Local products from local companies help pay local salaries
When Robby Amadhila of Roama Gates Manufacturing in Ondangwa extended an invitation to the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, little did he expect the chamber’s president accompanied by the Namibian Prime Minister, to show up at his factory premises for a personal visit.
Speaking shortly after conclusion of a factory tour, the chamber president, Sven Thieme of the Ohlthaver & List Group said support of the growth at home strategy by the business fraternity is critical element for economic growth. Thieme was accompanied by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
According to the O&L chairman, the government must be commended for the excellent environment it has created for businesses to flourish, citing several examples of supportive interventions.
Said Thieme “A great example is the process followed and resulting in the setting aside of the airport tender. Doing the right thing is not always the popular thing, but it is the impact, the resilience to push through and create a better future not only for a handful, but for all, and for the greater good, that matters.”
“Abuses are common, both by corporations and in the public sphere. So many times people ask questions about how to deal with corruption and demands for kickbacks, as they try to penetrate the business arena. Across the world we have seen what happens when companies and corrupt officials conspire to serve their own selfish interests: They wreak havoc on our planet and its fragile ecosystems, destroy communities and perpetuate the cycle of poverty” he continued.
“As a result, many people distrust business and public institutions. And why wouldn’t they? Such practices aren’t only morally wrong, they are bad for business. Business should be a champion of good governance, taking a strong stand against corruption and lobbying for a better world. We should be fighting to build and support strong and healthy communities because the people who live in them are our employees and our customers, our suppliers and investors – a business and the community it serves, together with government, are interdependent” he emphasised.
Acknowledging the key role of the private sector, the Rt Hon Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the business sector is expected to respond adequately to the challenge of making realistic inputs into formulating development plans at a national and regional level.
Furthermore, she encouraged the business community to contribute to the implementation of such plans and that the government would like to see a profitable and flourishing private sector, stressing that in the spirit of reciprocity, the government expects the private sector to contribute holistically to development through solid corporate social responsibility initiatives.
“It is quite pleasing to witness and recognize that our own business people are finally manufacturing and producing goods of high quality” she said referring to the impressive range of fencing and gate products manufactured by Roama Gates Manufacturing.
“When the government and private sector are pulling in the same direction, then our country is heading into the right direction, namely to be characterized as ‘a prosperous and industrialized country, developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability’ to use the foresight of Vision 2030” she reiterated.
Supporting the Prime Minister in her praise for Roama Gates, Thieme said “One would think that it is common sense to add as much value as possible locally. Creating jobs locally is an investment at home. Surely manufacturing locally and procuring from home supports the growth at home [strategy].
“The bottom line is that we need to understand the multiplier effect of the opportunity cost of not supporting local [manufacturing]” he said pointing out how important it is that all Namibian consumers must understand that buying local supports local business which pays local salaries.
Roama Gates Manufacturing produces fencing material such as gates, steel posts, stays and palisade panels. It also manufactures hostel and domestic beds, door frames and steel doors, as well as braai stands and burglary doors. They supply to hardware stores such as Chicco, BH, Kambwa, Build-It, Pupkewitz Megabuild, Kaap Agri and to individual customers with fencing tenders.