant in creating employment, poverty eradication, increasing capacity building as well as accelerating local economic growth. The SME sector is a parallel sector to the government’s national ambition to realize Vision 2030, NDPs and Harambe Prosperity Plan. Thus, in order to accomplish the economic relay race, the government requires committed running partners such as the business people, youth, banks and many other partners in order to contribute to economic growth.
4. It is now this time that we need to redouble our effort and focus on youth in business as those business categories still have energy to drive the economy going forward. Young entrepreneurs need to focus on positive development than negativity and they just refrain from engaging themselves into negative people because they will
not build the economy and the nation but destroy the economy. It is this time we need to focus on the genuine economic fight and think outside the box on survival in terms of business, let’s own business and become legitimate rich. We can only succeed if we are working as team, working together, strategizing and engaging one another, but not working against each other, thus working against each other we will not win this economic fight, whether we like it or not, we will not achieve this my fellow brothers and sisters, fellow youth entrepreneurs. In this journey of growth, it is imperative that we need to engage one another and other stakeholders. We need to pursue growth ambitions for our country, we need to assist our government in different form, it’s our government and government is not building but us and system lets support our leaders and government must also listen to business people, in that way we can pull together in one direction.
5. On the other serious note, as a generation that is privileged to have seen the days of harmony and peace, we must jealously guard the sovereignty of our nation. The fundamental principle in this task is to appreciate, celebrate and cherish the diversities of our cultures as they collectively form an identity for which we are known to be as Namibians. That is humility, towards one another, respect for one another, loving one another and caring for each other. As a nation we must not see ourselves as Oshiwambo speaking people, Lozi speaking people, Otjherero speaking people, Damara/Nama speaking people Rukavango speaking people, Batswana speaking people, San speaking people, Germany speaking people or Afrikaans speaking people. We must see ourselves as children of one Namibian House.
6. We all know and understand the suffering that our motherland Namibia went through and thus we have a duty to preserve the family unit that identifies us as Namibians. I’m therefore, calling upon our members and potential members of NCCI, from all corners of this beautiful republic to regard tribalism as an epidemic like Polio/Ebola which should be kicked out of Namibia. We should never tolerate tribalism, regionalism, and racisms at all. Therefore we should hold hands as children of one motherland. In the same vein, we must not identify or associate our leaders to tribes. Leaders are not identified with tribes; they are identified with a collective nation at large.
7. Other initiatives: As we strengthen efforts to promote the activities of our members and ensure that they gain a competitive edge in the market, we will be putting together A Who is Who publication this year from the northern chapter where mini profiles of our business community will be published. As such we call on members to
submit their business information, business images and detailed list of their interests in order for us to compile a thorough publication. We would also like to inform all members that to strengthen communication and provide ample updates, briefs, opportunity communiqué and chamber progress, we intend to start a monthly e-newsletter in the coming month pending finalization of pertinent logics.
8. Advocacy and networking: We have observed that at times opportunities arise for members and at times the chamber is found wanting due to presence of inadequate information regarding the businesses practiced by our members. We further advice that member provide these in soft copy preferably the PDF format at your earliest convenience as we look to strengthen our records whilst at the same time advance our advocacy role as a chamber of commerce and industry.
9. While we have been busy helping the business community, the Chamber itself has made some improvements. Last year 2016, we have also witness two of our prominent business leaders and members of NCCI who were honoured with international Awards: Mr Fysal Brenner was awarded with the Best international Europe Award for quality in recognition of its commitments to the quality of Business Management, the event which took place in Paris, France on 24 October 2016. And Dr Erastus Shapumba Chicco was awarded with International Award for Leadership in Image and Properties Guru by the Global Trade Leaders Club in Spain. The award ceremony took place on 28 November 2016 at the Madrid, Spain in Europe. The event brought together businessmen from all continents and from many different industrial and commercial sectors. Twelve companies worldwide were awarded with this prize during this year´s edition. We would like to congratulate Dr Shapumba and Mr Fysal Brenner for those achievements.
10. Furthermore, two of our prominent members were given honorary doctorates in business by the International University of Management, they are Dr Banda Shilimela and Dr Erastus Shapumba ‘’Chico’’. Once again congratulation and these achievements is the national achievements not individuals.
11. Finally, we would like to congratulate Ms. Hertha Magano Uushona for having served the NCCI Northern Branch for 20 years- a delightful achievement that is second to no other. Having echoed these words, I’m equally compelled to call upon the business community to explore value addition opportunities that are narrowed towards manufacturing and local natural resource conversion and I am certain that confidence is well placed. We are confident that our Government has programs that have been laid as the basis for us to take our country into the next century as a shining example of Africa's achievement under the African sun.
12. Conclusion, we would like to thank our NCCI Board Members, Northern executive members and branches executives for their undivided support to the chamber. Throughout 2016, we will argue relentlessly that politicians must do nothing that stands in the way of nurturing profitable business, as only by encouraging enterprise can our shared social aims be achieved. However it is constituted, we pledge to work with a government that sees business as a partner, not as a target, as only this way can Namibians create the jobs, wealth and exports that will deliver prosperity and essential support to all our citizens.
13. Namibia is undergoing economic down turn and challenges. This situation is evident in Namibia’s revised budget that is geared towards cutting government expenditure. This economic turmoil is further exacerbated by the global economic crisis experienced by many global economic powers. This situation calls for businesses to avail a prudent approach towards controlling their costs in order for them to improve the bottom line. As a custodian and voice of the business people, the NCCI offers some advice in this regard. It is important to note that irrespective of the size of business, every business should try its best to cut costs to make the ends meet in a recession struck economy. For any business wishing to improve its financial status and gain some sort of stable footing in the market, controlling cost is mandatory. If a business does not get hold of its hidden and seen costs, it will find itself in a very uncompetitive situation with a large overhead.
14. I would like to remind you again to honour your yearly oblations in terms of membership fees, we have started send all invoices, please makes sure that you settle that soonest while still early to enable the office to carry out its mandate and continue with advocating as we are the premier voice of the businesses. NCCI Northern Branch stands ready to help turn familiar rhetoric on these themes into reality. We wish everyone a happy and a prosperous 2017. All then that is left for me to say is thank you, all of you. On behalf of myself and the entire committee, we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible through 2017.
God bless you!!!
Mr Tomas Koneka Iindji
NCCI Northern Chairperson