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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 1090 | 1091 | (Page 1092) | 1093 | 1094 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Powered by faith and favour
  • Powered by faith and favourPowered by faith and favourKp Illest solidifies his brand as a household name It's not often that you see a hip-hop artist in Namibia consistently dominating the limelight for a lengthy period of time. Many Namibian rappers are often hot for some time, but quickly wither away in the shadow of whichever other genre monopolises the airwaves, or simply just disappear.

    This cannot be said about Kp Illest. His debut album Price of Ambition, released in 2017 did seamlessly well on the commercial scene, established him a strong fan base and bagged him the coveted best rap/hip-hop award at the 2018 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs), with his hit song Okay Okay.

    He has been a busy man and it is not out of pity that the young legend has the support of some of the biggest names in African music, such as King Tee Dee and Nigeria's Ice Prince.

    The rapper has been paying his dues for about eight years now on the music scene. Now that the first part of his musical journey is out of the way, he's on take-two, as he works on his second album titled Faith and Favour.

    “My second album is not a normal music project - it is a side A and side B body of work. Side A is about 85% done; overall the whole project is really close to my heart,” said Kp Illest.

    He is grateful for how successful his debut album was, but clarifies that he is not trying to compete against it with his forthcoming album. He is rather trying to give music fans a project that is not better in comparison, but something different and well-executed.

    “When you listen to both albums you won't say Faith and Favour is better than Price of Ambition or vice versa, but you will acknowledge how they both stand out.

    “It is like I am serving you chicken curry and then you ask how are you going to beat this, and then I serve you Spaghetti Bolognese. I am not trying to make you a better chicken curry, but I'm making you something that is just as good,” added Kp Illest.

    Having established a strong fan base with his debut album, he mentioned that with his sophomore album he has two goals - solidifying himself as a household name and to be remembered.

    “I want people to say Kp Illest as a hip-hop artist can compete with the likes of Gazza, King Tee Dee and Tate Buti. They don't make the same kind of music, but he is capable of competing with them.”

    He shared that the rollout plan for Faith and Favour will entail a Namibian tour, as he wants to connect with his fans in different parts of the country. For Kp Illest, launching the album in different towns is a form of appreciating his fans and physically taking his music there.

    “If I can do a mini-African tour, that would be amazing, but obviously that is super-costly and you have to exhaust your connections, so I do not want to promise anything in that regard at this point,” he said.

    Kp Illest speaks highly of the Namibian hip-hop scene, saying it is growing, and he commends the new talent in the hip-hop community for identifying subgenres to thrive in.

    “If I had to pass the torch, it would be to guys like King Elegant, Kevo Maro, Slime and Swae Kid, to mention but just a few. What I love about them is that they each exist in their own element, and aren't worried about what the next person is doing,” he said.

    He called on established artists to support and embrace the new school artists, and most importantly not to be intimidate by their success. “Your fans will not forget you, because there is a new artist popping. That is why King Tee Dee is so good at pushing artists, because he understands there is a difference between fame and popularity.



    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Spotlight on healthy moms
  • Spotlight on healthy momsSpotlight on healthy momsMaternal deaths a grave concern The maternal mortality ratio is on the increase, with 70 women dying in Namibia last year. Fatalities linked to pregnancy or childbirth remains a grave concern among Namibian health specialists who this week convened to launch the first Namibia Women's Health conference.

    The two-day conference held in Windhoek on Wednesday and Thursday put the spotlight on the health of mothers-to-be and new mums in a joint initiative hosted by the University of Namibia's obstetrics and gynaecology department.

    Talking points and panel discussions focused on topics ranging from maternal deaths in Namibia to medical complications during and after pregnancy, including hypertension and sepsis, in addition to topics linked to contraception, abortion, cervical cancer, and mental health of pregnant or post-birth women.

    At the opening of the landmark conference, Kornelia Shilunga, deputy minister of mines and energy, highlighted grave concerns about maternal deaths in Namibia.

    “The maternal mortality ratio is on the increase, indeed 70 women died in Namibia last year alone,” she told participants.

    Another worry is the vulnerability of pregnant women with HIV.

    Shilunga said while Namibia has made significant progress in tackling the virus, the country has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, with 19% of pregnant women between the ages of 15 to 49 estimated to be infected.

    The health ministry has confirmed that HIV / Aids remains the leading indirect cause of maternal mortality in health facilities, accounting for 37% of total mortality.

    HIV constitutes a serious reproductive health challenge, she said.

    Nevertheless, she also praised efforts to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV, highlighting that Namibia is globally recognised as one of the first African countries close to eliminate mother-to-child transmissions.

    Another concern is that spending on maternal, child and adolescent health is declining and emergency obstetric care cover is “very low and inequitable”, Shilunga said.

    Mental health among pregnant women and those who have given birth is another issue.

    Globally, about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental health issue, primarily depression.

    In developing countries such as Namibia, the numbers are higher, with an estimated 15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after birth.

    In severe cases, postnatal depression can lead to suicide, which in turn impacts the health of children and their development.

    Shilunga underlined that globally “maternal mental health problems are considered as a major public health challenge”, urging Namibia to provide broader space for maternal mental health on the country's agenda.

    She said the conference was a firm step towards committing to improve the quality of care provided to Namibian women.

    In a statement released by the conference hosts this week, they stressed the main aim of the conference is to “address Namibia's high maternal mortality and morbidity.”

    The participant target audience consisted of doctors and nurses from state facilities, with the conference streamed to all district hospitals in Namibia to boost participation and knowledge sharing.

    The conference also provided participants with the findings of the country's national maternal death review as well as the findings of a national severe morbidity registration.

    In addition to local experts, numerous international experts, including from South Africa and Rwanda attended the event to share their experiences and to explore what Namibia can learn from their solutions.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Libraries crucial to Namibian societyLibraries crucial to Namibian society A growing number of Namibians are turning to one of the country's 61 public libraries to nurture a love of reading and access a variety of free services.

    In recognition of the importance of the role of libraries to a society the education ministry has underlined that although some libraries need renovations, tight budgets are putting a strain on these efforts.

    “There is a need to upgrade libraries, as the usage of libraries has increased tremendously in the past years,” Absalom Absalom, the ministry's spokesperson, told Namibian Sun. He said more Namibians have become “aware that the services of the libraries are indeed free of charge, and it is only fair for the ministry to upgrade the facilities to ensure that library users have space to read, study or conduct research, as well as use the internet facilities.”

    Absalom said despite the challenging financial constraints, libraries and the national archives remain a “top priority” for the ministry.

    Currently, there are 61 public libraries in the country's 14 regions, while six are on the books, but not yet open.

    The ministry this month announced that with N$18.5 million funding from the African Development Bank, renovations have started at the National Library and the National Archives of Namibia building in Windhoek.

    A reading society

    Absalom emphasised that a love of reading has far-reaching benefits and thus the ministry is aware that it is “very important to cultivate a reading culture for Namibia, not just for personal uses but for life-long learning.”

    Reading is an active mental process which forces a person to use their brain, “thereby making citizens smarter.”

