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New Container Terminal is a feat to be celebrated

New Container Terminal is a feat to be celebrated

Niël Terblanché
THE completion of the new container terminal on a pan handle island reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean is a culmination of a long cherished vision of transforming the Port of Walvis Bay, from a predominantly fishing harbour, into an express hub with easy access to international markets.
President Hage Geingob officially inaugurated the new container terminal that has been under construction for the past six years and said it is a feat worthy of celebration.
“However, let us not use these achievements as an excuse to sit back. We must seize this moment of growth and development to vigorously pursue and fast track the development of Walvis Bay to further elevate our attractiveness as a business and leisure destination. We must ensure that the new facility is effectively utilised with increased throughput for the direct and indirect benefit for Namibia.”
Referring to the 2019 Namibia Economic Growth Summit held in Windhoek earlier this week to revive inclusive economic growth in Namibia, Dr. Geingob called upon the captains of industry as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of the expanded facilities to augment the growth of their businesses and thereby, bring much needed jobs to the people of the country.
“This milestone is yet another indication that as a country, we continue to make great strides towards collectively achieving our developmental objectives as outlined in our Vision 2030 strategic plan, which is buttressed by our national development plans (NDPs) and fast tracked by the Harambee Prosperity Plan. The completion of the container terminal expansion puts us on a firm trajectory towards realising our dream of transforming Namibia into an international logistics hub.”
Dr. Geingob pointed out that the next step would be for Namibia to immediately broaden its focus by aligning its vision to that of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
“Agenda 2063 strives to create the Africa We Want – an Africa which will become an economic global powerhouse of the future.”

President Geingob’s keynote address at the official opening of the new Conatiner Terminal Reads as follows:

I am honoured to be here, to officiate at the inauguration of the new container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay.
Last week when I was here for the inauguration of the Zimbabwe Dry Port, I took the opportunity to check on the progress and ensured whether work would be completed in time for today’s inauguration. I was assured that indeed it would be completed and I am proud that today, with the inauguration of this new terminal, Namibia has become one of the countries with major container terminals across the continent.
Let me therefore, express my appreciation to the current and previous Directors of Boards, management and staff of the Namibia Port Authority for the strategic initiative to expand the container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay. This milestone is yet another indication that as a country, we continue to make great strides towards collectively achieving our developmental objectives as outlined in our Vision 2030 strategic plan, which is buttressed by our national development plans (NDPs) and fast tracked by the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that the completion of the new container terminal coincides with the silver jubilee, marking the re-integration of Walvis Bay and the Off-Shore Islands into Namibia. On the occasion celebrating the reintegration, the Founding President and Father of the Nation, Comrade Sam Shafishuna Nujoma put it fittingly that: “From today, Walvis Bay becomes a strategic gateway to the emerging markets of southern and west Africa as well as those of Latin America”.
Thus, today is a culmination of a long cherished vision of transforming Walvis Bay, from a predominantly fishing harbour inherited at reintegration into Namibia, into an express-hub to international markets.
Namibia has now joined countries such as Australia, Brazil, Dubai and the Netherlands in the utilisation of reclaimed land for port expansion. Thus the completion of the container terminal expansion puts us on a firm trajectory towards realising our dream of transforming Namibia into an international logistics hub.
Namibia is linked to neighbouring countries through the various transport corridors and we must strive to capitalise on this immense investment by harnessing the vast potential of our Southern African Development Community (SADC) neighbours that have no immediate access to the ocean. We have since coined a term of “sea linked countries”, to refer to what we previously referred to as “landlocked countries”. The new container terminal now gives us the additional capacity to serve both local and regional requirements.
I have taken note of the fact that as an added advantage, a dedicated cruise liner berth and marina breakwater was constructed as part of this project. This strengthens our capacity to attract tourists to our shores so that Namibia can benefit from the growing tourism industry.
Here we have a city, to which tourists can travel to by road, rail, air and sea. This is a feat worthy of celebration. However, let us not use these achievements as an excuse to sit back. We must seize this moment of growth and development to vigorously pursue and fast track the development of the Walvis Bay Waterfront, so that we can further elevate our attractiveness as a business and leisure destination.
Added to this development is the new bitumen dual carriageway being constructed behind the dunes between Walvis Bay – Swakopmund road and the bitumen road from Swakopmund to Kamanjab. All these and other developments will complement the new container terminal in facilitating the movement of goods in and out of the country.
The next step is for us to immediately broaden our focus by aligning our vision to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which strives to create the Africa We Want – an Africa which will become an economic global powerhouse of the future.
In this regard, Zambia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, and Zimbabwe are among the main land-linked, now sea-linked markets for seaborne transit cargo by volume going through the Port of Walvis Bay. Just last week we witnessed the inauguration of the Zimbabwe Dry Port, joining the other dry ports allocated to Zambia and Botswana. Request for a dry port from the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently under consideration. This is testimony to the immense opportunities for the new terminal to serve SADC and thereby support our regional integration agenda.
We must ensure that the new facility is effectively utilised with increased throughput for the direct and indirect benefit for Namibia.
At this juncture, I would like to call upon the captains of industry as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of the expanded facilities to augment the growth of their businesses and thereby, bring much needed jobs to our people.
As Government, we have made a promise to the Namibian people. A promise to bring about economic growth, job opportunities and prosperity to all Namibians. We are committed to this promise, on which we intend to deliver.
Today, is an indication that despite challenges, we are determined to build a united, developed and modern Namibian House.
Together, we can make it happen. Together, we can achieve our dreams and together, we can build a Namibia which will be the jewel of our continent. Let us, therefore, keep our economy going – moving products, moving people and making sure that the Port of Walvis Bay and Namibia as a whole continue to offer world class facilities.
With these words, it is now my pleasure and privilege to officially declare the expanded container terminal of the Walvis Bay Port as officially opened.

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