THE battle for a piece of the cake in Northern Namibia has intensified with business geniuses jockeying for positions to reap the huge benefits from the growing town of Ongwediva.
In less than five years, Ongwediva has seen the construction of the multi-million dollar Bennie’s Entertainment Park and Lodge, the biggest private clinic in Northern Namibia, Ongwediva Medi-Park, as well as the sole engineering tertiary education institute in Northern Namibia, University of Namibia (Unam) Faculty of Engineering.
A fully fledged Police Station was also recently opened in Ongwediva.
Last year it was announced that Ongwediva was set to make history again by housing the first ever shopping mall in Northern Namibia to be opened for business next year.
The multi-million dollar shopping mall, which will be situated across Bennie’s Entertainment Park and Lodge and next door to the Ongwediva Medi-Park, has been registered under the name Tuhumeko Shopping Business.
The 43-shop shopping mall was initiated not only to provide jobs for many unemployed youth, according to Ongwediva Town Mayor Erastus Uutoni, but also bring essential services closer to the over 3,000 households in Ongwediva.
Less than six months after it was announced that Ongwediva will have its own mall, however, there is a new kid on the block with every bit of the intention to provide the best facilities for residents in and around Ongwediva.
Developed by business mogul and brains behind Benz Building, Benny Zaaruka, the soon to be constructed over N$50 multi-million dollar Oshana Regional Mall is already causing great hype amongst residents.
Zaaruka has chosen the location of the mall wisely, constructing it near the busy Ongwediva-Oshakati main road, across the Trade Centre - where the Ongwediva Trade fair is held annually - and next to the Ongwediva Shoprite Shopping Complex.
Chief spokesperson of the Ongwediva Town Council, Andreas Uutoni says investors are willing to invest in Ongwediva because they are guaranteed of making profits due to the high demand and lucrative market.
“Being the local authority we are entrusted by the local authority act to make sure everything is possible in terms of development of the town and to lay a strong foundation to attract investors,” says Uutoni.
He added that with two malls expected to open in the next couple of years, Ongwediva is very well on its way to becoming the main business hub in Northern Namibia.
“The community will benefit from the new malls in terms of employment and the town council benefits not only because we are closer to reaching our main goal, but because the development of the town attracts more investors.
“And with the Oshana Regional Mall, shopping will be door steps away from exhibitors at the annual Ongwediva Trade fair, which will also attract new international exhibitors because they see something new at Ongwediva every year,” said Uutoni.
The growth and investment opportunities have already ensured that Ongwediva remains the fastest growing town in the country.
“We have been criticised in the past by business people about wasting money by installing sewer and building bridges where there are no buildings, instead of spending the money on say, informal settlement. But we told them that we knew what we were doing. And the hard work and decisions we have made over the years have paid off, as is clearly visible.
“Our doors remain open to those interested in investing in Ongwediva,” said Uutoni.