Helao Nafidi benefiting from cross-border trade - Pohamba

31 Oct 2013 10:40am
OMAFO, 31 OCT (NAMPA) – President Hifikepunye Pohamba says the settlements of Omafo, Engela, Onhuno, Ohangwena and Oshikango have benefited significantly from cross-border trade with Angola.
The five settlements are grouped under the Helao Nafidi Town Council in the Ohangwena Region.
Pohamba said this in a statement which was read on his behalf by Trade and industry Minister Calle Schlettwein during the official opening of the 2013 Helao Nafidi Annual Business Exposition (Expo).
The Namibian leader noted that the benefit from cross-border trade with Angola by the five settlements has created job opportunities and led to increased service delivery, while generating foreign currency earnings for the State.
“It has also heightened the establishment and proclamation of the Helao Nafidi Town, which is today one of the fastest growing towns in Namibia in terms of socio-economic growth,” the president said.
Pohamba noted that he remembers Helao Nafidi as one of the war zone areas in Namibia’s pre-independence era.
In 1996, the Namibian Government transformed the former war zone into settlements and towns of merchants for cross-border trade by establishing industrial parks for imports and exports.
With assistance from the European Union (EU), the government funded the development and management of the industrial infrastructure at the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Park to host and accommodate companies that engaged in light manufacturing and in trading with Angola.
“Our Government is committed to promoting these local economic activities and initiatives that are geared towards achieving economic growth, job creation, accelerating business development and growth as well as entrepreneurial development in our economy,” Pohamba stated.
He also announced that the Government is planning to construct a dry port at Oshikango, which will offer significant advantages for Namibia’s trade with Angola.
According to the president, the envisaged Oshikango Dry Port will also ease the current traffic and storage challenges of containers, and will complement the current warehousing facilities at Oshikango.
Pohamba added that the government is also planning to set up additional warehouses at Oshikango in the near future.
“You are, therefore, encouraged to make use of these facilities once they are completed,” he stressed.
The Head of State then applauded the organisers of the Helao Nafidi Annual Business Expo, saying their efforts have contributed immensely to the economic development of the region.
He said the Expo is also in line with the government’s national development goals and the objectives of Vision 2030.
Pohamba said he is confident that the Helao Nafidi Business Expo will create business opportunities that will lead to improvements in the living standards of Namibians in that area.
Some 123 exhibitors (all of them from Namibia) are showcasing their products and services at the 2013 Helao Nafidi Annual Business Expo.
The Expo commenced on Monday and it will wind up its seven-day activities this Sunday.