KEETMANSHOOP: Members of the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, convened here on Friday to discuss issues affecting development at the town.
The one-day discussion was organised by the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development; the Keetmanshoop Municipality; the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The public-private dialogue on local economic development aimed to identify issues and prioritise ways in which the southern town can be developed.
It was also aimed at soliciting the expectations of the local authority, community and businesses in bringing development to the town in order to fight unemployment.
Stakeholders discussed issues that hinder business growth at Keetmanshoop, and how to convince the local authority to accept and work with the private sector in realising development here.
Those in attendance proposed ways to tap into projects such as the Neckartal Dam to provide employment for locals, as well as how such projects can boost the economy.
Others emphasised the support for Small Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to grow and to provide more jobs for residents.
They also talked about the need to fully utilise the Keetmanshoop Airport, which is currently not being used to its full potential, partly because most people prefer driving to and from the southern town.
The participants suggested that through flying, time can be saved especially when people have to go on official trips. This could also translate into savings as less money would be used on paying for accommodation.
The next discussion is expected to take place in November, when the parties are expected to further discuss development issues.
The one-day discussion was held at the Canyon Hotel, with more than 20 representatives in attendance.