Ongwediva turns into North’s commercial hotspot
With 80 more exhibitors than in the preceding year, the 15th Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF) has been growing in leaps and bounds. From the modest 10,000 visitors who came to the first fair in 2000, the number of visitors last year exceeded 111,000 people and an estimated 125,000 visitors will have attended this year when the fair ends this Saturday 30 August.
The Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair has become, beyond any doubt, the major commercial event of the North beating all previous expectations.
A total of 530 exhibitors of which 39 are foreign, have signed up to showcase their products at this year’s fair.
These figures indicate that the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair is a strong contender to upset even the Windhoek Agricultural and Industrial Show, as the country’s premier business event.
Standard Bank Namibia used the first half of the fair as an ideal opportunity to officially inaugurate the new Standard Bank entrance gate which is built on the northern part of the complex and comprises two entrances for pedestrians and vehicles.
The state of the art gate was constructed at a cost of N$2 million. Recognising the bank’s contribution over many years to the fair, Mr Junius Mungunda, Standard Bank Namibia’s new CEO, was invited to officiate at the official opening ceremony on Thursday evening.
The fair draws on the participation of entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, corporate entities, government ministries, government agencies and NGOs.
The programme of activities consists of various exhibitions, daily business conferences, workshops and presentations, livestock shows and after-hours entertainment. Foreign exhibitors who are currently participating in the fair are form Botswana, South Africa, India, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, China and Japan.
The Trade Centre inside the fair compound houses offices, a conference hall, a restaurant, exhibition halls, entertainment kiosks, ablution blocks, ticket offices, stores, cattle pens and a vast open space both for parking purposes and for future extension of the centre.
The Ongwediva Town Council, the main driving force behind the fair’s success said this week “the OATF gives visitors and exhibitors the platform to explore the full potential of trade, business and investment opportunities that Namibia and the rest of the SADC region offers, therefore initiating proactive initiatives that boost cross border investments.”
MTC is the main sponsor of the OATF together with Standard Bank Namibia, First National Bank of Namibia and Namibia Breweries.