Katima Mulilo — After three years' absence, the rebranded Katima Mulilo Trade Fair and Zambezi Bream Festival (KMTF & ZBF) officially opened for exhibitions on Sunday.
The expo was not hosted in the past three years due to various issues, which included some stakeholders believing that the expo was not inclusive.
It was for this reason that the Katima Mulilo Town Council, which took over the running of the expo from farmers in 2012, begun with the rebranding process that included the changing of the name from Zambezi Bream Festival to Katima Trade Fair and Zambezi Bream Festival.
Speaking at the opening of the festival, President Hage Geingob stated that local trade fairs are very important in fostering development. He added that it is government's goal and that of the Southern African Development Community region to transform countries from importing and consuming nations into countries with robust productive capacities and vast exporting potential.
"Our intention is to facilitate local producers to enhance their capabilities, not only to meet the local demand, but also to export their products to regional, continental and international markets," he said.
At the same occasion, Geingob reiterated government's commitment in supporting and promoting a friendly business environment. "All that we require is for business to meet us halfway," he said.
The president also commended the organisers of the trade fair for the tremendous progress made in short period of time. He, however, encouraged them in the long run to increase its growth by having more exhibitors and a variety of business sector representation.
"I would like to encourage all, local leaders, businesspeople and the community at large, to ensure that this event continues to grow as a reliable business platform within the country and the region at large," further stated the president.
The trade fair will run until Saturday and activities and entertainment lined up for the week include performances from local artists, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinking competition as well as a dancing competition, school quiz and the crowning of Miss KMTF & ZBF on Friday evening.