Swakopmund — Arandis has "outgrown its fear of progress" and believes that partnering with investors will pave the way for it to become an industrial hub, the town's mayor, Daniel Muhuura has said.
Opening the first phase of the Arandis open market, Muhuura said the town's first-ever open market was welcomed by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially those who were forced to operate as hawkers before.
"Based on the fact that SMEs are the backbone of the economy, we sat down and formalised strategies that will enable the hawkers to have a formal trading zone," he said.
The Arandis Town Council conducted a baseline study in 2005 in order to understand the economic challenges the town faced. The study revealed that SMEs operating at the town included a large spectrum of enterprises. The need for trading space was identified as one of the main needs of the small businesses as many of them conducted their businesses from their residences, depriving them of exposure and proper service delivery.
The informal traders then requested that the town council create a formal facility from which they could operate.
This would also mean more exposure for their products.
"The market has the capacity to house 16 business units, however, our overall target is 30 units," Muhuura said.
He told the traders present that they should use the space as a stepping stone to the bigger business industry, instead of remaining small businesses.