MIT to develop infrastructure for street vendors

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT) has embarked on setting up infrastructure for informal traders.

Addressing micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) owners of the Moses ||Garoeb Constituency in Windhoek on Saturday, Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu said the ministry has identified the need to upgrade and develop infrastructure of MSMEs and has budgeted N.dollars 4 million under the current financial year towards the Informal Economic Traders Platform Infrastructure Development programme.

She said MSMEs makes up 40 per cent of the country’s traders and therefore the ministry has committed towards budgeting for the upgrading of informal trader economic hubs.

‘We think we have done enough with industrial and SME parks, our focus now is on informal traders. We see many people are selling their products on the margins of the street and many of you are street vendors. So our focus is that each financial year we at least envisioned to give three main informal trad
ers space,’ she said.

She indicated that through the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA) a total of 46 industrial and SME parks were constructed across the country.

Iipumbu further explained that the programme is done in collaboration with local authorities, noting that under the current financial year, infrastructure development will commence in Okalongo in the Omusati Region, Mariental in the Hardap Region and Henties Bay in the Erongo Region.

She explained a ministerial tour in City of Windhoek’s informal settlements during the COVID-19 era in 2020 identified that about 19 informal economic hubs need infrastructure development.

Also, she noted the ministry has the Industrial Upgrading and Modernisation Programme (IUMP) that offers free training on behavioural change, finance and equally assists traders with equipment between N.dollars 50 000 and N.dollars 400 000.

‘Everybody needs training, even you selling fatcakes. We came to realise that we need to train you on how to manage your finances.
We don’t want you to continue selling 20 fatcakes a day which will gain you a profit that is only enough for you to buy a 1kg maize bag, we want you to grow and think in terms of growth,’ she said.

Iipumbu also indicated that the ministry has revived in 2023 the Equipment Aid Scheme which was halted since 2016 due to budgetary constraints, which supports MSME owners with start-up equipment.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency