A third of Namibia’s workforce employed by MSMEs: Ya Ndakolo

• By Erasmus Shalihaxwe

THERE are approximately 33 700 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country of which around 15 000 are formally registered and provide employment and income to 160 000 Namibian citizens. This represents about one third of the nation’s workforce and the overall contribution of MSMEs constitutes approximately 12 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

These were the remarks made by Oshikoto region governor, Penda Ya Ndakolo while addressing a group of entrepreneurs at the official opening of the three day, ‘KNOW2GROW NEXTGEN ENTREPRENEURS SHOWCASE’ in Tsumeb this past Wednesday.

The event held in the form of an expo was organised by Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), with the aim of accelerating the development of innovative and youth-led businesses in Namibia. It is also an extension of the umbrella Know2Grow project, an initiative meant to disseminate important and relevant information about funding and market access to enable MSMEs to grow.

The event was hosted under the theme; ‘Scaling through Innovation, Value Addition and Co-operatives will offer a market access and capacity building platform.’

The three days event, kicked off on Wednesday (November 16) and ran until November 18, where more than 120 MSMEs from various industries such as food processing, cosmetics and manufacturing, amongst others, showcased their innovative products and services.

Information sharing sessions with key private sector player were held to discuss business to business engagements, enterprise development and trading in Southern Africa, amongst other topics.

Ya Ndakolo said Namibia was considered a young nation that is why it is imperative that leaders pave way for youth-led initiatives and support the acceleration of their business ventures.

“Young people should have an environment in which their brilliant and innovative business models are recognised and encouraged in order to sustain the next generation. NIPDB understands that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are key contributors to employment creation, income generation and poverty eradication for the people of Namibia, in both rural and urban areas. MSMEs are the backbone of the Namibian economy. Therefore, we need to ensure that their businesses are scaled to continue contributing to the economic growth of our great nation,” Ya Ndakolo said.

Speaking at the same event, Tsumeb Mayor, Matheus Hangula, said the showcase would avail countless opportunities for key private and government stakeholders engage with young entrepreneurs on matters relevant to boosting their chances of business success.

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