Future of Arandis in industry, education and tourism
The signs of activity are obvious with buildings going up on both sides of the main road. Always an industrious town, Arandis is now spreading its wings. “Arandis is known for its close relationship with the mining industry, but has much more to offer,” says Town Council Chief Executive Officer Florida Husselmann.
“We see great potential in growing the town into an industrial hub that can serve the Erongo Region and is centrally located between major industry, the ports and the hinterland. With the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) having its main campus here the town is also a centre of excellence for the furthering of education,” she notes. “Our desert landscape and the proximity of several large mines, also open doors for niche-tourism, such as mining tours, eco-tourism, or desert adventure safaris.”
“Arandis is situated outside the rust belt, in the heartland of the industrial region and sporting an excellent skills base,” says NIMT Director Eckhart Mueller, who is passionate about the town’s development. NIMT, with 3000 students is by far the largest supplier of skilled labour in the Erongo region and throughout the country.
Some of the developments currently underway include a three storey hotel, a health centre and a shopping mall that is developed by Old Mutual. Earlier, the town saw the opening of retail facilities, a large service station, schools and banking outlets.
Residential developers have flocked to the town to build houses. Among them, young Namibian entrepreneur Tuna Willem who is building 120 low to middle income houses. “Arandis is a no-brainer in terms of investment,” she comments. “The town has everything going for it, focussing on necessities that are in high demand in Namibia, such as a safe, affordable living environment. The Town Council is passionate and a dream to work with for developers.”
Residential development is one of the pillars in Arandis’ development strategy, notes Husselmann, who foresees a doubling of the town’s population over the next few years. “We have land in abundance and are able to develop it much cheaper than in other parts of the country, offering an affordable and prosperous living environment.” Apart from Tuna Willem’s Osho Living Park, another 600 houses are on the cards, as well as a power plant, a dry fishing plant, a mining museum, various accommodation facilities and an industrial park.
Several high-powered individuals such as Deputy Trade Minister Tjekero Tweya and Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua have staked their reputations on Arandis, attracting investment and calling it an ‘excellent opportunity for industrialisation’ as set out in NDP4 and Vision 2030.
“Exciting new areas we are looking to develop are renewable energy and a polishing factory for the minerals that are found nearby,” Arandis Corporate Services Manager Aunie Gebhard explains.
The conference, which will be hosted by NIMT is enriched by a Mineral, Mining and Energy Expo, where exhibitors will showcase the latest products and services in the field. “The Conference and Expo will promote Arandis as a centre of business growth and an excellent base for large and small companies active in the mining and energy sectors,” said Arandis Mayor, Daniel Muhura.