Not many people turned up for the National Export Promotion Strategy consultation workshop which took place today in Ongwediva.

The consultation workshops being held nationally by the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT), together with the Namibia Trade Forum, and National Planning Commission, with financial support from the European Union, will culminate into a document that would pave the way for easy access of Namibian goods to the international markets, especially the European Union market.

The document which will guide the government and other state trade agencies from 2024 to 2029 will consist of general strategies which are meant to strengthen governance, the institutional and personnel capacity for managing exports and export diversification; enhance trade facilitation, the legal framework for trade and infrastructure; enhance Namibia’s National Quality Infrastructure; increase quantity and value exports of goods and services; diversify exports; attract domestic and foreign investment to stimulate exports and export diversification; and contribute to enhancing export competitiveness of Namibia and integration into the world economy.

The Ongwediva consultation workshop, which was supposed to be attended by entrepreneurs and economic policy makers based in the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto and even Kunene, attracted only an attendance of 20 people. Of these, local business people were only five.

While NCCI and NALOBA were represented by one official each, regional and local councils were not represented. Neither was the Oshana Governor’s Office represented. However, NamRa’s Oshakati Office was well represented.

Mr Sakeus Kapenda, the deputy director for trade promotion at the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, did the introduction as well as the presentation of the National Export Promotion Strategy draft document.

Dr. Dirk Hansohm, a researcher and team leader for the Economic Partnership Agreement of Namibia with the European Union, did a few welcoming remarks, as well as Mr Roberth Disho Kaveto, a policy analyst at the MIT, who made a brief talk on the recent activities of the Namibia Trade Forum in reaching out to local producers and retailers to find ways for local products to access the local formal markets.

A question and answer session raised issues such as the fact that local business people are tired of attending consultation meetings year in and year out but such consultations don’t produce any change to their situation of “struggling entrepreneurship”.

A group discussion and presentation of challenges identified which hinder the export of locally produced goods ended the workshop.

In the photo: Those who attended the consultation workshop in Ongwediva.