    Reading helps the reader to develop skills such as locating, selecting, organising, evaluating and processing information, he added.

    Of the many benefits of a “high reading culture” is the ability to retain knowledge.

    “Research has shown that those who read solely for examinations lapse into illiteracy when they fail. Reading builds critical thinking and an innovative culture in citizens.”

    A lack of a reading culture has far-reaching impacts including increasing the amount of time it takes to absorb information at the workplace, which can compromise performance and job security.

    Absalom stressed that libraries play a crucial role in promoting reading by availing the books and other reading materials, as well as study spaces and access to the internet to ensure citizens are able to follow global events and access a wide arrange of information.

    “Libraries are there to ensure inclusivity, those who cannot afford to buy books or have internet at home, will have access to all these at the libraries.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    ACC rubbishes Namandje's commentsACC rubbishes Namandje's comments The director-general of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, has hit back at a claim that the anti-graft body has failed in its mandate and that former basic education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa's trial was a case study.

    The argument was made in court by Hanse-Himarwa's lawyer, Sisa Namandje, this week.

    Namandje said Hanse-Himarwa was the first cabinet minister to be tried in the High Court and using her as a case study would not be fair just because the Anti-Corruption Commission may have failed its mandate to arrest others in senior offices, public broadcaster NBC reported.

    Responding to this claim, Noa said the anti-graft body did not pursue particular individuals because of their standing in society.

    “The ACC does not investigate and act against senior public officials because they are cabinet ministers, just to please the public or become popular. The ACC investigates and when necessary makes an arrest when the evidence justifies such actions,” Noa said.

    Noa further denied that the ACC had failed to fulfil its mandate.

    “One of the responsibilities of the ACC is to ensure that we do not act in bad faith, just to become popular in the eyes the public. The ACC has in the past investigated senior public officials, including cabinet ministers,” Noa said.

    “Currently the ACC is busy investigating allegations of corruption involving senior public officials. When evidence justifies, the suspects will be brought before a court of law. No person is above the law in Namibia.

    “In the same vein, the rights of every person in Namibia are protected by the law, particularly by the constitution, irrespective of the status of the person in society. The ACC does not run amok just to create records of arrest,” he added

    Hanse-Himarwa was earlier this month convicted by Judge Christi Liebenberg on a charge of corruptly using her office for gratification.

    She will be sentenced next week.

    The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of N$500 000 or 25 years' imprisonment, or both.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: TransNamib sued for N$30m
  • TransNamib sued for N$30mTransNamib sued for N$30m The Windhoek High Court this week ordered a court-accredited mediation settlement conference between TransNamib and RMH Logistics, which is suing for N$30 million, plus 20% interest, over the alleged wrongful termination of a service contract.

    The mediation must be completed by 16 August.

    In December 2015 TransNamib and HRD Trading Enterprises entered into an agreement for the soil remediation and rehabilitation of the Walvis Bay Locomotive Diesel Depot.

    HRD Trading (then represented by Hendrik Dawids) and RHM Logistics (represented by Rodney Hanganda) in August 2016 signed an out-and-out cessation, after which RMH Logistics took over the TransNamib contract.

    Court documents state that RMH Logistics then registered as a vendor of TransNamib and had been rendering the services as set out in the contract.

    RMH Logistics was requested by TransNamib to submit a work plan detailing the scope and cost implications of the work. RHM Logistics states that in January 2016 it started its operations as an independent entity pursuant to the cessation.

    It says due to TransNamib's “poor payment schedule” and in an attempt to get started on the job, RMH Logistics procured a credit facility from the SME Bank on the strength of the work plan submitted to the national carrier.

    RMH Logistics said Hanganda and TransNamib (then represented by Magda Nawes) entered into cessation agreements with the SME Bank.

    RHM Logistics was supposed to complete the work within two years, but it states that TransNamib on 6 September 2017 “wrongfully” terminated the contract, which it says has caused it damages of N$30 million.





    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Transport woes in firing lineTransport woes in firing lineN$12bn master plan for the north Concerns have been raised that walking, cycling or travelling on the back of a bakkie are neither safe nor reliable. The transport and urban and rural development ministers, together with development partners, have unveiled a N$12 billion transport master plan for the northern regions, which, among others, will introduce a scheduled bus service and taxi call centre.

    This is aimed at addressing transportation challenges in the north.

    The master plan aims to develop a regional and inter-regional transport system, which will connect all residents and places with reliable, effective, efficient, sustainable and safe transport, which supports urban and rural development.

    It also aims to mitigate the impact of rural migration on peri-urban areas in Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Omusati. Deputy transport minister James Sankwasa launched the plan on behalf of his senior in the ministry, John Mutorwa, yesterday at Ondangwa. Sankwasa said after the City of Windhoek, his ministry, their urban and rural development counterparts and other stakeholders agreed to work together to implement the Sustainable Urban Transport Master plan for Windhoek and its surrounding areas, a consensus was reached that Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Omusati must be accorded an opportunity to develop a similar sustainable transport master plan.

    Once the Windhoek master plan is fully implemented it will improve public and non-motorised transport in the city. The plan looks at alternative transport access to those currently walking long distances to access these services, by introducing conventional services such as buses, minibuses and taxis to operate on inter-urban roads and in urban and peri-urban areas, as well as rural areas. “We all know that the northern regions are experiencing challenges caused by the current transportation systems.

    These challenges are further worsened by growth in economy and population. It therefore become imperative to have a plan that offers transport services in terms of routes, frequency, duration of travel and tariffs that correspond to the demand,” said Sankwasa.

    “It should be noted that due to the geographic nature of these regions covered by this plan, vast rural areas remain inaccessible by most means of transport. Many residents have to walk for long distances to access public transport services. It's a known fact that conventional transport services (buses, minibuses and taxis) tend to operate only on inter-urban roads, and in urban and peri-urban areas.”

    Sankwasa added that walking and cycling for the few people owning bicycles or travelling in someone else´s bakkie are default options, and are neither safe nor reliable.

    He said these current default options are surely undesirable in an independent country, hence the master plan. Verusckha Araes, the technical advisor for GIZ, said possible pilot projects include the introduction of a scheduled bus service on the Oshakati-Ongwediva-Ondangwa-Omuthiya route, a pilot project supporting the setting up a taxi call centres, the provision of school buses and other public services in the vicinity of large cities in the Oshana Region by private operators and a pilot project for the use of improved bakkies as professional taxis. “Currently the main roads (B1 and C46) between the busiest urban parts of the northern triangle are serviced by private taxis or small buses, and this system is now reaching its limits regarding reliability, affordability, timeliness and safety,” Araes said.

    “It is now high time to start the modernisation of the public transport system in the four northern regions, to organise a competition for the market that will introduce and manage public service obligations in a way that the overall burden for the concerned town councils' budgets is affordable.” She added the current practice is to catch a taxi on the street, especially on the roadside, because there are no parking lanes for taxis.

