PREPARATIONS for the Silver Jubilee celebrations that would mark 25 years of the re-integration of the Walvis Bay enclave and 12 offshore islands with the rest of Namibia got under way with the launch of the event on the same day that President Hage Geingob officially inaugurated the new Container Terminal.
The Walvis Bay enclave and the 12 offshore islands along the Namibian coast were officially re-integrated with Namibia on 1 March 1994 after the previous regime in South Africa buckled under international pressure to do so.
The Silver Jubilee celebrations is slated for later this year and the official date still has to be determined by the Walvis Bay Municipality which stands at the helm of organising the festive event.
Derek Klazen, the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development and former Mayor of Walvis Bay officiated at the launch of the Silver Jubilee celebrations and said that since 1994 the Port City of Walvis Bay has been on a steady path of inclusive development and economic growth.
“After mining, the fishing of over 20 fish species landed in Walvis Bay is the second biggest export earner of foreign currency and fishing is also the third largest economic sector in terms of contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As such, Namibia is also ranking top as an African Fishing country by production value and exports and our estimated fish reserves are the biggest in southern Africa with our fishing grounds stretching up to 200 nautical miles.”
According to the deputy minister the Silver Jubilee celebrations will be held under the theme “Walvis Bay, the pulse of the Namibian economy”. Klazen said a healthy pulse can only be achieved and maintained by steady economic growth, providing training and education to human capital, liberalizing the legal framework and other policies bottle-necking investment, forming strategic public private partnerships, cost savings and the investigation and securing of additional sources of revenue creation and the sustainable exploitation of niche markets and resources
Deputy Minister Klazen said the role of the port in the economic development of Walvis Bay and by default Namibia cannot be forgotten and he paid tribute to the political and administrative leadership of Walvis Bay since 1994. He said their dedication created a conducive environment for intra-country investment and the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment which made Walvis Bay a true oasis of opportunity a city where all people can live, play, grow and trade.