Okahandja planning to construct expo centre

OKAHANDJA: The Okahandja Town Council is planning to construct an expo centre for its annual tourism and trade expo.

The annual Okahandja Tourism and Trade Expo is currently being held at the sports field in town, a situation which the town council says limits the accommodation of large numbers of businesses.

The town council’s marketing and tourism officer, Maggy Sheya told Nampa here on Tuesday that plans to set up such a centre will commence after this year’s expo, slated for 08 to 11 May.

The demand for participation in the expo by business people increases every year and the sports field is small, meaning some businesses have to be turned away due to limited space.

Sheya explained that the council thus decided to reduce the number of food stalls, better known as ‘kapana stalls’, to only 25 this year. Last year, 43 food stalls formed part of the event.

“We looked back and realised that we were losing our focus as a council with the many food stalls, which brought about a lot of alcohol consumption,” she stated.

The council also decided to strengthen security measures at the expo, and will therefore put out a tender to interested security companies around the country to guard the premises during the duration of the expo.

The town council took this decision as the security companies operating in Okahandja do not have the manpower to properly guard the expo.

The Marketing and Tourism Officer further expressed concern that the council did not meet its objectives when it comes to raising funds for the annual event.

An amount of N.dollars 64 200 was raised at a fundraising gala dinner for the expo held in Windhoek last Friday.

Last year, N.dollars 57 000 was raised at a similar event.

The money raised is used to pay for expenses such as the venue and tents to be hired, amongst other services.

Sheya further informed this news agency that so far, exhibitors from only South Africa (SA) and Zimbabwe have shown an interest in participating in this expo.

Last year, exhibitors from SA, Zimbabwe and Kenya took part.

The 2014 Okahandja Tourism and Trade Expo will be held under the theme “Fostering Friendship and Business Relations”.