    “This master plan is expected to provide a viability of on-demand operation through a taxi call centre, established in one urban area of the four regions. The reliable services will be available for the benefit of all groups of customers (women, the elderly and disabled),” Araes said.

    Oshana governor Elia Irimari welcomed the transport mater plan, saying that the four northern regions are home to about 40% of the 2.5 million inhabitants in Namibia and during the festive season, the population increases to about 60%, as loved ones return to these regions to join their families in celebrating Christmas and New Year.

    He said it's not unknown for small shops, supermarkets and even fuel stations to run short of supplies during this period. Hotels and guesthouses welcome this busy time of the year with 100% occupancy rates. This business helps them get through the less busy periods of the year.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: A slap in the face
  • A slap in the faceA slap in the face Political contestation is the lifeblood of democracy. It presents an opportunity for voters to have a smorgasbord of choices of who to cast their votes for. In the case of intra-party contests, especially ruling party ones, where a room full of delegates get to choose the president and other top political leaders in society, contestation leads to a battle of ideas and characters that parties either get behind or reject. The death of this process is slates, where captains punt their chosen few candidates for top positions, as President Hage Geingob did with his Harambee faction during the 2017 ruling party elective congress. The fallout of this is still oozing today. With that said, Armas Amukwiyu, who ‘dared’ challenge Geingob’s candidate for Swapo SG, Sophia Shaningwa, ate some rather humble pie this week, when it emerged that he had apologised for standing against “Geingob”. This, and the fact that Geingob had referred to Amukwiyu, whose Chinese-headed tobacco project the head of state’s administration recently gave the green light for, has become the source of much debate. Firstly, the word ‘boy’ is a harkening back to the apartheid era, where grown black men and women were called boys and girls by racists. Secondly, although it may be understandable that Amukwiyu does not want to bite the hand of the one who has clearly fed him and his Chinese investors, his ‘apology’ cannot go unaddressed. It is in fact an insult to democracy and should not be allowed to go unchallenged. He may be okay with being called a “small boy” or cow-towing to the powers that be, but the rest of us should take umbrage. To apologise on a public platform for standing as a nominated candidate at a party congress is a slap in the face of the basic tenets of democratic contestation and should not augur well for Amukwiyu’s future political ambitions. Geingob himself has, over the years, contested in these same processes, without apologising to anyone.

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Let them pay - Shaningwa
  • Let them pay - ShaningwaLet them pay - Shaningwa'Swapo is not a toy to be played with' The SG says “Swapo is not a toy to be played with” and has reiterated that two ruling party members will have to cough up after a failed court bid to stop last year's extraordinary congress. Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa has come out guns blazing against two ruling party supporters, who are at risk of having their assets sold, due to legal battles linked to the legality of the 2017 Swapo congress elections.

    Dr Panduleni Itula, who has indicated that he wants to stand against President Hage Geingob in the upcoming presidential election in November, had pleaded in a letter to Geingob for a stay of the court execution order against Mirjam Shituula and Selma Namboga, who have to pay N$747 374 after losing the first round of their case against the party in November last year.

    The two comrades had failed in an attempt to stop the two-day Swapo extraordinary congress from taking place, which started on 30 November 2018. They had seen the extraordinary congress as a continuation of the disputed 2017 congress.

    In their ongoing main application, Shituula and Namboga are asking the court to declare that the 2017 ruling party congress and the leadership election unlawful, unconstitutional or invalid.

    They are also asking the court to set aside the congress, and the result of the elections held.

    Shaningwa said yesterday that Shituula and Namboga should cough up what they owe so far.

    “They hired the most expensive lawyers from South Africa to defend them against the Swapo Party.





    “They had the money, let them pay. Why is it an issue now for them to pay the legal costs to Swapo after they lost?” Shaningwa said.

    “If Swapo had lost, wouldn't they have demanded Swapo to pay them the legal costs? Who is fooling who? You cannot provoke the fire if you do not have the means to extinguish it. Let them go back to their financiers, who enabled them to pay their foreign lawyers, period. Swapo is not a toy to be played with.”

    Itula said in his letter to Geingob that the party must enter the national elections with “clean hands”.

    He wants Geingob to stop the execution order against Shituula and Namboga. Alternatively, Itula made a plea to the general public to contribute 1.5% of their salaries to help the women pay.

    Itula, in a letter to Geingob, said the legal costs slapped on the two women are discretionary and it therefore is within the purview of the Swapo leadership to stay the execution of the order against them.

    An avowed Swapo Party member, despite his independent presidential bid, Itula said the “only crime” of the two women was to adhere to the constitutional provisions of justice, provided for in the party constitution, as well as the Namibian Constitution.

    He said it would be “monstrously, grossly unfair” to burden the women with such a heavy penalty, “simply because they sought to exercise their legitimate rights as members of Swapo and as citizens”.

    Itula said there are real concerns about the legitimacy of Geingob's election as party president at the 2017 congress, amidst allegations of vote rigging and the disputed participation of some delegates at the conference.

    He dared Geingob to place his hand on the Bible and declare why he [Geingob] should not be barred from participating as the Swapo presidential candidate in the upcoming national elections, given that the congress election outcome is being disputed.

    Itula asked that Geingob, in consultation with the entire Swapo membership, seek a rapid resolution to the impasse, to ensure the party enters the national elections with “clean hands”.

    Itula said as a prospective independent presidential candidate, he “shall not allow any other to enter the presidential contest (or any other) with (potentially) dirty hands”.

    He questioned the legitimacy of Geingob's presidential candidacy, and suggested that the head of state and the entire Swapo leadership “implicitly” support his [Itula's] presidential aspirations, because they have taken an oath to uphold and protect the Namibian Constitution, which makes provision for independent candidates.

    Itula said no one shall lawfully expel him from Swapo, and he declared he will under no circumstances resign from the party.



    Hitting back

    Shaningwa said yesterday she wonders why Itula is asking Geingob's intervention in Shituula and Namboga's matter, if he questions Geingob's legitimacy as party president.

    “If it was Itula in his personal capacity, would he want to recover his legal costs or not?” Shaningwa asked.

    She said both Shituula and Namboga had fully participated in the November 2017 party congress.

    Shaningwa said after each election a presiding officer is entrusted to call on participants to express themselves on whether the election was free and fair.

    “Shituula and Namboga were seated mum and never responded to the questions of the presiding officer. Why?”

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Total plastic ban on the cardsTotal plastic ban on the cards A wholesale ban on plastic packaging by 2022 is on the cards for Namibia.

    Environment and tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta this week said discussions were under way that could lead to a complete plastic packaging ban by 2022.

    He was speaking at the fifth meeting of the National Solid Waste Management Advisory Panel at Walvis Bay on Wednesday, where he also announced Namibia's first 11 waste-disposal sites. Shifeta said plastic bags have become an eyesore and plastic pollution constitutes a threat to the environment.





    He explained further that the proposed levy on plastic bags is a temporary measure to mitigate the impact of plastic on the environment, but underlined that the ultimate goal is to ban plastic packaging within the next three years.

