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Geingob Praises Ongwediva Trade Fair Organisers

Staff Writer

President Hage Geingob said as Namibia continues along its development trajectory, concepts such as Smart Economy will become more important to support developmental aspirations in a rapidly changing world.

Geingob said this on Sunday when he officially opened the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair, which attracted over 350 local and international exhibitors.

The Ongwediva Trade Fair is being hosted under the theme, “Gearing Towards a Smart Economy”.

“The new model adopted by the Ongwediva Trade Fair, comprising a hybrid format of a conventional physical exhibition combined with a virtual platform, is highly impressive and demonstrates a commitment to technological innovation,” Geingob said.

The President said a smart economy is based on technological innovation, resource efficiency, sustainability and high social welfare as engines for success.

“It adopts innovation, new entrepreneurial initiatives, increases productivity and competitiveness with the overall goal of improving the quality of life of all citizens,” he said.

According to Geingob, given that Namibia is positioning itself to stay ahead of the development curb by adapting to the 4IR, concepts such as Smart Economy should become part and parcel of the development portfolio.

Geingob added that when Namibia faces numerous independent intervening variables and a global economic slowdown, the people are challenged to think out of the box and develop new avenues for efficient and effective utilisation of economic resources.

“The important question we should ask is, how do we achieve the goals highlighted in the Harambee Prosperity Plans, National Development Plans and Vision 2030 in a world with increased competition for these limited resources? The answer is to work smarter; that is where smart economies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) come in,” he said.

Geingob further said that as Namibia strives toward attaining developmental objectives, it is pertinent that the government and the private sector hold hands and work in tandem to promote technological transformation in the local economy.

He said the government had prioritised agriculture as one of the sectors in addition to health, finance, defence and education, where 4IR technologies can be used to increase production, create new jobs and ensure food security for the Nation.

“To this end, the 4IR Task Force, which I appointed on July 1st, 2021, has been working jointly with the World Economic Forum to develop a 4IR Policy and Legislative Toolkit for use to ensure our policy and legislative

instruments are 4IR compliant and “Future-Proof”, given the rapidly advancing nature of these modern technologies,” the President said.

Geingob urged the trade fair organisers to work closely with government ministries and all relevant stakeholders to promote the Ongwediva Trade Fair and attract more international exhibitors, especially those from whom we can gain valuable knowledge on enhancing economic performance.

He said Namibia’s success could only be guaranteed through sacrifice, hard work and, most importantly, unity.

“Unity is a potent ingredient for a successful recipe. As we develop our blueprint for moving forward post Covid-19, let us all realise that if we plan together, think together and work together, we will succeed as One Namibia, One Nation. I am confident that as a united people, we stand on the precipice of ushering in a new era defined by a smart economy, sustainable development and shared prosperity,” Geingob said.

The President thanked MTC, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Namcor for working with Ongwediva Town Council to host this year’s Ongwediva Trade Fair.

Staff Writer

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