Namibia’s current economic environment necessitates increased focus on supporting local businesses, in particular those that are manufacturing and producing for the local market, with the inherent intention to also export to regional and international markets other than effectively meeting the demand domestically.
That is the reason why the Namib Mills Group in October 2019 rejoined the mobilising force - Team Namibia, with members of kindred spirit that speak the same language - “supporting local”. Team Namibia’s mandate is to raise the awareness of the need to support local businesses, including producers, manufactures and services providers across the sectors of the economy. Team Namibia’s ultimate vision is to make Namibian products and services part of everyday life. The organisation facilitates the increased consumption of Namibian products and services locally and abroad.
The Namib Mills Group and its subsidiaries – Namib Mills, Namib Poulty Industries and Feedmaster – are to benefit from Team Namibia’s content and digital marketing activities, as well as Team Namibia’s participation at various shows and exhibitions. But most importantly, Team Namibia recognises the importance to highlight the absolute necessity amongst all stakeholders – consumer, businesses and government institution - that local businesses need to be supported, in order for Namibia to thrive and to be able to work towards its sustainable economic development.
Team Namibia supports national efforts as reflected in Namibia’s development plans such as Vision 2030, NDP5 as well as the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Supporting local businesses contributes to the creation of jobs, achieving greater equity, reducing poverty and ultimately securing Namibia’s sustainable economic development.
One of the key issues that local producers especially in the dairy and poultry industry are facing, is the question of having to compete with cheap imports which are very often subsidised by their governments, unlike producers in Namibia. Without any regulatory protection against high volumes of imports, Namibian producers and manufacturers cannot effectively compete, irrespective of the type of production. Namibian businesses mostly have to content with very small markets. Without being able to secure sufficient ecconomies of scale, the cost of production remains high.
In addition, no restriction or limited restriction on imports affects local producers who without regulatory control on imports, do not have the certainty of a consistent demand for locally produced goods. This not only hinders the extension of capacities and the growth of local supply but also, in some instances, forces Namibian businesses to close down, who cannot compete and run profitable operations any longer.
Namibia is an integral part of the global economy. That requires a prudent policy environment as to how trade is regulated with the outside world. It needs to be a measured approach that also creates a conducive environment for local businesses to thrive.
Pieter van Niekerk commercial manager of the Namib Mills Group says: “For any industry it is important that we create sufficient local demand for locally produced goods and services. This will help us to create profitable businesses, create employment and contribute to the overall upliftment of our people. It makes sense – economically, morally and socially - to support local businesses by creating the right regulatory environment. We believe that Team Namibia’s mandate is all about supporting local businesses, irrespective of which sector. As a group we believe that through effectively collaboration, together one can make a difference in supporting local businesses. Team Namibia needs all the support it can get to further spread the message in the current economic environment. We need to replace imports in every sector of our economy and grow exports”.
Bärbel Kirchner, account director of Team Namibia says: “Team Namibia is a member-based organisation and we are absolutely delighted that the Namib Mills Group has rejoined the organisation. With three of Namibia’s largest producers having become part of Team Namibia, we are further strengthened in our drive to support local businesses to reach market access. Through the collaborative efforts of businesses of this nature, we truly can make a difference in creating awareness that local businesses need to be supported and in expanding the exposure of the Team Namibia brand, in the interest of all sectors in our economy. It is vital that we continue to maintain and further build the Team Namibia brand. Membership of Team Namibia essentially allows the pooling of marketing resources, mostly from the private sector, to secure optimal growth for our local businesses”.