Shipanga calls for NCCI unity, progress

By Hilary Mare

CHAIRPERSON of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Windhoek branch, Martin Shipanga has called on chamber member to united and join in government efforts to resuscitate the ailing economy.

Addressing delegates at the branch’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week, Shipanga highlighted that government had taken bold steps to engage and listen to the private sector which paves the way for greater participation.

“Whilst we recognize and acknowledge the current economic distress, we remain positive and confident that together with our Government, we shall overcome. The Economic Summit held under the leadership of President Hage Geingob, in July 2019 renewed our hope and determination, in taking ownership of our own economy and situation through the concrete.

“We call upon all business people, both members and non-members to take the hand of our government and collectively move towards finding an economical solution in which all our enterprises, small, medium and big can prosper. That opportunity we have been offered through the highest office in our country, by our President Hage Geingob, an offer we should accept and embrace,” Shipanga remarked.

He added that the Windhoek Branch in an effort to strengthen local and national cooperation is engaging on an on-going basis with other branches, with the aim of strengthening the NCCI and at the same time promoting collective efforts in building and contributing towards national economic development, adding that this also includes condemning where necessary any efforts that potentially harms or compromises the interest of business people in our country.

“We have witnessed unpleasant and retrogressive internal challenges in the NCCI most notably between the National structure and its Branches. Allowing this to continue unresolved will compromise not only the reputation of the NCCI but also its ability to focus on its core mandate, that of serving the best interest of Business in Namibia irrespective of its size or financial strength.”

Shipanga also commended government which through the Minister of Finance introduced the SME Financing Strategy Skills based lending facility for the Youth and 121 Youth Enterprises on the 6th November 2019 and urged all NCCI members to take advantage of this offer.

“We would like to encourage our members to seriously consider getting involved in small scale industries by acquiring production machinery from outside of Namibia, to assist us to manufacture and produce most of the commonly utilised & consumed commodities in our economy and market. In the same vein, we also wish to encourage and call on our government to come up with incentives that can help to build and encourage this much-needed space of investment within our economy,” he said

Conclusively, Shipanga said that growing the membership of the NCCI Windhoek Branch remains an on-going challenge and will require concerted efforts from all stakeholders, individually and collectively.

“Our approach has been one of allowing both members and non-members to partake in our activities, heeding once again the call of our President for inclusivity.”