    He said the ministry was in consultation with relevant stakeholders to ensure that by 2022 alternatives to plastic packaging are identified, notably for plastic producers in the country. According to the Earth Policy Institute, around one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In Africa, more than 15 countries regulate the use of plastic bags, either through complete bans or taxation.

    Among the countries regulating plastic bags are Kenya, Mali, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana and Ethiopia.



    Levy

    On the issue of the proposed plastic bag levy, the finance ministry on Wednesday released a statement saying that recent levies introduced by Namibian retailers was their own initiative and did not form part of the environmental levies the government intended to introduce.

    “Although the ministry of finance welcomes initiatives by business outlets to curb pollution of the environment, we wish to inform the nation that the money that is currently being charged by retailers is not yet part of the plastic levy that government has proposed.”

    The levy has not yet been gazetted, the ministry stated.

    Some retailers have introduced a levy of 50 cents per plastic bag, and the ministry announced that this payment forms part of the individual businesses' incomes.

    The ministry however pointed out that two outlets, namely Pupkewitz Megabuild and its subsidiary, Kaap Agri Namibia, voluntarily introduced the Break Free from Plastic Campaign, charging fifty cents per plastic carrier bag as of December 2018.

    The quarterly proceeds have been handed over to the government's Environment Investment Fund (EIF) since then, totalling N$60 000 to date.

    The company has committed to this arrangement until Schedule 1 to the Customs and Excise Act is amended.

    The ministry said the finance and environment ministry and EIF Namibia have been working out modalities on the income consolidation policy to facilitate the effectiveness of a plastic levy.

    “The implementation of this levy will be done through the Customs and Excise Act No 20 of 1998, which is administered by the Ministry of Finance,” the ministry said.

    The process of amendments to the Act has been completed and will be gazetted on 01 August 2019. The new levies will be in operation after it is tabled in the National Assembly.

    “The nation will be informed once the entire process has been finalised. In the meantime we wish to reiterate our position that charges that shops have begun to charge their customers are not part of the environmental levies,” it concluded.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    AIMS launches aviation training portfolioAIMS launches aviation training portfolio It exists to upgrade the Namibian human capital for Africa's development. MICHELLINE NAWATISES



    It offers professional and vocational skills training to meet the ever changing requirements of the African job market.

    Africa Institutional Management Services (AIMS) is finally accredited by the Namibia Qualifications Authority to conduct aviation training courses as an Air Traffic Organisation (ATO) for Dangerous Goods and still more to come in the early future.

    There are two South African partners which came on board as technical support partners, namely Flight Safety Training of South Africa and Blue Zero.

    AIMS also has a second home at Arandis, where it offers services such as management and skills training, consulting services and many more.

    AIMS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Reinhold Xoagub says the minister of education published statistics of the school systems in Namibia in 2016.

    “That was for us a turning point to help to start a different set of skills for the out of school youth and assist them.”

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief MTN shakes up Nigeria board

    MTN Nigeria has appointed former telecoms regulatory chief Ernest Ndukwe as chairman-designate in a board shake-up following its debut stock market listing on the Nigerian bourse.

    Majority owned by South Africa's MTN Group, MTN Nigeria listed in Lagos in May in a 2 trillion naira (US$6.54 billion) debut, in part to settle a long-running dispute in Nigeria, its biggest market.

    That listing turned the telecoms company into the exchange's second-largest stock by market value.

    In addition to Ndukwe, MTN has appointed former Nigerian pension regulatory chief Muhammad Ahmad, ex-minister for communication Omobola Johnson and ex-banker Andrew Alli who once represented the International Finance Corporation to MTN Nigeria's board.

    "[The] combination of extensive experience across the worlds of technology, finance, regulatory and policy development and corporate governance offers a hugely synergistic set of skills that will be of great benefit to us as we move into a new phase of growth," MTN Nigeria chief executive Ferdinand Moolman said. – Nampa/Reuters

    Boeing posts biggest loss in a decade

    Boeing Co reported a nearly US$3 billion quarterly loss on Wednesday, its largest in a decade, as the world's largest planemaker struggles with the prolonged grounding of its best-selling 737 MAX jet, sending its shares down slightly in premarket trading.

    Chicago-based Boeing has been unable to deliver any 737 MAX aircraft since the single-aisle plane was grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed 346 people in a span of five months.

    The total cost so far of the 737 MAX crisis now exceeds US$8 billion after Boeing disclosed a US$4.9 billion charge last week that includes compensation the planemaker will have to pay airlines for the delayed deliveries.

    Boeing's net loss for the first full quarter of operations since 737 MAX commercial flights were halted was US$2.94 billion, compared with a profit of US$2.20 billion, a year earlier.

    Sales slipped 35% to US$15.75 billion and also came in below the average expectation of US$18.55 billion, according to Refinitiv data. – Nampa/Reuters

    Facebook revenue beats estimates

    Facebook Inc beat analysts' estimates for revenue on Wednesday, even as the world's largest social network agreed to pay a US$5 billion fine over data privacy and announced a US antitrust investigation.

    Monthly active users rose 8% to 2.41 billion in the second quarter, in line with estimates of 2.41 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

    Ad sales jumped 27.5% to US$16.62 billion, above analysts' average estimate of US$16.28 billion.

    Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders fell to US$2.62 billion, or 91 US cents per share, in the three months ended 30 June, from US$5.11 billion, or US$1.74 per share, a year earlier.

    Total revenue rose about 28% to US$16.9 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of US$16.51 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

    Ford results dented by restructuring

    Ford Motor Co on Wednesday reported a lower-than-expected profit, weighed down by charges to restructure its units in Europe and South America, and the automaker gave a full-year earnings forecast that fell short of analysts' expectations.

    Virtually all of Ford's second-quarter pre-tax profit came from North America - its most lucrative market – where highly-profitable pickup trucks drive margins for the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker and its Detroit rivals, General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV .

    The automaker also posted a small profit in Europe and a far smaller loss in China compared with the second quarter of 2018 as better pricing and new luxury models helped offset a poor performance in that market.

    The automaker's ongoing restructuring includes cutting costs and overhauling its product lineup in key global markets like China and Europe. The company said Wednesday it had so far only recorded US$2.2 billion of the projected US$11 billion in charges it previously said it would take for the global restructuring.

    For the first half of the year, Ford reported a pre-tax profit of US$4.1 billion, meaning that the automaker will, at best, deliver a weaker pre-tax profit of US$3.4 billion for the second half of 2019. – Nampa/Reuters

    Samsung to launch Galaxy Fold in Sept

    Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, will go on sale from September in selected markets after the launch was delayed by screen problems earlier this year, the company said yesterday.

    Samsung is hoping its highly anticipated foldable phone will revive flagging smartphone sales but its rollout has been hampered by defects in samples reported in April.

    The South Korean tech giant said in a statement it had made improvements to the nearly US$2 000 phone and was conducting final tests. Changes included strengthening hinges which early reviewers had found to be problematic.

    The world's top smartphone maker has hailed the folding design as the future in a segment that has seen few surprises since Apple Inc's groundbreaking iPhone was released in 2007.

