This week in the Khuta -Northern businesses prospering
The northern towns which are considered to be the most popular towns in the country have lately turned into business parlors. Visiting the northern regions after being absent for almost a year, I noticed unfamiliar buildings as I drove along the Ongwediva-Oshakati main road. I always knew Ongwediva was expanding but clearly I had no idea just how rapidly it was expanding.
Driving in towards the town, a new shopping mall called Maroela Mall, is currently under construction and next to it is a new fast food restaurant, Silver Wolf SPUR, which is already in operation. Days later, the ELUWA Primary Health Care clinic was officially inaugurated by Health and Social Services Minister, Dr. Richard Kamwi. A new shopping complex on the main road heading towards Oshakati, David Shikomba Shopping Complex, is also being renovated and although the complex already houses businesses such as the Namibia Development Co-operation (NDC) and other merchandise stores, the expanded complex will accomodate new businesses.
Obviously the Town Council of Ongwediva is doing something right, but the same can’t be said about towns like Ondangwa, which shows little contribution towards improving the lives of the locals. Expansion at Ondangwa is at a slow pace as some complexes are in dire need of revamping. The Ondangwa Industrial Park which hosts local SME’s is one of the buildings that look very old and needs expansion. Some of the SME’s informed me that it was difficult to sell their merchandise as the rooms allocated to them as offices are very small. Surely it’s about time the Ondangwa Town Council heard the people’s cries.
One thing is for sure though, businesses in Ondangwa are prospering. Many business owners in Ondangwa said that it was much easier to set up business in this town than in any other town mostly because of the airport which is located in Ondangwa. Apparently, when suppliers land in the northern areas, they usually make their first stop in Ondangwa. I am also told that the town is not as popular as other northern towns. Many business owners in Ondangwa are excited to showcase their merchandise at the annual Ongwediva Trade Fair, as they see it as an opportunity to attract new suppliers.
Oshikango on the other hand is a very busy town. The first thing that caught my eye upon arriving in this border town was the way people conducted business. It seemed no one had time to idle as everyone was busy selling or buying something. People, trucks and even animals were on the move. At the border post, officials could be seen patrolling people moving in and out of the town to neighbouring Angola. As in the case of Ondangwa, suppliers in Oshikango also consist mainly of Angolan nationals who even set up business in the town. From California Fried Chicken to Kentucky Fried Chicken, it seems competition is rife in Oshikango.
It just goes to show that Namibians are doing their utmost best to improve their lives by being self employed. As the saying goes, ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country. Kudos to all northern entrepreneurs who made it happen for themselves instead of waiting for TIPEEG’s hand overs. Am sure the next time I visit “Owamboland”, I will be welcomed by more business complexes.