By Victor Angula /
The Governor of Oshana delivered today the State of the Region Address (SORA), in which, among others, he highlighted the achievements of the regional government, the challenges, as well as “recommending that the Government together with the private sector should: promote investment in the local economy and support businesses to sustain and restore business operation.”
Governor Elia Kaulifewangali Irimari described the year under review (2020/2021) as a difficult and challenging year.
“Last year, our region had done well in terms of containing Covid-19 infections and impact on our local economy but current trends in Covid-19 infections are devastating and continue to claim lives,” Irimari stated during his SORA which was delivered at Oshakati to a small assembly of regional councilors and the media in line with the Covid-19 Regulations, while the event was broadcast live on radios and streamed on social media platforms.
On the business side the Governor commended the NCCI branches in Oshana for their “corroborative efforts in supporting the upcoming local businesses to develop.
“During the 2020/2021 Financial Year, my Office together with the NCCI jointly organized a series of business engagements to address challenges facing the business fraternity, improve government service delivery, fast-tracking capital projects implementation and housing development,” Irimari said.
He added that he “took this consultative approach with the business community because business growth and development remain the greatest impetus for socio-economic development.”
The Governor also thanked various “regional stakeholders” who have been supportive in assisting communities affected by Covid-19.
“Hence I wish to thank our stakeholders who contributed through financial means, donated medical equipment, refreshment, masks and sanitizers to the region, such as Dr. Frans Indongo, Rani Group, Oshakati Spar, Pick ‘n Pay, Chicco Building Supplies, Ongwediva Medipark, Ondangwa Private Hospital, Pupkewitz Foundation, the 8 Traditional Authorities and Coca Cola, among others.”
Irimari pointed out that the joint initiative by the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade, Standard Bank Namibia and the Environmental Investment Fund established the Sustainable Development Goals Facility with the aim of improving access to capital and provide financing to women and youth in business, social enterprises as well as to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“A total of three businesses have so far benefited in Oshana Region at the cost of N$457,000),” he said.
He also indicated that the Social Security Commission funded an agricultural and poultry project based at Ohadiwa at the cost of N$2.3 million.
“In terms of agricultural investment, the Agricultural Bank of Namibia also assisted farmers in the region with 11 loans valued at N$1.74 million,” he related.
“The Agricultural Sector remains our priority sector, with the regional potential to create jobs, enhance crop production and develop sustainable beef industry to capitalize on new export markets in China and Southern Africa.
“The Office of the Regional Governor has also provided grants to 4 community projects in the region at a cost of N$13,981.75.
“The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service has provided loans to 33 youths in business at the cost of N$221,000.
“A total number of 241 permanent jobs and 1,174 temporary jobs have been created during the 2020/2021 Financial Year through the implementation of various economic and development activities in the region.”
The Governor touched on various other sectors, as well as listing several challenges the regional leadership faces in executing the region’s developmental process, before closing off his address with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi who said, “unity to be real, we must stand the severest strains without breaking.”
In the photo: Oshana Regional Governor Elia Irimari delivering his State of the Region Address.