Erongo trade sector enriched

Local support cardinal

18 September 2021 | Business

Nangolo Mbumba; Vice-President; “The reality is that our shelves are dominated by foreign imports and that the local producers find it difficult to access retail shelf space…”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The Namibia Trade Forum hosted a capacity building workshop for stakeholders of the trade sector in the Erongo region.

Speaking at the opening, deputy minister of industrialization and trade, Verna Sinimbo, highlighted the timely nature of the launch of Phase 2 of the Buy Local, Grow Namibia Campaign in the Erongo region.

“The Buy Local Grow Namibia campaign was launched in October 2020. In two weeks, a year will have lapsed since this initiative began. We have recorded a number of remarkable achievements, in spite of the social and economic challenges that have been amplified by the health pandemic that continues to afflict the lives and livelihoods of our citizens,” she said.

According to Sinimbo, the focus of the second phase of the Buy Local Grow Namibia campaign aims to capacitate micro, small and medium enterprises as well as the informal sector to better understand various requirements for local market access.

“After identifying this lack of critical knowledge on retailer requirements, this is a noble initiative which we hope will gain momentum and be institutionalized.”

She added that the Buy Local, Grow Namibia campaign aims not only to create an environment favorable for local products to enter trade spheres, but also to sensitize the nation about the economic benefits of supporting local businesses.

Sourcing local

Sinimbo said she was encouraged by the efforts made by some retailers that source products locally, thus aiding with the promotion of local products and value chains.

She emphasised that at the heart of the industrialisation drive is the need to accelerate initiatives aimed at transforming our economy from that of a commodity base, to developing value chains around those raw materials and commodities.

“This is the underlying theme in the Growth at Home Strategy.”

Sinimbo also commended local entrepreneurs for their unwavering spirit in times of peril.

“To the SMEs and business operators in our country: Thank you for your tenacity and perseverance. Let us continue to take hands.”

She noted that the benefits of placing one’s financial support in local business are numerous.

“By buying food and other goods that are produced locally, consumers help stimulate their regional economy; they create and retain valuable jobs, support families and strengthen communities. In addition, it also helps to mitigate climate change by reducing transportation times as well as the emission of greenhouse gases.”

Gaining access

This session was aimed at doing away with hindrances that prevent Namibian products from successfully trading.

“The reality is that our shelves are dominated by foreign imports and local producers find it difficult to access retail shelf space for a variety of reasons, some of which we are trying to address through these initiatives. Other challenges relate to quality standards, access to finance and distribution channels,” vice-president Nangolo Mbumba noted earlier this year.

During the event, the Namibia Standards Institution, the Namibia Agronomic Board, the Development Bank of Namibia and GS1 Namibia introduced themselves to participants.

Talks by the Namibia Investment and Development Board, SPAR Namibia, Shoprite Namibia, and Pick n Pay Namibia outlined to suppliers how they could ensure that their products find their place on shelves nationwide.

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