The United Entrepreneurs Association of Namibia (UEAN) yesterday met with Mines and Energy Minister Mr Tom Alweendo in the efforts to bring the desires and aspirations of entrepreneurs at the top level of decision-making.

The three-month old association aims to be the major stakeholder in Namibia where economic decisions are concerned and the intermediary between Namibian entrepreneurs and government as well as leaders of economic institutions.

The meeting with Minister Alweendo has been described by the association as successful in that the association has now become one of the go-to stakeholders for engagement on matters related to the Minerals Act and Diamond Act which are currently under review.

“The ministry supports beneficiation and inclusion by locals in the ownership and management of our mineral resources but frowns upon Namibians who apply for EPLs for purposes of onward selling to international investors,” stated Mr Tonata Shiimi, one of the leaders of the association who met with the minister.

“The minister would rather like to see Namibians pulling themselves together and learn how to raise money on international stock exchange bourses like Toronto, New York, London, Hong Kong or Sydney using our EPLs. That is exactly what most if not all investors do across the world.”

Shiimi further said that the meeting also discussed the issue of regional electricity distribution entities (REDs) to be more robust in creating an enabling environment and enter into PPP’s power purchasing agreements with Independent Power Producers.

The issue of licensing in the energy space was also discussed and “we agreed that the Electricity Control Board and Nampower should streamline their licensing processes and systems in order to attract more investment in this sector.”

The ministry will be inviting the association to the official launch of the mining opportunity database targeted towards local entrepreneurs.

“The meeting concluded that the follow up engagements will be ongoing on a monthly basis,” Shiimi said.

In the photo: Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo, the Diamond Commissioner Mrs Mina Gahutu, and some of the executive members of the UEAN pictured after the meeting.