New Era (Windhoek)

11 April 2014

Namibia: Cuito Cuanavale Courts Namibian Investors

Cuito Cuanavale — Sara Matews, the administrator of the Cuando Cubango Province, in which the historic town of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola is situated, is inviting Namibians businesspeople to invest in the town and the province at large.

She made the appeal during the last day of a five-day visit by a Namibian business delegation led by the governor of the two Kavango regions, Dr Samuel Mbambo, which ended yesterday. The town of Cuito Cuanavale is rich in history and attracts many tourists annually and is better known for the historic Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1987/88. The battle was an important episode in the Angolan Civil War (1975 to 2002) and a prelude to Namibian independence. The historic battle, which pitted Angolan government forces, Cuban internationalist forces and PLAN fighters against the South African Defence Force and Unita, took place over about six months and was at the time the biggest battle on African soil since World War II. Matews used the opportunity to invite Namibian investors when the delegation visited the town. "Many business opportunities have been available since peace was established in Cuito Cuanavale, many minerals are there to be explored," Matews said. She said opportunities exist in areas such as hospitality and tourism, as well as construction and said Namibians should feel welcome to invest in the area given the common history shared by Namibians and Angolans.

The Namibian delegation also participated in a business forum with their Angolan counterparts to gain a clearer understanding of the busines climate in that country. Opening the forum was the provincial governor Francisco Higino Caneiro, who told the visiting delegation that road and bridge construction, mechanized agriculture, exploration of mineral resources, as well as general infrastructure development are priorities development areas where investment is welcome. The provincial government is already planning to construct a floating bridge at Calai in order to link that border town with Rundu. The two delegations agreed on the need to begin a new era of economic relations in the fields of construction, river transport, agriculture, livestock farming, tourism, commerce and the exploitation of forestry and mineral resources. "We are ready to establish business relations and this trip really gave us some exposure and we have just learned that there is also potential for fresh produce marketing," said Gervasius Thikusho, marketing officer at the Rundu Fresh Produce Hub. News about tax exemptions and customs payments by foreign companies willing to invest in Angola was received like music to the ears by the Namibian delegation.

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