    Chinese rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X, which is expected to go on sale in September. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Accessibility made easy
  • Accessibility made easyAccessibility made easyBringing services to Sanlam clients Sanlam has recruited over 30 employees for its newly opened offices in Katutura, Outapi and Katima Mulilo. Justicia Shipena

    On 19 July, Sanlam officially opened its new offices in Windhoek. The office is located at Wanaheda in Katutura along Independence Avenue.

    According to Sanlam Group CEO Tertius Stears the new Sanlam Katutura office will provide all the services the major offices around the country have.

    "We are here now and we are committed to serving this community with the best services," he said.

    Stears added they are at the forefront of coming up with innovative products that respond to the needs of customers. Additionally, a few months ago, Stears said they introduced a new product called Life Plan in Oshakati.

    This plan offers cover benefits of between N$500 000 and N$5 million at affordable premiums.

    He said one can now get life cover up to N$5 million without the hassle of medical testing and the product also offers 20% cashbacks of all premiums paid every five years.

    "This means that for every five years you get back one year's premiums," he said.

    Stears also explained that a vital feature of the Life Plan is that from the age of 65 you don't have to pay any more premiums, but remain covered.

    He said Sanlam has recruited over 30 employees through its newly launched offices in Outapi, Katima Mulilo and Katutura.

    Speaking on behalf of deputy finance minister Natangwe Iithete, Penda Ithindi, a technical economic adviser to the finance minister, said for the past three years we have witnessed sluggish private sector investment flow and expansion in the domestic economy, which contributed to economic activity that is below potential growth.

    "Private investment is estimated to have contracted by approximately 22.8%, on average, over the past three years," said Ithindi.

    He added that the African head of states and governments launched the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in Niamey, Niger earlier this month, signaling the opening of a free-trade market opportunity of about 1.2 billion people and 55 states with a combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion.

    "The free-trade area presents opportunities for increased intra-Africa trade in goods and services," he said.

    According to Ithindi, Sanlam Namibia has made vital investments in the domestic economy, hence direct employment by Sanlam stands at 1 009 employees.

    "The opening of this office branch brings with it an additional six jobs," he said.

    He added that a recent survey indicated that financial inclusion has expanded to more than 70% of the population, resulting in considerable variations across market segments and quality indicators.

    "Namibia's insurance penetration of about 5.5% is above the global average of 3.4%; this coverage ratio can be improved through expanded access and relevant and affordable insurance products and services," he said.

    City of Windhoek councillor Ananias Niizimba said the Katutura branch shows a desire to develop the city and provide services to people, regardless of where they live.

    "It make sense for Sanlam to open an office branch in Katutura, as Windhoek has the largest population and the bulk of that population reside in Katutura," he said.

    Niizimba said he is confident that the community will benefit from Sanlam's corporate social responsibility.

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    Pragmatism to prevail in Brazil's ties with ChinaPragmatism to prevail in Brazil's ties with China'Too much at stake' Some analysts see Brazil's ties with China is the main reason it has remained in the BRICS. There are tensions within the government over how to deal with China. - Luis Fernandes, BRICS Policy Centre Allison ­Jackson



    Brazil's foreign minister has made clear that there is no love lost for Beijing on his part, but when he sat down with his Chinese opposite for the first time yesterday analysts expected pragmatism to prevail.

    Ernesto Araujo, a critic of China and fervent admirer of US president Donald Trump - views shared by his right-wing boss, president Jair Bolsonaro - was likely to adopt a more conciliatory tone when he met Wang Yi in the Brazilian capital.

    Both sides are looking to strengthen a relationship that only months ago many had feared could rupture under newly-elected Bol­sonaro, espe­cially in the face of growing US-China trade tensions.

    But moderates in the deeply divided government have convinced right-wing ideologues -including Araujo - that “there's too much at stake” for Brazil to turn away from its biggest trade partner, said Oliver Stuenkel, a professor of international relations at Getulio Vargas Foundation.

    China represented 27.8% of Brazil's exports in 2018.

    “Brazil's economic prospects depend on good economic ties with China,” Stuenkel told AFP. “I am confident that, paradoxically, China and Brazil relations will actually deepen under Bolsonaro.”

    Closer ties with China were encouraged under leftwing former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is in jail for corruption.



    Antagonism

    During last year's election campaign, however, Bolsonaro accused the world's second largest economy of “buying Brazil” and ­antagonised Chinese leaders by ­visiting Taiwan, considered a renegade province by Beijing.

    Since taking power in January Bolsonaro has sought to deepen relations with like-minded conservative governments in the United States and Israel as he pivots away from developing countries.

    But Brazil's economic slowdown and pressure from its powerful mining and farming sectors, which depend on China to buy their iron ore and soya bean exports and are influential backers of Bolsonaro, have buffered the relationship.

    “There is an ideological rhetoric, but in practice pragmatism prevails,” Rubens Barbosa, a former Brazilian ambassador to Washington, told AFP.

    “You should not pay attention to what was said a few months ago on foreign policy and the environment. It has changed completely.”

    Vice president Hamilton Mourao, a retired general and moderate in the Brazilian government, has worked hard to repair any damage to the country's ties with the Asian powerhouse.

    He travelled to Beijing in May where he reassured president Xi Jinping that Chinese investment was welcome in Brazil, ahead of Bolsonaro's planned visit to the country later this year.



    Economic interests

    Mourao said this month Chinese tech company Huawei would not face restrictions in Brazil, defying US pressure to shun the firm because of its links to the Beijing government and possible security threats.

    “There are tensions within the government over how to deal with China,” said Luis Fernandes of the BRICS Policy Centre in Rio de Janeiro.

    But “I tend to think that economic interests will prevail.”

    While Beijing could hardly have missed the anti-China rhetoric, it was unlikely to retaliate against Brazil, said Julia Coym of Control Risks consultancy in Shanghai.

    “China will pay a lot more attention to Bolsonaro's actions now that he's in office than the rhetoric he employed during the campaign,” Coym said.



    BRICS

    Araujo and Wang's meet­ing in Brasilia comes on the eve of a wider talks in Rio with their BRICS counterparts from Russia, India and South Africa.

    A summit of the leaders of the BRICS nations is planned for November in Brasilia.

    While the deteriorating situation in Venezuela is expected to be discussed, deep divisions among the emerging economies over how to respond to the crisis is likely to prevent a strong declaration on the issue.

    Brazil is among more than 50 countries that recognise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate acting president.

    China and Russia still support Nicolas Maduro's government.

    “This could start to be a factor that increases friction between BRICS members,” said Carlos Gustavo Poggio of Brazilian university FAAP.

    Some analysts see Brazil's ties with China is the main reason it has remained in the BRICS, even as the group's relevance has been questioned in recent years.

    “If they were to walk away so abruptly I think it would create an unnecessary crisis with Beijing,” said Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly.

    “They want to maintain a pragmatic commercial relationship with China” which sees BRICS as a useful way to expand its influence in Latin America and Africa.

