Developing Rural Namibia: How to Develop an Economic Depressed Rural Area Into a Thriving Economic Urban Center?

I realize that most city, town and village councils in Namibia may not really know how to actually attract and keep industrial businesses in their areas.

Rather, they tend to wait on the central government to direct them and basically mouth-feed them by attracting and getting investment on their behalf for their areas. And this is not how it works, hence most cities, towns and villages in urban and rural Namibia are facing high economic hardship and pressure for their municipalities and residents.

I have written about this before, on how a town or village can help attract an investment to its area; and in short, here is how it may happen;

Let’s say for example, Oikokola in Omusati Region wants to attract BMW in Germany to come and setup a manufacturing factory in Oikokola. Because the Oikokola village council knows exactly the massive socio-economic benefits rippling throughout the country just by having one BMW manufacturing plant in their area; that’s – one BMW Manufacturing Plant, let’s say employing more than 1500 people, can help effect a massive economic ecosystem in the same area; because out of that 1500 employees, there could be more than 7500 indirect employees.

How’s that? Based on my “Job Multiplier Effect Model”, which is based on my economic differentiation and derivative formulation, that’s per each “one” direct employee, “five” more indirect employment opportunities are created. So, just by having more than 9,000+ employees (1500+7500) in Oikokola; don’t forget that possibly per each employee could have 3 additional family members in his or her household, and that makes Oikokola to have more than 27,000 new residents, as a result of just one BMW Manufacturing Plant, that nearly makes Oikokola to become a major town with great and profitable socio-economic benefits that would ripple throughout the entire economy of the country.

Because the Oikokola town council has done its economic analysis on having such a Manufacturing Plant in its area, it serves best to have the Oikokola Village Council to select a team of delegates among its staff, and send them to BMW in Germany.

When they get there, they would have already prepared two first class-return flights for two BMW Executives, from Germany to Namibia, then they would also have prepared a first-class ground transportation to and from Windhoek to Oikokola, with first class hotel accommodation as well as lodging (food).

When they get to BMW in Germany, they would hold their meeting with the BMW executives; obviously they should have already made arrangement to meet with those executives responsible for international business development at BMW prior to going there. A the meeting, after their brief introductory summary, then they simply inform the BMW executives that, they have everything prepared; first class flight to and back from Namibia, ground transportation, food etc., so that they simply board the flight and come to Namibia.

Now, since everything is already prepared, and BMW or their executives don’t have to incur any expenses; they would be gladly interested in taking the trip; most executives would regard the trip as a vacation and would love it.

Obviously, it would not be on the same day; the village council would want to have an ample time before the BMW executives arrive in Namibia. So the village council should first go back to Oikokola and inform their local officials and residents that on that specific date, there would be special guests from BMW in Germany to come and visit the area for a possible investment project, that could help create jobs for the residents and improve economic condition of the area.

Then when that date comes; everyone should be ready to welcome the guests; with well-organized joyous celebrations, food, and orchestrated dances, and everything, so that the first thing that those BMW executives would see, would be happy faces of people excited to see them and welcome them. That by itself would likely make the BMW executives very excited just the fact that the locals are excited to see them.

Then the village council after they have officially welcomed them, then they take them to a meeting conference and make a presentation on what their area has to offer, in terms of available land, economic incentives, labor, and capital that would be of great benefit to BMW to have a manufacturing plant set up in the Oikokola area. In the presentation, it should include everything else; such as tax benefits that would entice BMW to come to Oikokola to setup a manufacturing plant.

After the presentation, then the village council should take the executives on a special tour for the area; show them around the area, and then take them to the land that the village council has allocated for the BMW Manufacturing Plant.

At that land site; the village council should entice the executives with eloquent talk and discussion and try to close the deal with them without being forceful, to have BMW setup a manufacturing plant there. Because of how everything are organized, BMW could possibly agree to set up a Manufacturing Plant there for the BMW automobiles, car parts, engines, or perhaps recommend their partners to do so. This is how town, village or city councils should do, to try to attract investment projects to their areas.

However, it only works best if the Council members actually know what to do; what investment is suitable for their area, as each area has its own comparative advantages; where to start, who to contact and how to actually do it to get the needed appointment with the company, anywhere in the world. And it doesn’t have to be BMW, it can be any company in the world, depends on what your area has to offer.

This is where we at Groot Group come in – we know how to do this; from conducting economic analysis for any area, and we are very connected globally to most of the world’s largest companies. Hence it has great benefits to work with us in order to help develop your village, town or city by bringing investment and industrial projects to your area that would forever help transform your area; for your residents, for the sake of the overall country’s economic growth. Because as an elected council member, you have responsibilities to your constituents; hence get up and do something real tangible to help grow your area – overall, you’re interested in getting re-elected or be appointed to a high post some day.

The above is just an example on how you may possibly attract investment projects to your area; however in reality – for the sake of Oikokola, a rural area in Omusati Region, we at Groot Group and SDS Group, have a team arriving from India for our Sitentu Food Processing Plant development in Oikokola and Nkurenkuru.

And given that Oikokola is currently just a rural area with basically nothing except the current residents and no nothing else; watch as we transform it from its current status to a major urban center within the next 5 years.

Our planned Sitentu Food Processing Plant in Oikokola (likewise Nkurenkuru) will employ 3,000+ workers at each location, with indirect employees of more than 7,500. Those workers will need proper housing for their stay, they will need retail stores for their everyday shopping need, Oshakati is too far for them, they will need clinics, barbershops, etc., basically they will need all the basic infrastructure as required for their well-being and better living, and obviously, we will depend on entrepreneurs to set up those businesses and services for the future workers of Oikokola and likewise, Nkurenkuru.

Why Oikokola and Nkurenkuru? We are targeting both the rural Namibian and rural Angolan informal farmers to benefit from their hard farm labor. This is the economic transformation vision of our Company; creating powerful economic linkages between rural and urban centers.

Smart working and planning, with the support of the local, regional and central government can have great positive economic impacts for an improved living condition of the people in the economy (country).

I want and hope to make Namibia as a spring platform for economic transformation for the whole of Africa. It’s time for Africa to improve her economy to benefit her people. Political economy is long dead, the future is rapid industrialization based on the Groot Group Economic Ecosystem Model.

Email me at simon@grootgroup.com with questions on how we can help you get the most investment project for your area.

I’m a Neuroeconomist and Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder of Groot Group at www.grootgroup.com; as well as Managing-Director and Co-Founder of Tses Glass (Pty) Ltd, as well as Co-Founder and Project Director of Otavi Steel (Pty) Ltd, and Sitentu Power Plant (Pty) Ltd. I’m a Nominee of the Prestigious 2012 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.

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