Northern Chamber of Commerce branch leaders elected
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) branches at Ondangwa, Oshakati and Ongwediva recently elected new branch leaders at their respective Annual General Meetings.
Well-known local businessman, Ben Hauwanga founder and Chief Executive of the BH Group of Companies was elected to lead the NCCI Ongwediva branch.
Hauwanga is deputized by Amalia Schmidt of the SchmidtCo Group. Schmidt also a renowned business personality was crowned the 2005 Namibian Businesswoman of the Year.
In his acceptance speech Hauwanga said it was an honour for him to take up this role.
He said that he does not underestimate the importance of the position as local businesses need a strong and unifying pillar to advocate for their interests, particularly during these very difficult economic times.
“NCCI is the leading private sector representative body in the country with important obligations to both its membership and the Nation. Therefore, this branch needs a very strong leadership that can go against the odds to influence policy decisions and foster the interest of our business people,” added Hauwanga.
He said it is important for the NCCI leadership in the towns of Ongwediva, Ondangwa, Oshakati and the surrounding areas to reflect on the recent past during which the region has undergone considerable challenges, just like many other regions countrywide and take the appropriate actions as representatives of the business community.
“Access to markets for local products, support to small businesses, the frighteningly high youth unemployment rates, unfair competition from foreign firms and a rising crime rate are some of the core issues that we must strive to address with renewed energy,” he said.
Other committee members selected are Shafa Kaulinge of Tiger Wheel and Tyre Ongwediva as Treasurer, Juliana Nepembe-Haimbodi of Vintage Property Developers and Real Estate as Secretary, Advocate Matomola of Extra Defense Protection Services, Leonard Asser of Zone Four Investment and Panduleni Uahengo of Epic Trading Enterprises.
Many businesses in Ongwediva applauded this development saying that for the first time in history of that branch its leadership echelon is truly representative of businesses as they are drawn from Namibia’s diverse business spectrum.
Members expressed the hope for a truly unifying and effective leadership under Hauwanga, a well-respected local and national business leader.
Mario Upite of 6000 Investment and 2014 Larger Enterprise Award winner of the Development Bank of Namibia’s The Good Business Award was elected Chairperson of Ondangwa branch and his deputy is Victoria Joel of PJ Investments.
Additional members on the branch executive include Martha Negumbo of Eudafano Women Marula Manufacturing as Secretary and Philip Haikali of Super Auto Engine Repairs as the Treasurer. Other members on the leadership of the Ondangwa branch are Jonathan Amupolo of Kati Satellite, Tuyenikelao Shatona of Katiki Trading Enterprise and Sisco Shivolo of Sisco Catering Services.
At the AGM of the Oshakati branch, Otilie Kaapangelwa of OSK Debt Collectors and Turkie Tobias of Celtu Investments were elected Chairperson and Vice Chairperson respectively.
Additional members elected to serve on the executive of that branch are Mulanduleni Kasita of Oshana Medical Laboratory as Treasurer, Patrick Chiyuka of Madmax Automotive and Equipment as Secretary, Tangeni Nghiwewelekwa of Water Engineering Africa, Christophine Shoopala of Shafa Real Estate and Abraham Shaanika of Sasha Trading and Earthworks.
“As volunteer leaders, we have to go the extra mile beyond just annually paying membership subscriptions if we have to make our branches more effective. So I have offered rent free office that would assist in providing the needed office space for the Secretariat from where services to our members and the business community in Ondangwa,” said Upite, Ondangwa Chairperson.
The first female Chairperson for NCCI Oshakati Branch, Kaapangelwa promised to foster strong partnerships with local stakeholders. The NCCI’s advocacy role must not only become more effective, but should be a priority, she said.
Kaapangelwa said with her team at the leadership helm of NCCI Oshakati branch they will work towards bringing more local businesses on board. Not only to be silent members, but to become more involved in their Chamber thereby make it a collective voice that tackles challenges affecting the business community.
The AGMs were administered by the NCCI’s Chief Executive Officer Charity Mwiya, NCCI Ongwediva Office Business Support Officer Ruth Shikongo-Heitha and a member of the NCCI Board Bisey Uirab.
All the newly elected NCCI branch leaders will shortly pay courtesy introductory visits to their respective town councils and collectively to the regional council.
During the meetings a solid foundation will be laid to map and develop an effective working strategy with these key stakeholders.