    – Nampa/AFP

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: A fruitful future for EEW
  • A fruitful future for EEW A fruitful future for EEW Exhibition and Events Warehouse (EEW) leaves the sign shop group of companies The Exhibition and Events Warehouse in Windhoek believes in hard work, integrity and staying true to your roots. Staff reporter

    Since its inception in 2011, the Exhibition and Events Warehouse (EEW) has been a prominent player within the exhibition and events scene within Namibia and abroad. With work done for various Namibian entities, both private and public, the name is synonymous with some of the top events and exhibitions such as the Ongwediva Annual Trade, Namibian Tourism Expo, Mining Expo Namibia, Swaitex, Africa’s Travel Indaba, the World Telecommunications Expo as well as the Global Expo, amongst many others.

    EEW has also reached beyond the borders of Namibia, with exhibition pavilions being set up in United Arab Emirates, China, Angola, South Africa, Germany and Switzerland. The most notable of these has been setting up the Namibian stand at the World Expo in Germany and China; noted as the biggest expo worldwide, and held every 10 years. EEW has in the past covered the financial, telecoms, government, mining, retail, hospitality, medical and petroleum sectors.

    Led by Andre Bok, EEW saw an opportunity to expand into a bigger entity than it already is, and that growth does not include the partnership with The Sign Shop Group of Companies.

    ”EEW sets itself apart from everyone else because we focus on the client and what the client wants. We do not impose ourselves and offer what is unnecessary just to make a quick dollar. We have gained a good understanding of how the industry works, and in this, have worked hard to ensure we are right at the top. We offer turnkey services within the events and exhibitions industry, i.e. from design to set-up and everything in between. So we focus on exhibition pavilions, private and corporate events, furniture rental (for exhibits), displays, lighting, audio visual set-up, lighting and logistics. As we say at EEW, expect everything,” Bok recently said during an interview.

    Bok, actually being a qualified hydraulic fitter by trade, said the struggle to find work forced him to take on a different career path.

    “When I could not find employment in my chosen profession, I started working as a handy man, which then lead me to where I am. I run my own business, with an energetic and driven team that always strives to get the best for our clients.”

    The success of the company according to Bok, wasn’t an easy seamless road.

    “We get stuff done through integrity and hard work. Being a man of faith has also taught me that there are no shortcuts, and if money becomes the driving factor for why you do what you do, then you’re likely to fail, and fall dismally. Having integrity and working hard is my philosophy in life.”

    The EEW business model has evolved into a format that calls for a standalone practice, focused on events and exhibitions, allowing for increased turnaround times, taking on of more clients, whilst focusing on quality and performance. All of EEW’s staff will be retained during the shift, with no job losses forecast. The opportunity to take in new talent may also arise as the company grows.

    “We’re looking towards venturing into new partnerships with like-minded people that will allow us to expand into Africa, whilst maintaining Namibia as our hub. With growth come new opportunities. We’ve made contacts and engage a few people we would like to work with. The future does look bright,” Bok added.

    EEW will forever be in gratitude for the opportunities made possible during the business tenure with The Sign Shop. The road has been mapped for a future that prioritizes the client, through focused and integrated event and exhibition services.

    For young and upcoming entrepreneurs Bok says do something that you love and you are extremely passionate about.

    “That’s the foundation of everything. By doing that, accompanied with discipline and dedication, you will reap the rewards of your labours.”

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    Rundu fresh produce hub still operationalRundu fresh produce hub still operationalSearching for markets The hub is busy negotiating with many of the government agencies, ministries and offices for AMTA to start supplying to them. Farmers can only produce if there is a secured market. - Gervasius Thikusho, Acting regional manager: Rundu Fresh Produce Business Hub RUNDU – The Rundu fresh produce distribution hub is currently in the process of registering local farmers with the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) for the purpose of supplying to government agencies.

    The acting regional manager, Gervasius Thikusho, encouraged small-scale farmers as well as youth groups to register, also reminding them that the fresh produce hub has not closed and is operational.

    It was reported last week Monday that AMTA had closed all its fresh produce distribution hubs as all agents were given notice to leave.

    Thikusho explained that AMTA will assist producers to develop a cropping calendar in line with the government agencies, offices and ministries, adding that this programme of inviting farmers has been running since early June.

    Produce is supplied to some of the government agencies such as the military bases in the Kavango East, West, and Zambezi regions through August 26 Logistics.

    “The hubs are open so farmers that already have produce can start communicating to us. Those we do not have information on can come through,” Thikusho said.

    Lower production

    Production at the hub declined for various reasons, he said, pointing out “climatic issues” - thus the hub is trying to boost up production again.

    In 2014/15 the hub had a throughput of 863 metric tons (MT), 751 MT in 2015/16, 1 545 MT in 2016/17, 1 153 MT in 2017/18 and 708 MT in 2018/19, he said.

    “Farmers can only produce if there is a secured market. Other than that it is a little difficult because the risk is too high,” he stressed.

    Currently the hub sources from different producers in the region such as Tengu Farm in Kavango West, Sikondo Irrigation small-scale farmers, Salem and Mashare Irrigation.

    Thikusho said the hub is busy negotiating with many of the government agencies, ministries and offices for AMTA to start supplying to them.

    These are the ministries of health and social services, safety and security, environment and tourism, poverty eradication and social welfare as well as education, arts and culture.

    “The hub phased out all six agents as many could not meet their targets of 120 MT per month. The hubs are directly trading now,” Thikusho said. - Nampa

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Finding humanity
  • Finding humanityFinding humanityNever allowing your circumstances to define you Ebson Ngondo is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years’ work experience in several positions within the tourism and aviation industries in both Namibia and the United States. Mariselle Stofberg

    It takes a village to raise child, and the foundation for the incredible accomplishments of Ebson Ngondo was created by the love and support from his big family and the small village of Okotjitundu in the Okakarara district.

    Experiencing unconditional love from his family made him feel privileged, even though they did not have much money growing up.

    “My parents raised us with lots of love, so much so that I did not know we were poor until I came to Windhoek. Nobody in the village had any money, but everyone’s doors were always open. We shared endless stories and laughter and it was the happiest place in the world.”

    Ngondo believes that it is due to the influence of his father that he really understood the importance of hard work and dedication. “One of my favourite childhood memories was working beside my father as he fixed his beat-down car, dehorned calves or fixed the cattle fence. Working with my father taught me the value of hard work and remaining true to the cause,” he said.

    The African philosophy of Ubuntu, which is the belief that I am because you are, and that out of many we are one, has been the cornerstone of Ngondo’s approach towards life and people.

    “You might have all the money in the world, but without humanity towards others you do not amount to much. Through this philosophy I wake up each day thankful for the people in my life, for my past successes and for the chance to be alive today.

    “I find great joy in spending quality time with friends and family, for they are the greatest gift God has given me,” Ngondo said.

    While spending most of his school life in hostels, Ngondo was forced to fend for himself, even when others tried to push him around.

    “In a way this helped me to form a very thick skin.”

