Northern regions offer vast investment opportunities
Nangula Uaandja, chief cxecutive officer and chairperson of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), recently announced that Namibia has secured investment opportunities worth N$161 billion this year, which have the potential to generate more jobs.
In the Oshikoto Region, several investment opportunities have been identified and highlighted in the region's development profile, which aims to promote ongoing projects that possess unique qualities to attract investors.
According to Penda Ya Ndakolo, the regional governor of Oshikoto, the region is blessed with abundant resources and untapped potential that can be harnessed for economic growth.
Ya Ndakolo said tourism, infrastructure development, agriculture and natural resource value addition are among some key sectors in the region with huge potential for development.
Some of the unique investment opportunities in the Oshikoto Region include the establishment of the Nahas Angula Orchard, Onandhi Orchard and Onamego Orchard located in Onyaanya constituency by the agriculture, water and forestry ministry through the directorate of forestry.
An orchard is an intentional plantation of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit, vegetable, and nut-producing trees that are grown for commercial production.
In addition to that, the Onankali Mahangu Paper Making Cooperative (OMPMCO) Ltd. is also situated within the Onyaanya constituency.
The Onankali Mahangu Paper Making Cooperative is a community-based enterprise that provides employment opportunities and income for the group and the community.
The cooperative offers a wide range of handmade and finely crafted papers that are made from the stalks and leaves of Mahangu, or millet, grown in and around north-central Namibia.
Although the project is doing well, there is a need to diversify its products in order to attract domestic and foreign markets. Investment in the form of machinery and a modern paper manufacturing plant is essential to improving the quality of the paper products. There is a craft shop where the items (envelopes, cards, etc.) are sold.
The region is strategically located to attract economic activities and opportunities as it stretches northward, connecting communal land and the southern commercial area.
Tourism is often cited as one of the major contributors to the regional economy. It is a sector that has the potential to offer employment opportunities to rural communities in the region.
The region is well located with tourist attractions that include Etosha National Park, Otjikoto Lake, Guinas Lake, and the Nakambale and Helvi Kondombolo cultural villages.
Several hunting and game farms in the region are seen as catalysts for tourism.
The Oshana Region is preparing to host a Regional Investment Conference later this year.
The conference aims to bring together various key stakeholders involved in local, regional, national, and international economic development and growth. These stakeholders include potential investors, industry leaders, marketers, consumers, macroeconomic players, and investor services providers.
The objective of the conference is to facilitate engagement among these stakeholders and explore investment possibilities within the region.
During the conference, the region will showcase and market its economic potential and investment opportunities. The ultimate goal is to attract potential investors who can contribute to the region's development and stimulate local economic growth. This growth, in turn, can lead to job creation through value addition to local tradable raw materials and services.
Some of the investment opportunities include the extension and construction of the DR 3607 road from Ompundja proper to the southern side of Oponona Natural Lake as a commercial and tourism road. This project aims to facilitate the establishment and accessibility of commercial and tourism activities in the southern part of the region.
This investment can be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) concept, which will create employment opportunities and generate sustainable returns on investment.
Oshana Regional Governor, Elia Irimari, highlighted tourism as one of the unique investment sectors. There are various conservancies located in the southern part of the region that have the potential to upgrade existing tourist attraction establishments.
Irimari highlighted the investment opportunity in oil from fruits, which could lead to the production of cosmetics due to the high human capital the region has available.
Other investment opportunities are in the areas of agriculture, which is done on a small scale but has the potential to be practised on a large scale, which can generate a vast income as we already have the land.
The establishment of agro-businesses, fodder production, sand mining plants, cosmetics, and associated value chains are also some of the investment opportunities available in the region.