The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) northern branch under the stewardship of Thomas Iindji, is hosting an Economic and Revitalisation Conference in Helao Nafidi town to boast the ailing economies in the Ohangwena Region.
This idea was cemented during the NCCI Executive Committee meeting held late last year where members discussed the economic plunge of Oshikango and the Ohangwena Regions.
Other matters raised during this meeting included the hostile business environment companies and businesses in this region are subjected to.
According Iindji, this state of affairs which has dragged on for a while, will eventually affect the entire region.
He added that the local economy, which is strongly dependent on revenue from exports, will suffer a massive blow now that the neighbouring country Angola has suspended its imports.
“Export-oriented investments and exports to Angola itself have been and are still the driving force behind Helao Nafidi’s economy. They were the primary source behind Helao Nafidi’s rapid social and communal development and still secure the employment of about 6000 local Namibian residents in the area. However, with the adverse business conditions during the past three years or more, some investors lost faith and are ready to pull out,” he said.
Indji further pointed out that these economies are heavily depended on foreign business people that come from Pakistan, Iran, Lebanese as well as Asia.
However, he added such business cadre finds it extremely difficult to continuously go about their business because of the long periods it takes for visas and work permits to be renewed.
Indji further lamented the sudden and full abolishment of the export allowance incentive in November 2011, which according to him, has shocked businesses as their investments were based on long term planning and a safe and secure business environment.
Indji, therefore, urges stakeholders including several ministries to join hands to find sustainable options to remedy its gradual economic decline.