    This determination and hard work has allowed Ngondo to obtain a bachelor degree in travel and tourism from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Windhoek and he has just completed his master’s degree at Tshwane University in Pretoria. His drive for knowledge did not stop there, as he completed several professional development courses as well.

    “In general, I am a level-headed person. I don’t get too low when things are bad and I don’t get too high when things are going well. This balance has helped me throughout my career and in life in general.”

    Ngondo is the sales manager at Air Namibia and his key responsibilities are to lead the sales team by providing guidance and mentorship, by setting sales quotas and goals, creating sales plans, analysing data and assigning sales territories.

    “In my role, I am also responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the marketing plan, managing the business and executive and clients’ expectations,” says Ngondo.

    Throughout his time at Air Namibia he has built and maintained a loyal client base through strong relationship-building skills and excelled at devising strategies for increasing sales.

    Working with people from all over the world with various needs and expectations does provide one with a few challenges to ensure you give your clients the best possible experience.

    “Our clients travel for many different reasons, from just a holiday with friends, a billion-dollar business deal, to a funeral of their loved ones, and as a result they bring with them different sets of expectations. Meeting these expectations is a great challenge, especially in the erratic and heavily regulated aviation industry.”

    Even when presented with challenges, Ngondo has never allowed these or failure to define him.

    “My biggest accomplishment is rising after every fall, because I have learnt much more from my failures than I did from my successes.”

    While many people fear change and new things, this drives Ngondo to do more. “I am inspired by traveling; a new environment always sparks inspiration in me and gives me a new way of looking at things. Every time I get outside the boundaries of my own knowledge, I learn something new.”

    He strongly believes that circumstances do not determine or define you.

    “I would like to tell aspiring young people out there that they are not what happened to them, how they grew up or where they went to school. You are who you choose to become. It is not always the smartest, the strongest or the richest that makes it in life, but the most persistent.

    “Stay determined and committed to the course and you will achieve greatness. This is proven by many of those that came before us and by my own improbable journey that finds me here today,” he said.

    Working within the tourism industry is not the only dream Ngondo has.

    “I have always wanted to become a scientist and the idea of independently creating new knowledge and finding solutions to world’s problems has always fascinated. In my field, that will require a PHD and some research papers, but with a master’s degree already acquired, I still believe it’s just a matter of time.”

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    Where there is passion, there is fulfilmentWhere there is passion, there is fulfilmentLeena Ashipala is fierce, resourceful and making a difference As the senior education officer at the MoEAC for English in the Oshana Region, Ashipala is impacting young people through language. ELIZABETH JOSEPH



    Leena Ashipala received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in teaching English as second language (MA TESL) at Minnesota State University in the US, after which she returned to her job as senior education officer at the education ministry in May this year.

    The course was relevant to her position and the Masters of Arts in English Studies she did at the University of Namibia thus proved to be an opportunity she could not pass on.

    Ashipala describes her journey in the US as thought provoking and says if it taught her anything, it was how to handle cultural as well as societal differences.

    “I had to learn to get along and work with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds as well as from different parts of the world,” she said.

    The Culture Shock

    “Prior to our departure, the American Cultural Centre in Namibia offered us a pre-departure briefing which was aimed at preparing us for what to expect in the US both academically and socially.

    “During the briefing, a former Fulbright student was invited to talk to us about the education system and what to expect while studying in the US. Also, upon arrival to the US as new Fulbright students in the US, we were offered a pre-academic course for a month.

    “In this course we were briefed on, among other things, the US history, political system, and the culture in general. All these initiatives prepared us well for student life in the US,” she says.

    Ashipala also credits her host family, whom she says made her stay in the States “much easier and minimised the culture shock”.

    “The only thing I would say was a challenge to me in terms of culture shock was that I was the only Namibian on campus,” she says.

    The youngest person you’ve learnt from

    “This has to be my four-year-old daughter. She has taught me sacrifice, compassion, selflessness and parenting. And she taught me all these just by being present in my life, without having to say a word,” Ashipala boasts lovingly.

    Despite the fact that she missed her family and hearing people speak her mother tongue (Oshiwambo) around her, she says that she owed it to her community, the Fulbright scholarship and herself to come back to Namibia to share the newly acquired knowledge gained with English teachers in her region and the country.

    Your 21-year-old self

    “Speaking to my 21-year-old self, I would tell her that “if you want to pursue anything, the right time is now”. Someone might want to pursue a masters’ degree or even a PhD but they may feel that the time it will take to complete it is too long. What we don’t realise is that whether you pursue it or not, the years will still go by. Rather spend those years pursuing your dreams instead of not doing anything at all. Time is too precious,” Ashipala says.

    “Pull-Quote: “

    Whether you pursue it or not, the years will still go by - Leena Ashipala, senior education officer at the MoEAC for English in the Oshana Region.

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Finding humanity
  • Finding humanityFinding humanityNever allowing your circumstances to define you Ebson Ngondo is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years’ work experience in several positions within the tourism and aviation industries in both Namibia and the United States. Mariselle Stofberg



    It takes a village to raise child, and the foundation for the incredible accomplishments of Ebson Ngondo was created by the love and support from his big family and the small village of Okotjitundu in the Okakarara district.

    Experiencing unconditional love from his family made him feel privileged, even though they did not have much money growing up.

    “My parents raised us with lots of love, so much so that I did not know we were poor until I came to Windhoek. Nobody in the village had any money, but everyone’s doors were always open. We shared endless stories and laughter and it was the happiest place in the world.”

    Ngondo believes that it is due to the influence of his father that he really understood the importance of hard work and dedication. “One of my favourite childhood memories was working beside my father as he fixed his beat-down car, dehorned calves or fixed the cattle fence. Working with my father taught me the value of hard work and remaining true to the cause,” he said.

    The African philosophy of Ubuntu, which is the belief that I am because you are, and that out of many we are one, has been the cornerstone of Ngondo’s approach towards life and people.

    “You might have all the money in the world, but without humanity towards others you do not amount to much. Through this philosophy I wake up each day thankful for the people in my life, for my past successes and for the chance to be alive today.

    “I find great joy in spending quality time with friends and family, for they are the greatest gift God has given me,” Ngondo said.

    While spending most of his school life in hostels, Ngondo was forced to fend for himself, even when others tried to push him around.

    “In a way this helped me to form a very thick skin.”

    This determination and hard work has allowed Ngondo to obtain a bachelor degree in travel and tourism from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Windhoek and he has just completed his master’s degree at Tshwane University in Pretoria. His drive for knowledge did not stop there, as he completed several professional development courses as well.

    “In general, I am a level-headed person. I don’t get too low when things are bad and I don’t get too high when things are going well. This balance has helped me throughout my career and in life in general.”

    Ngondo is the sales manager at Air Namibia and his key responsibilities are to lead the sales team by providing guidance and mentorship, by setting sales quotas and goals, creating sales plans, analysing data and assigning sales territories.

    “In my role, I am also responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the marketing plan, managing the business and executive and clients’ expectations,” says Ngondo.

