Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

17 August 2012

Namibia: Gecko's Industrial Park Given the Green Light

The controversial Gecko Vision Industrial Park this week scored a major victory after government gave its approval for the project to go ahead.

In a statement, Gecko Namibia said Cabinet gave its principled approval for its Vision Industrial Park in light of the project's potential economic benefits to the country.

Cabinet also allocated 700 hectares of land to Gecko for the actual construction of the [project at "Mile 16". The allocation of land will be in a form of a 99 year lease, as per existing government policy.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism was directed to study and advise on the environmental impact of the proposed industrial project while, the development of a new "private port" to service the commercial activities of the envisaged Vision Industrial Park was approved in principle.

Gecko expressed its gratitude towards Cabinet for the trust it had placed in the company to develop the Vision Industrial Park. The company assured both government and the public that it will continue with the process in a responsible and transparent manner.

"By this resolution, the government has taken a significant step towards achieving its central economic priority as set out in NDP4 of "moving from an economy dominated by agrcultural output and employment to one dominated by manufacturing and local value addition,"

Gecko said it will now proceed with a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment study in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to enable the Ministry to properly and objectively advise Cabinet on the environmental impact of the Vision Industrial Park.

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