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By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

Uconomy has been given access to N$1 million by Nedbank and OMDis to assist with SMEs development at Orangemund.

Uconomy Namibia, an arm of the South African developing agency, confirmed the Villager over the weekend.

Jason Kasuto, representing Uconomy Namibia, explained that they have started with a joint SME and Economic Development Pilot Project in Oranjemund.

Uconomy intends to finish it in less than 12 months and implement the transformative strategies for SMEs development.

The main aim of the pilot is to go through around 140 SMEs in Orangemund and identify those with potential and high scalable ability to be taken under their wings in a transformation journey.

Kasuto explained that making capital available and building SME parks are some of the traditional approaches. However, they assist little in transforming the budding enterprises if they lack access to the market and have operational issues.

So their approach will be to get involved in the operation of the potential SMEs through guidance and developing an online platform to match them with potential clients.

The town of Orangemund has been dependent on the mining giant, Namdeb for all sorts of support. After Namdeb announced the cessation of their operation, the town was dumped with an economic backing.

Even though Namdeb now made a u-turn to continue mining for another 20 years after the government sacrificed some royalty payment- the mining company said it would no more do the economic parenting its use for the town.

As a result, the town, together with Namdeb it created OMDis, the town transformation agency- (“OMDis”) is a Section 21 Company, or Special Purpose Vehicle.

Its sole purpose is to accelerate Town Transformation – the economic diversification of Oranjemund proactively – to ensure the town’s sustainability by 2030 and beyond.

Namdeb contributed N$500 000 to the agency, and Nedbank Namibia also came to the party with N$500 000.

The announcement of an extensive collaboration between Uconomy Namibia and Nedbank Namibia is set to increase the intended transformation further.

Such that the town evolves into a vibrant centre for enterprises and provide further impetus for businesses operating in Oranjemund,” says Tony Bessinger, General Manager of OMDis.

“This collaboration that we are undertaking with Nedbank Namibia and Uconomy Namibia will unquestionably usher in a new era for both our town and the rest of Namibia in supporting SME development,” he said

While Scha van Niekerk says, Uconomy Namibia has the perfect model to support the OMDis vision for Oranjemund. 

They have extensive experience building viable enterprises within communities and look forward to embedding their programme’s tried and tested elements in the town.

He said they have a three-layered approach, which ultimately enables young talent to enter the world of work, support the SME sector and build an ecosystem with the specific aim of driving an integrated socio-economic development platform within the areas of our operations.”

Nedbank Namibia’s managing director, Martha Murorua, says the multi-faceted collaboration has been months in the making.

“We are excited for the opportunity to make such a meaningful impact and improve the livelihood of entire communities. Whilst this collaboration is seen as a pilot project, we are creating a blueprint that can ultimately be scaled throughout Namibia,” she said.

Murorua explained that Nedbank Namibia is keenly invested in providing opportunities for Namibia’s youth to chart their destinies and contribute to the country’s economic prosperity.

“It has never been lip service for us, and the development of our ‘Young professionals’ product offering is a testimony of our resolve to continue our deep involvement in youth-driven enterprise development,” said the Nedbank MD.

The joint SME and Economic Development Pilot Project in Oranjemund is set to kick off immediately. Email:

Julia Heita

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