    Throughout his time at Air Namibia he has built and maintained a loyal client base through strong relationship-building skills and excelled at devising strategies for increasing sales.

    Working with people from all over the world with various needs and expectations does provide one with a few challenges to ensure you give your clients the best possible experience.

    “Our clients travel for many different reasons, from just a holiday with friends, a billion-dollar business deal, to a funeral of their loved ones, and as a result they bring with them different sets of expectations. Meeting these expectations is a great challenge, especially in the erratic and heavily regulated aviation industry.”

    Even when presented with challenges, Ngondo has never allowed these or failure to define him.

    “My biggest accomplishment is rising after every fall, because I have learnt much more from my failures than I did from my successes.”

    While many people fear change and new things, this drives Ngondo to do more. “I am inspired by traveling; a new environment always sparks inspiration in me and gives me a new way of looking at things. Every time I get outside the boundaries of my own knowledge, I learn something new.”

    He strongly believes that circumstances do not determine or define you.

    “I would like to tell aspiring young people out there that they are not what happened to them, how they grew up or where they went to school. You are who you choose to become. It is not always the smartest, the strongest or the richest that makes it in life, but the most persistent.

    “Stay determined and committed to the course and you will achieve greatness. This is proven by many of those that came before us and by my own improbable journey that finds me here today,” he said.

    Working within the tourism industry is not the only dream Ngondo has.

    “I have always wanted to become a scientist and the idea of independently creating new knowledge and finding solutions to world’s problems has always fascinated. In my field, that will require a PHD and some research papers, but with a master’s degree already acquired, I still believe it’s just a matter of time.”

    Photo Contributed

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    Avoid policy mistakes or face multi-year stagnationAvoid policy mistakes or face multi-year stagnationFocus on 2%, local procurement This is the second article in Investec Asset Management’s three-part series on the Namibian economy. In this article, Lazarus Shigwedha, portfolio manager at Investec Asset Management, highlights policy proposals, which if implemented, could pose serious risks to Namibia’s growth outlook. We would argue that there is no such a thing as a once-off tax, especially in the medium to long term. – Lazarus Shigwedha, Portfolio manager: Investec Asset Management The major risk we run at this stage of the economic cycle is policy mistakes. We must avoid policy mistakes to circumvent extended multi-year stagnation.

    Over the first six months of 2019, proposals such as a once-off 2.0% contribution by all Namibian income earners has been advocated to shore up resources to fight the current drought. Another suggestion has been for public procurement for certain goods to be directed at majority Namibian-owned entities.

    While these ideas appear sound and noble, it begs the question: Are these proposals feasible and in alignment with the nation’s developmental goals that will steer the economy in the right direction? Or are they merely a knee-jerk reaction, short-term remedies? Furthermore, what are the second round and third round effects of the policies that we are advocating in general as a nation?

    History tells us that once certain actions are taken, it becomes very difficult for them not to be repeated in the future. Therefore, we would argue that there is no such a thing as a once-off tax, especially in the medium to long term.

    Long-term approach

    Climatic conditions are increasingly unpredictable, adverse weather conditions have become persistent and certainly common. Therefore, if as a nation our 2019 solutions is a once-off 2.0% levy on household incomes to fight a persistent drought challenge, what is our medium- and long-term solution?

    We need policies that are aimed at securing local long-term food supply and increasing the sustainability of both commercial and rural farmers. For example, we need a genuine solution to address the challenges around rural farm produce access to the formal supply-chain. The implications on rural incomes and impact on the import bill would be materially positive.

    On the second proposal, which advocates for public procurement from majority Namibian-owned firms, our thinking is that government needs to clearly articulate what it is this policy seeks to achieve. Because, if it is aimed at merely increasing purchases from majority locally-owned organisations then we would argue that it would have a limited multiplier effect on the local economy.

    Local procurement

    Economic policies aimed at local procurement that excludes targeted efforts towards local manufacturing could and will result in increased public procurement costs and higher inflation, unless there is local latent spare manufacturing capacity for those goods which the government is seeking to procure locally.

    At this juncture, we also need to ask the policy makers what happened to the growth-at-home strategy?

    The recent IMF report on Namibia points to a local economy that is expected to contract in 2019 and gradually recover thereafter. If Namibia is to experience a step change in GDP growth, we need structural reforms to increase competitiveness.

    This involves identifying our potential competitive advantages, removing bureaucratic impediments to growth and pursuing coherent economic policies rather than simply reacting to short-term impulses.

    As a start we need to create an enabling environment that allows for local firms to produce locally and compete in regional and global markets. Local production will create jobs, while trading in markets outside the local economy will aid in reducing trade imbalances and earn foreign currency.

    Brands

    Firms that compete outside of their core local markets will be faced with competition, which should lead them to innovate, create more jobs and move the economy up the value chain. We need to build regional and global recognisable brands and services that will move the economy from an over-reliance on commodities, with which we have absolutely zero pricing power.

    For example, how is it that Argentina is synonymous with great beef around the world and one cannot talk about salmon without thinking about Norway, but we are yet to build a global brand around Namibian beef or fish? As African examples go, Mozambique is synonymous with prawns, Kenya and Tanzania for safaris, Mauritius is a regional financial hub, Kenya has an impressive cut-flower offering and Ethiopia is increasingly doing well in textiles.

    As a small nation, solving the unemployment challenge should not be arduous compared to our peers on the continent and other emerging economies whose populations are multiples of ours. Local procurement which is inward looking is regressive to say the least; the opportunity lies in exploiting the massive regional and global markets.

    In our final article in the series, which will be published next Friday, we dig into the practical tools we need to build to kick-start the economy and put it on a sustainable growth path.

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  • 07/25/19--16:00: Oranjemund open for business
  • Oranjemund open for businessOranjemund open for business Oranjemund is ready to do business with those who require land for commercial, industrial, housing and other projects of their choice, the town’s mayor, Henry Coetzee, has said.

    Speaking at the inauguration of the FlyWestair flights for the Windhoek-Oranjemund route on Wednesday, Coetzee called for investment in the town, saying development is not a one-man show and needs partners.

    He indicated that the town has received a lot of business interest from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg in the areas of tourism, industrial manufacturing, solar and wind energy, commercial and agricultural activities, vocational education, and land and housing development.

    “Our vision is to ensure that Oranjemund thrives on new possibilities, but our mission is to ensure citizen participation on a sustainable and prosperous future. We realised that we cannot build our local economy on one commodity which is a finite resource and that is diamonds. So we need to diversify the local economy,” the mayor said.

    Projects

    Speaking to Nampa on the side-lines of the event, Coetzee said economic activity in the town has largely been driven by tourism. It however also holds potential for a retirement village because of its weather.

    The council is also looking at the possibility of opening a higher learning institution in Oranjemund.

    On housing development, the mayor pointed out that accommodation is a huge problem which the town is battling and such an investment opportunity is also available.

    Coetzee said Oranjemund is strategically located next to South Africa, one of the biggest economies in Africa, which makes it favourable for investments in land and housing developments.

    The town was opened to the general public in 2017, after 81 years. - Nampa

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