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2021 Olafika intake starts year-long mentoring and development journey

2021 Olafika intake starts year-long mentoring and development journey

Olafika is the platform that makes Namibia shine, said the Chief Executive of Namibian Diamond Trading Company, Brent Eiseb, when he launched the 2021 chapter of the SME development and mentorship programme recently.

“When the concept was proposed to us, what stood out was how much it aligned with our vision, our passion to make Namibia shine,” said Eiseb.

Olafika SME development and mentorship programme is the brainchild of local enterpreneur, Twapewa Kadhikwa.

At the 2021 launch, Pewa as she is fondly known, said she started Olafika because she believes it should drive the Namibian entrepreneurship vision by growing the platform to provide factual, balanced and easily understood research-based information. “Olafika has the ability to positively change public perceptions of SMEs and entrepreneurs and support development, innovation and competitive industry growth in the Namibian business sector,” she said.

Taking his cue from Pewa long-term vision, Eiseb said Olafika is a game changer although it may take several years to develop its full impact. He urged the new intake to change their view so that they see themselves as solutions to national problems, in the process growing to become mentors to other startups.

“Olafika is not a sponsorship, it is a partnership, it will create a platform where stakeholders can come together and speak in a shared and safe space about where we want to take the SME sector in Namibia. Looking around and seeing the rest of the partners, one can see that we are strategically well aligned to push this initiative to its fullest potential,” he explained.

One of the Olafika 2021 participants, Irene Ngarizemo said she sees Olafika as an opportunity that will come with benefits such as equipping herself with knowledge and skills. “I believe that after this programme, we will shine so bright that we will attract others to become trained entrepreneurs and to all the partners, thank you for taking the time, effort and resources to invest in us. This is new to many of us, but we are very excited,” she said.

According to Pewa, Olafika students are the new generation of thinkers that need to change the perspective for all Namibians, because this initiative follows a holistic approach to empower the future generation of entrepreneurs. “We must create job creators and this is the vacuum that Olafika is filling and if we do not start running now, our ambitions will not bring themselves into action, therefore I invite all stakeholders to jump onto this bandwagon, the time is now for all of us,” she exclaimed.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.