Walvis BIPA office inaugurated

The office of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority in Walvis Bay, has been operational since July.

02 October 2021 | Ministries

Lucia Iipumbu; Minister; “…through collective efforts, we can place the Namibian economy on a sound and sustainable growth path…”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The Walvis Bay office of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) was officially inaugurated on Wednesday.

The office in the harbour town has been operational since 1 July 2021.

At the event, minister of industrialisation and trade Lucia Iipumbu said that the long-term aim of the Walvis Bay office is to become an advocacy centre for businesses through the rendering of training and provision of information to businesses to understand the requirements and obligations of business owners better.

“The move is also aligned with the ministry’s industrialisation drive and current move to establishing industrial parks in the region. Further, the authority will continue to conduct outreach activities on intervals specifically in other towns where the office may not be present.”

She also encouraged outreaches by the organisation to towns like Omaruru, Okambahe, Outjo and Khorixas.

Looking ahead

The current board together with BIPA management also developed a new strategic plan towards the end of 2020. The focus of this plan is centred on financial sustainability and efficiency through automation.

The previous strategic plan aimed to rectify challenges and shortcoming in the original plan by ensuring that operation targets are aligned with strategic priorities to fulfil BIPA’s obligations in the best interest of stakeholders by ensuring prudent and optimum utilisation of resources, while promoting good corporate governance principles.

Iipumbu said that the strategic plan was operationalised on 1 April 2021.

She also announced that during the period under review, the authority declared a surplus of N$17 million, which was mainly derived from its Annual Duties revenue stream.

“Despite a cost increase of 11% from the following year, BIPA’s positive cash flows eliminated the need for short-term borrowing. The financial year also saw a N$25 million increase of the authority’s net assets. This is commendable as self-sustainability reduces the already burdened financial obligations of the ministry.”

BIPA is also in the process of revamping its registration system. “We acknowledge that we have great challenges, but through the collective efforts from both public and private sectors as well as every Namibian, we can place the economy on a sound and sustainable growth path.”

Regional headquarters

BIPA chief executive Vivienne Katjiuongua said it is envisioned that the newly inaugurated office will serve as the regional headquarters for Erongo.

“Although still challenged in as far as it relates to digitizing our services, BIPA’s mandate is clear. We are hopeful that once fully capacitated, this office will provide our customers with the ultimate convenience, efficiency, and improved turnaround times.”

The office will provide ease of registration of businesses and intellectual properties to the community of Erongo.

“It will also help the local business community by reducing costs associated with travelling or posting applications to Windhoek, as has been the case in the past. This will be particularly helpful for small and medium enterprises that were previously unable to afford or access our services.”

BIPA board chairperson Riundja Ali Kaakunga said that data captured since the opening of the office, show a spike in visits from clients and an increase in applications.

“This is a sign that our stakeholders have been yearning for our presence in Walvis Bay.”

Since February 2018, BIPA operated from an office on the premises of the ministry of industrialisation and trade in Swakopmund.