Nandi-Ndaitwah wants locals to benefit from resources

Vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says Lüderitz, which is positioned to become Namibia’s energy capital because of emerging industries such as green hydrogen, oil and gas, should make sure the resources improve the socio-economic conditions of locals.

The vice president made the remarks during the official opening of the annual Lüderitz Crayfish Festival.

The festival aims to create a platform for small and medium enterprises to showcase their products and services they offer, for the private and public sectors to interact with their consumers and to position their brands.

Held under the theme ‘Riding the waves towards a sustainable future’, the festival sets out to enhance socio-economic development in the southern harbour town, particularly within the local tourism economy.

“Similarly, we have to develop strong cooperation or mutual understanding between the public and private sectors to enable the country to attract and retain investment,” says Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Lüderitz offers much in terms of recorded history, tourist attractions and crayfish, as well as other unique seafood.

With the construction of the railway, the town has also become a trade port for landlocked southern African countries.

The town is currently rearing to become an epicentre for oil, gas and green hydrogen industries and over the weekend also saw the groundbreaking ceremony for a salmon farm.

During the construction phase of the /Hau-//Khaeb Green Hydrogen Project, an estimated 13 000 temporary jobs and thereafter 5000 permanent jobs are to be created.

The Benguela Blue Aquafarming project is estimated to create 600 full-time employment opportunities, with an additional 1500 indirect employment opportunities.

The farm off the Lüderitz coast will, at maturity, produce 35 000 tonnes of premium Atlantic salmon through a hatchery, targeting both local and international markets.

Nandi-Ndaitwah says the changing economic circumstances in the country require effective, comprehensive strategic planning from authorities on both regional and national levels if they are to serve the people of this country efficiently and effectively.

“Most importantly, we need knowledgeable and skilled labour in administration and business management,” she says.

The vice president reminded investors to respect the country’s labour laws, while stressing that transferring skills from expatriates to Namibians is critical.

“As a government, we also believe in good labour relations, an important element for productivity. They should be respected at all times. I am referring to Namibian laws; there should be no shortcuts to our labour laws. Our labour force is the biggest asset we have to develop this country, and they need a conducive environment,” she says.

The Namibia Investment, Promotion and Development Board facilitated the aquafarming investment expected to commence with the cultivation of salmon in 2025, with the first harvest expected in 2026.

The Lüderitz Crayfish Festival has grown from nothing to a fully operational fund with trustees, and it is now able to fund itself through various sponsors.

The event, which started off with only 23 exhibitors in 2008, stood at 122 exhibitors and attracted up to 7  000 visitors in 2024.

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