Namibian President, Hage Geingob delivered his keynote at the opening of one of Namibia’s biggest festival, the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF). The President emphasized that the country should embrace innovation in order to foster economic growth and get ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The President stated: “As a country, we should lay the groundwork, both at the public and private sector level, to harness the vast potential offered by technologies such as 3D printing, the internet of things, big data analysis, robotics, and cloud computing. We should also take cognizance of the fact that new technologies will lead to an increase in competition between human beings and machines. Thus, this is the reality of the future, and we must adapt, or find ourselves permanently left behind,” he stated. He also urged the organizers of exhibitions to increase the presence of various technologies at national trade fairs.”
The President stated that the main sector that drives innovation in the private sector. It plays an important role to support and drive sustainable, inclusive, job-led growth, and development. On the other hand, the government plays its key role to create a supportive environment that can make the private sector function most effectively and efficiently.
The President took the OATF as an example of the platform for established companies to widen their network locally, regionally, and internationally. As a result, it increases the appeal of SMEs. This effort is crucial is it expectedly helps to increase investments in more diverse economic sectors.
The OATF is being held from August 23 – 31 at the Ongwediva Trade Fair Center in northern Namibia. This year’s event brought more than 450 local exhibitors and 25 international exhibitors from African countries, including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, exhibitors from outside Africa include America, Japan, Germany, and Indonesia.