[As the northern business community mourns the death of a fellow businessman Mr Tomas T. Nghoshi who died on 7 March 2020, Omutumwa’s editor has turned into a news story the “minutes” of a meeting which the late Nghoshi shared with his fellow entrepreneurs early in the morning before dying a few hours later in a motor crash.]

Northern business discuss effect of Corona virus

By Tomas T. Nghoshi

The NCCI Northern Branches convened an urgent meeting to discuss the current economic situation in Namibia particularly the effects of Corona virus.

The meeting was held at Ongwediva Town Hall on 2 March 2020 at 10H00.

It was the first meeting by the newly elected team of NCCI Ongwediva Branch. The meeting, chaired by Mr Ben Hauwanga chairperson of NCCI Ongwediva Branch, brainstormed on various issues pertaining to the current state of the economy and the adverse effects presented by the Corona virus.

Hauwanga was accompanied by his entire team: his deputy chairperson Ms Amalia Schmidt, Mr Shafa Kaulinge the treasurer, Ms Juliana Nepembe-Haimbodi the secretary, Mr Matomola and Mr Leonard Asser.

The meeting acknowledged the attendance of her Worship the Mayor of Ongwediva Ms Angelina Angula.

The meeting started with the chairperson highlighting that the serious effects of Corona virus on economies has now been declared as a global concern and as by now countries like Angola have closed their borders against anyone coming from China or from any other country with a record of Corona virus.

“The question is: how much or to what extent is our Government prepared for Corona virus?” asked Mr Hauwanga.

Hauwanga further stated that 60% of Chinese industry has been closed due to Corona virus in that country and this has affected the economy of other countries including Namibia.

“We may now suffer in terms of trade, import and export of goods. Corona virus must be a wake-up call to our Government to support the initiatives by our business community especially those who aim to establish factories.

“My hope is that if as a country we can be self-dependent by producing our own products moments like this would not affect us badly,” Hauwanga said.

After the introduction of the members of the board, opportunity was given to business people to present their views and opinions, and the following vital opinions were raised:

“In every problem there is a hidden business opportunity; so what business opportunity can we get from this? Can we come together to establish local factories that will make us export more than we import since we are at risk of importing goods from outside?”

“Let us engage and hold the Ministry of Health and the Chinese Ambassador to Namibia accountable by making Corona virus vaccination and nose masks available in the country before any case of Corona virus in the country is reported. Being prepared is important at this moment.”

“As local business people we are not happy with Chinese businesses dominating the Namibian market especially that there is no market control to protect us from doing business that we can do by ourselves.”

“As business people we are not happy with manufacturers selling straight to the end consumers and some even have retailer shops in villages.”

“We, as business people, are requesting the end of corruption in our country and it is because of corruption that our country is going through bankruptcies, acquiring international debt and as a consequence businesses in the country continue to suffer.”

The gathered business people resolved that after the meeting an urgent letter will be compiled and sent to the Government with suggestions on possible mechanisms to fight the economic effects of the Corona pandemic as according to the views of the business community.

REPORT BY: Mr. Tomas T. Nghoshi, Omakondo Bricks (the late Mr Nghoshi in the photo)