Windhoek — "Political independence is nothing without economic independence. As a country, we are blessed with vast resources but we need to encourage our people to participate in the mainstream economy in future," said Namibia's founding President.
He was addressing delegates at the Sam Nujoma Innovative Enterprise Development Awards in the capital Windhoek.
His sentiments come amid similar ones in Zimbabwe where the government is advocating for the indigenisation of foreign owned firms. In South Africa, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters is demanding that locals play an integral part in the economy.
Zambia's President Michael Sata wants foreign investors to partner locals.
Nujoma urged small, medium and large enterprises to consolidate the gains of independence by participating in the mainstream economy.
He added that Namibia had done well in creating an investor friendly environment that offered opportunities for success to all the businesses but locals still need to play a meaningful role in the economy.
Nujoma said Namibia had to support small businesses to allow them to grow.
According to the statesman, lack of financial resources and also poor support structures from the financial institutions deterred small locally owned businesses from growth.
As such, he urged financial institutions in his country to support upcoming businesses.