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Much in store for SMEs at Copper Festival


by Honorine Kaze
Business

Copper-Our Yesterday, Our Future is the theme of this year’s Copper Festival that will officially kick off on 26 October in Tsumeb.
More than 54 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are expected to showcase their products and services during the four day festival. Exhibitors are coming from all over the country including international exhibitors from South Africa, Kenya and Zambia.
Amongst invited guests is the Honourable Bernard Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources who will officially open the event, while guests will be serenaded by the police brass band.
The copper festival has been taking place since its 2003 and has been growing from strength to strength. It is organised annually by the Tsumeb Town Council in collaboration with the Copper Festival organising committee.
According to Julius George Gaeses, Chairperson of the festival organising committee, the festival’s aim is to promote SMEs and business opportunities for all.
“The copper festival’s objective is to encourage business opportunities in Tsumeb, which will attract local and international investments and simply to celebrate the town and its residents. We are shifting our focus on empowering SMEs and arts & crafts in this year’s festival. Some of the exhibitors are funded by the Ministry of Trade for the duration of the festival,” he explains.
In pursuit to reduce the abuse of alcohol during the festival, this year’s festival has opted on reducing alcohol stalls in the food and beverage category and is urging the few people in charge of alcohol stalls to obey the law by not selling it to children under the age of 18.
 This year, with the support of their main sponsor, the committee will be able to award prizes to the best SMEs exhibitor.
The first winner will be given N$7500 while the second will get N$5000 and the third prize winner will walk away with N$2 500. The judges will be a combination of panel members from the NCCI and Ministry of Trade & Industry.
Additional activities in the festival includes the Miss Tsumeb Copper festival beauty pageant, sport activities including male and female Volleyball, basket ball and netball, as well as soccer. Registration for the sport activities is N$250 and Gaeses has called for those interested in taking part in the sport activities that the registration is still open until the 20th. They can contact Tjapwa Heikey (081 288 3821) or the chairperson Gaeses (081 146 0166).
The most anticipated event is the musical bash that will take place on 29 October on the Oscar Norich Stadium, with the likes of Gazza, Ondarata Oviritje group, Ndilimani Cultural Troupe, Whani Jansen, just to name a few and the well loved Webster Snewe will be the stage master.
“You are all invited to come enjoy the Copper festival with the peaceful, loving, diversified but yet united people of Tsumeb.” Gaeses urges the Namibians.