Women in Development – Enterprise Across Africa Program
Women serve as the channel and backbone to achieve the economic independence that Africa earnestly needs to further develop the continent through a key focus on trade. It is therefore in line with this view point that the Murtala Muhammed Foundation initiated the Women in Development – Enterprise Across Africa program to provide economic independence for women in Africa. The program served as a platform to break down the barriers that women face in the bid to excel in their quest for excellence in business. The empowerment of women serves as a catalyst for the socio-economic development of any nation. The program has a goal to provide empowerment to improve the lives of all Africans.
The program was held in Windhoek and Eronga in Namibia between October 14-18, 2013. Twenty six participants engaged in the maiden edition of the program. Strategic meetings Between the Murtala Muhammed Foundation, participants were held with the Founding father of Namibia Dr. Sam Nujoma, the Governor of Erongo, Mr. Cleophas Mutjavikua, the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Mrs. Rosalia Nghidinwa, the Ambassador of Nigeria to Namibia, Amb. Biodun Olorunfemi to ensure that the overarching goals of the program were realised.
The Sites Visited During the Women in Enterprise Event are :
Nakara leather Factory: is the only tannery in Namibia able to produce Swakara skins, as Nakara diversified product range includes; producing exotic furniture leathers, as well as ostrich and a selection of beautiful game skins such as zebra. Large percentage is exotic furniture leather are exported to upholstery manufacturers in South Africa and Europe and USA. In September 2011 NAKARA was awarded the prestigious “Tannery of the Year Award” for Africa because of their commitment to technical innovation, environmental best practice, commitment to their workers and to the communities with which they share resources, commitment to maintaining a strong relationship with suppliers and customers and commitment to financial stability.
Merlus Seafood Processors (MSP) is a state-of-the-art fish processing factory situated in Walvis Bay, Namibia, which started production in 2003 which converts sea-frozen fish into retail products,
mainly for the Spanish market, sold under the Mascato brand. It is the first fishing company in Namibia to obtain certification from both top-ranked food-safety management systems, ISO 22000 and BRC, at the same time. The company converts bulk sea-frozen fish into retail products sold under the Mascato brand, mainly to supermarkets in Spain. The unique feature of their system is that they work in line with the Namibian governments objectives to gradually transform the country to a manufacturing economy that creates employment by adding value to its natural resources. They are working to achieve a “truly global” international standard, enabling communication about hazards with partners in the supply
chain, establishing a systematic and proactive approach to identification of food safety hazards and development and implementation of control measures, creating a comprehensive approach to quality, hygiene and product safety, addressing part of the due diligence requirement of food manufacturers and retailers,
and the continuous support for improvement through ongoing surveillance and corrective actions.
Namport, operating as the National Port Authority in Namibia since 1994, manages both the Port of Walvis Bay and the Port of Lüderitz in Namibia. The Port of Walvis Bay is situated at the west Coast of Africa and provides an easier and much faster transit route between Southern Africa, Europe and the Americas. The Port of Lüderitz, located to the Southern Coast of Namibia caters for Southern Namibia as well as providing access to markets in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Namibian Ports Authority also manages a Syncrolift (dry dock facility) with vessels up to 2000 tonnes that can be lifted for repairs. Namport operates 2 floating docks with lifting capacity of 8000 tonnes each.
Namport takes its role as an economic stimulant and barometer for trade seriously and is positioned to be the port of choice for the entire West coast of Africa. The port is used by the SADC region to promote trade & investment. It is a major contributor to the economy of Namibia and is a vital link in the logistics chain of sub-Saharan Africa. It plans to expand the regional hub role that the port provides.