Friday 27 November 2015

NAMIBIA: Khorixas Targets Tourism

The town of Khorixas in the Kunene Region, yearning for development due to an avalanche of challenges, plans to revive its ailing economy by capitalising on its tourism and agriculture potential.

The town – which is home to about 10 000 residents – is challenged by limited social and business networks, a low level of effective demand in the local economy, little access to finance, lack of work experience and skills among residents, lack of role models, cultural obstacles and a lack of personal motivation.

This came to light during the town’s first ever investor’s conference that was held last week. By reviving its economy the town hopes to open up investment opportunities and create employment for its residents.

To kick-start this process the town hosted its first ever Khorixas Local Economic Development Forum last Thursday, under the theme “Driving Growth at Home to Propel Economic Growth”.

In attendance were members of the community and businesspeople from the town. Patron of the Local Economic Development Forum, Bisey Uirab, himself a native of Khorixas, said the aim was to caucus on investment opportunities that could create jobs and economic development for the town. Uirab said the town needs to build and strengthen local economic capacity, encourage value adding activities and attract investment that will translate into a conducive business development, with reliable supporting infrastructure and skilled human capacity and job creation.

“We want our young people to be the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. Therefore we need to develop a long-term focused development strategy supporting not only the socio-economic goals of Khorixas but the entire country,” he said.

“This endeavour can only be successful if you get buy-in and support from the local community, the regional government and national planning.”

He added that it is against this background that the conference was held.

“We could not have found a more opportune time to discuss economic development of the Kunene Region and its villages. As you are aware our ports in Namibia serve as major hubs for trade. They are connected within Namibia and to the SADC region through four major transport corridors – the Trans-Kalahari, the Trans-Kunene, the Trans-Caprivi and the Trans-Orange. Namport will also soon be conducting a feasibility study relating to the establishment of a new port in the far north of Namibia. We as Khorixas residents must ask ourselves how we can benefit through all these developments,” said Uirab.

He then urged the youth of the town to create enterprise opportunities for the development of Khorixas, focusing on local economy growth, equity promotion, gender equality and in particular the generation of inclusive growth and decent jobs for all in Kunene.

Uirab also thanked the Khorixas Town Council and its partnering stakeholders for creating the long overdue platform to rebuild the economy and infrastructure of Khorixas and Kunene Region.

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