The Could-Have-Been Town

Usko Nghaamwa

Outapi, located in the north-west of Namibia, is often considered the urban centre of the Omusati region.

Despite its potential to become a thriving business and leisure destination, the town has fallen short of expectations, largely due to the actions of corrupt self-enriching officials.

This abstract highlights incomplete projects and recommendations to unleash the town’s greatness.

Football stadiums:

The Omusati region boasts abundant sport talent, particularly in soccer. However, Outapi lacks proper soccer infrastructure. An incomplete stadium just a kilometre outside of town stands as a symbol of wasted potential.

Additionally, David Sheehama Stadium, situated next to the canal, could easily be upgraded with minimal effort, while the Olufuko Centre offers a prime location for a multifunctional venue, including soccer fields, braai stands and pavilions.

Maximising these spaces could not only enhance recreational opportunities, but also stimulate economic growth through events and tourism.

Infrastructure development:

Outapi suffers from poor infrastructure planning, evidenced by inadequately constructed roads and ineffective drainage systems, leading to frequent flooding. The town’s street lights, including newer solar-powered ones, often fail to illuminate the streets effectively.

Furthermore, promised projects such as an Outapi park remain unrealised, despite the potential to attract visitors and improve residents’ quality of life. Addressing issues such as empty buildings and limited space for essential facilities like the state hospital requires proactive urban planning and investment.

Corporate social responsibility:

While Outapi boasts successful businesses and entrepreneurs, their contributions to the community are often lacking. Greater engagement in social responsibility initiatives, such as supporting local schools or mentoring youth entrepreneurs, could significantly benefit the town’s development.

Emulating philanthropic leaders like Usko Nghaamwa could inspire a culture of giving back and nurturing local talent, ultimately fostering a more vibrant and inclusive community.

Overall, realising Outapi’s potential requires concerted efforts from both local authorities and businesses to address infrastructure shortcomings, promote sustainable development and prioritise community well-being.

Ndumbu Niixa

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