The Namibian Association of Local Authority Officers (Nalao) has advised the government to develop logistics hubs in all four logistics corners in the country (Trans-Caprivi, Trans-Cunene, Trans-Kalahari and Trans-Kunene) to boost the economy.
Nalao’s Chief Executive Officer, Nathaniel Areseb, said the development of logistics hubs at local authority level provides opportunity for both local and international business to develop value adding services and linkages that could contribute to job creation and poverty alleviation.
“We therefore call on all local authorities to identify their strategic unique value proposition (their sweet spot) in order to position themselves to make the most of the current development around developing Namibia as a logistics hub to make every effort to carefully assess social, environmental and economic impacts of investments in the areas of logistics and corridor development. Some of these impacts include issues around HIV/AIDS, land use, road safety and safety of goods transported along those routes,” he said.
He added, “The Local Authorities should play the role of facilitators and create an enabling environment by planning proactively on long term basis and consider different options to secure access to land for business development in logistics and related value adding services.”
Nalao also said the logistics experts should continue to engage local authorities in the finalization of the National Logistics Master Plan and to provide information and advice to local authorities who are ready to position themselves as local logistics hubs.
“The logistics experts, practitioners and other professionals should support the development of training and competency development opportunities that would prepare a cadre of competent Namibia logistics practitioners that would enable Namibia to meet the competitive international standards,” said Areseb.
Nalao has also called on the Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development and the Ministry of Trade and Industry to fast-track the tabling of the Draft Land Planning Bill in the parliament in order to streamline land delivery processes and reduce bureaucratic red tape that hinders speedy land delivery.
“We also ask them to support local government and business efforts to develop local logistics hubs and other value adding support services. Entry into the logistics arena will require all stakeholders to rise to a new level in terms competencies, service delivery, business processes and operational culture to be competitive at the international level,” said Areseb.
Areseb then said the National Logistics Master Plan development process is well on track and is due to be finalized around February 2015. Areseb said such a master plan will serve as a national guiding framework for the development of logistics hubs.
“We took note that logistics is a key strategic priority in the fourth national development plan (NDP4). We therefore believe that we have a clear responsibility as municipal professionals working at the level of government closest to the ordinary people to ‘think outside the box’ and create conditions for unlocking the logistics potential in our local authorities,” he said.