Otjozondjupa SMEs receive equipment from Gender Ministry

OTJIWARONGO: Seven small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Otjozondjupa Region on Wednesday received equipment from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.

The Special Advisor to the Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, Rosalia Muashekele-Sibiya handed over the agricultural implements and other equipment to the beneficiaries on behalf of Governor Samuel Nuuyoma at the Swanevelder Community Hall in Otjiwarongo.

The SMEs are based in the Okakarara, Omatako, Otavi, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein and Okahandja constituencies.

The equipment includes welding machines, wheelbarrows, sewing machines, carwash equipment, dry-cleaning machines and linen, amongst others.

The Otjozondjupa Regional Governor encouraged the beneficiaries to use the equipment to develop their businesses, saying Government is committed to wiping out poverty, unemployment and hunger amongst its people.

He thus advised the SMEs to establish a good reputation and image for their businesses so that they could retain their clients.

“Put up signboards outside your business to be seen, be kind to your clients and always be present at your businesses. Open a bank account, and deposit that little money you make in a week in order to expand your business,” he noted.

The governor also urged all Otjozondjupa entrepreneurs to ‘work like slaves’ on their businesses in order for them to earn money and employ more Namibians.

On her part, the Otjozondjupa regional gender liaison officer in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Eullene Kandjii said her ministry hopes to increase the number of rural businesses by supporting them with the needed materials.

“We don’t give money, we only procure equipment and material for you, based on your approved application,” she stated.

Kandjii furthermore urged community project owners countrywide to apply to her ministry during January and May every year for farming implements, equipment, machines and materials for their businesses.

The Ministry availed more than N.dollars 604 000 in the 2013/14 financial year to assist rural businesses which are struggling to acquire equipment.

This programme started in 2005, and so far, nearly 80 SMEs have benefited from it countrywide.

Kandjii said community members, mostly disadvantaged women, are urged to apply for assistance, but warned beneficiaries not to sell, rent out or exchange the equipment they receive.

The beneficiaries also signed ‘soft’ contracts on Wednesday, which stipulate the terms and conditions of the agreement between themselves and the Ministry.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Joseph Morosi thanked the ministry for the donation.

“We thank you very much for this donation, and we will make use of the equipment and machines to the best of our ability,” he said.

Morosi owns the Otji-vegetable Garden in Otjiwarongo.

Otjiwarongo deputy mayor Archillaus Namaseb and the head of the Gender Equality Ministry in Otjiwarongo, Otniel Hamukwaya, also attended the event.