By Megameno Shikwambi
Chairperson of the high panel of economic advisors to the President, Johannes Gawaxab has cautioned against expecting instant results after the upcoming economic summit is concluded.
The summit is scheduled to roar to life from the 31st of July to the 1st of August 2019 with hopes that the country may attract a billion dollars’ worth of investments.
So high is the anticipation that this week the panel received a N$1.7 million fund from various private sector players in the banking, mining, construction and agriculture business.
However, the summit needs a total of N$3.5 million if it is to sail through successfully, Gawaxab has said, further appealing to the non-banking and mining sectors to come to the table.
The Patriot wanted to confirm whether Gawaxab was seeing a different business environment in Namibia post economic summit.
He said not to expect too much in the shortest period of time.
“That I can promise you because changing an economy is not something that happens overnight. It’s a journey that you start on,” he said.
He added that what is to take the right steps.
“The trajectory is going to be on the right direction, that I can promise you; that we are going to start moving our country in the right direction towards economic growth. That will happen,” he said.
Gawaxab added that the country is going to have specific investment projects in water, electricity, agriculture, and the charcoal industry.
Presently, latest indications from the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) are that the charcoal industry in Namibia is experiencing a blooming period with a growth in tons of 42% on the year-to-year figures.
NAU said usually about 6 000 employees work in this industry, but with the current activities it is estimated that there are between 9 000 and 10 000 workers.
Charcoal is mainly an export product with valuable contributions towards the GDP of the Namibian economy.
“Numerous farmers, who have entered this industry due to the drought, stated that this is an excellent farming diversification with quick cash income. On Friday, 9 August 2019 the annual charcoal expo is held together with N-Big’s (Namibia Biomass Industry) expo at the Otjiwa Safari Lodge near Otjiwarongo.
“This promises to be the biggest biomass technology expo which has ever taken place in Namibia with 95 exhibitors who will introduce more than 50 different technologies for the use of bush.
Preparations are made for 1 000 visitors and the day is started with the Charcoal Association’s Annual general Meeting from 08:00 – 10:00 followed by the expo thereafter which will be opened by the Minister of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development, Minister Tjekero Tweya,” said the commercial farmers union.
The expected investment in water also comes in the wake of Windhoek residents having this week made a bold step towards conservation.
According to the City of Windhoek’s external communications manager, Lydia Amutenya, the latest weekly water watch shows that for the past week a 1% saving has been recorded.
The weekly target consumption remained at 465 000 m3, but the actual consumption recorded was 459 783.04 m3.
“The 1% saving is a very commendable effort from our residents, and if we continue with this rate, we can easily reach our saving targets of 15%.
Please take note of the water restrictions that apply to the severe water scarcity category D that became effective from 01st July 2019.
Let us work together to achieve our 15% target and ensure that every drop of water counts!” she said.
So how exactly will this economic summit be different from those that have been held in the past?
“We are going to meet these specific projects with capital. We have targeted specific people that are investing in those sectors and they are going to come. They are Namibians, they are regional, they are international and they are going to try and meet projects with capital. That’s different,” said the chairperson to the high panel of economic advisors.
He further said what is also going to be different this time around is, “you will get some people that will commit definitely and say we will be investing so much, in such in Namibia.
You will hear that at the summit. That’s different. So it is not going to be are we going to invest? You will have people that will announce,” he said.