By Victor Angula /
One of the most significant differences between the newly-established Namibia Local Business Association (NALOBA) and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) is that NALOBA’s leadership will be made out of active business people.
This is a significant difference to the NCCI which has been accommodative of CEOs of corporate companies into its leadership.
According to NALOBA’s vice-president Mr Peter Kanu Amadhila, his association will represent the interests of local businesses much better because its leaders are business people themselves instead of being employees of big companies.
Amadhila was speaking at a media briefing at the head office of the association in Ongwediva yesterday where close to 300 business people mostly from the four northern regions of Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto turned up.
“By local it does not mean that NALOBA will represent business people of Ongwediva or Oshana only,” Amadhila emphasized. “By local it means ‘native’ or indigenous business people. NALOBA is for all business people in all 14 regions of Namibia.
“NALOBA is a non-profit association, non-politically affiliated and non-tribal. The association is established to be a voice, and a true heart to business interests and needs of all Namibian native business men and women throughout Namibia.
“These include small and medium enterprises (SMEs), large to corporate businesses.
“One of our objectives is to secure fair competition. This association is not against foreigners, but we say that foreigners must come in to invest and do business only in sectors where we have no capability.”
Speaking at the same event NALOBA’s president prominent northern business man Erastus Shapumba, well-known as ‘Chicco’, said that the association will have a lot of work to do in dealing with local authority leaders who for a long time have shown no interest in the growth of local businesses.
“Too often local businesses are the ones who set up settlements, but when these settlements have grown and become big enough so that town councils are established, the councils start pushing the interest of local business people aside,” Shapumba said.
“This has to change. But we need to work together. The association is not mine or yours, but it’s for all business people countrywide. Let’s keep our businesses strong and not let them die.”
NALOBA, which was established on 2 September 2021 by northern business people who felt that NCCI has not been doing enough to represent their interests, has a vision, which is to “localize, protect and promote the economy of Namibia”, while one of its objectives is to “offer our Association Members with dignity and values such as trust, respect, commitment, responsibility, accountability, professionalism, transparency and ethical conduct.”
NALOBA’s membership will be free for the first year of its existence.
In the photo: At the media briefing of NALOBA in Ongwediva last Friday.