21 Nov 2013 12:20pm
By Sawi Lutibezi
KUWAIT, 21 NOV (NAMPA) The Namibian government has submitted a project proposal for the establishment of an industrial park at Walvis Bay for possible funding from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
The other project which has also been submitted for funding is related to food security in Namibia.
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Marco Hausiku said this in an interview with Nampa here on Tuesday before the official opening of the Third Africa-Arab Summit, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
The Third Africa-Arab Summit, which was attended by 63 African and Arab countries, aimed to highlight the true friendship and cooperation between the two regions and focused on boosting cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, investments and partnerships between civil society institutions.
The summit further coordinated the African-Arab positions towards political issues of common interest, especially regional security and peace.
By late Tuesday, Hausiku said he was still not sure which specific project under the food security cluster would be submitted, but confirmed that under the trade and industry project, the industrial park project was given the go-ahead by Trade Minister Calle Schlettwein.
In terms of development and investment, we have quite a number of cooperation agreements with many Arab countries, but in the case of Kuwait, we have already tapped from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development in terms of the rehabilitation of our railways, he noted.
Hausiku explained that for this summit, Namibia submitted the two projects which it thought would be best to put forward, adding that the two projects were submitted for consideration so that work on them could get off the ground as soon as possible.
The industrial park will comprise many industries, and might possibly be one of the biggest projects Namibia has ever embarked upon, he enthused.
Although Hausiku did not specify the total value of the industrial park, he said it would cost billions of Namibian dollars.
In the long-term, we will have to develop an industrial park comprising many industries for value-adding purposes, particularly to our salt products and to manufacture different chemicals, including those which are used at health facilities, specifically in the treatment of people, he continued.
In order to successfully invest in a project of this magnitude, the DPM pointed out that investments from the private sector and other industries are also needed.
Hausiku said Schlettwein and himself had recently visited China, and also sold the idea of an industrial park there. Some Chinese company came on board, but only as experts to assist in the establishment of the industrial park.
But what we really need is funding, both from our government and from our bilateral partners and investors.
When this project gets off the ground, it will change the face not only of Walvis Bay, but that of the (southern African) region as well, the DPM boasted.
The industrial park will be positioned to serve as an advanced manufacturing and modern service industry, driven by both investment and technology.
Hausiku led the Namibian delegation to the summit upon the request of President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who attended a Commonwealth Summit taking place in Sri Lanka during the same period.
The DPM was, amongst others, accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peya Mushelenga.