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Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair growing

This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF) and the 14th edition of the OATF promises to bring new and exciting activities for visitors.
The 2013 OATF will be held from Friday, August 23 to Saturday, August 31, at the Ongwediva Trade Centre under the theme “Propelling innovation for business success”. “We are looking forward to experience the level of innovation that shall give substance to our theme,” said Damian Egumbo, CEO of Ongwediva Town Council.
The fair draws its participation from entrepreneurs, SME’s to Corporate Entities, Government Ministries and Departments and local, regional and international exhibitors.
Egumbo, who also chairs the OATF Preparatory Committee said demand to exhibit at the trade fair is always high and this year 450 exhibitors, the same number of exhibitors in 2012, will be accommodated at the trade fair.
“We can only accommodate 450 exhibitors as that is the maximum number of exhibitors that we can accommodate at this point in time. A substantial number of exhibitors could not be accommodated or could not get the desired sizes of indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces due to limited space,” said Egumbo.
A total number of 26 international exhibitors from South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Indonesia and Japan have confirmed their participation at the trade fair. Local exhibitors consist of various Government Ministries and Departments, State Owned Enterprises, Corporate Entities and Small and Micro Enterprises. The SME tent is a major centre of attraction and 100 prospective exhibitors have confirmed their participation.
“We have invested a lot in infrastructure upgrading of the trade fair centre and in response to the growing demand and need to upgrade the Valley Street in Ongwediva, Ongwediva Town Council has upgraded the street leading to the new entrance gate, from gravel to bitumen standard road,” said Egumbo.
Egumbo assured that the safety of both visitors and exhibitors is top priority and said 110 security personnel in uniform and civilian clothing will be available throughout the event.
According to Egumbo, the target of visitors in 2012 was 100 000 but only 92712 visitors were recorded. “Despite the shortfall, exhibitors expressed satisfaction with the volumes of business conducted during OATF 2012. We have set the same target this year and we are confident that we will reach that target this year,” Egumbo said.
To promote the exhibition industry in Namibia, Egumbo says the OATF is now part of the Namibia Exhibition and Trade Fair Association. “It is of utmost importance that the exhibition industry in Namibia gets organised to set standards and to work in unity and not compete,” he said.
The Official Opening Ceremony of the OATF will take place on Sunday, August 25, 2013 and will be officiated by Hon. Calle Schlettwein, Minister of Trade and Industry on behalf of His Excellency, President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
Organised by the Ongwediva Town Council and other private and public sectors, the OATF is sponsored by MTC, FNB Namibia, Standard Bank Namibia and Namibia Breweries.

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