Mrs Henritha Muyoba, Chief Executive Officer, Namibia Drydock and Ship Repairs (PTY) Ltd. (NAMDOCK) has urged African countries to invest in ship building and repairs to tackle youth unemployment.
Muyoba said this at a webinar organised by Zoemaritime Resources Ltd., on Wednesday.
She called for more investments, collaboration and networking between African shipyards in ship building and repairs to create employment opportunities for the youth.
“Ship building and repairs is an opportunity we need to explore because the impact the industry has in terms of skills development and the employment opportunities cannot be over emphasised.
“This is to also help tackle the challenges that exist in Africa as regards youth unemployment.
“So there is need for African countries to open up and share experience from one shipyard to the other and thus become efficient in how they do business and increase their level of skills and create more jobs,” she said.
She noted that for that to work, there was need for African countries to collaborate and work together as a team to service the industry.
“We should be able to send some ships from Namibia dockyards to Nigerian dockyards for repairs, when required.
“Every dollar that is spent on our shipyard, there is three Namibian dollar spent in the community and the direct revenue that is coming in terms of foreign exchange is huge.
“This is what we need to put into perspective to make sure that there is economic value addition to our various economies,” she said.
She said it was necessary for the government to create a condusive environment by putting up good laws and policies to ensure that businesses thrive for the good of the owners and the community at large.
She pointed out that NAMDOCK, which was established in 2005 but started operation in 2006 with the main aim of creating job opportunities, was 52.5 per cent government owned.
She added that the favourable environment created by government and the competent team on ground had enabled the organisation to achieve great milestones.
Muyoba added that for the survival of any shipyard, there was need for a cordial relationship between the shipyard and government agencies that operate at the port.
“We have a good relationship with immigration and customs. We do bring them to come to look at the processes so that they understand the impact of their decisions and our decisions on our services.
“At NAMDOCK, we have 92 companies that we are managing in the facility and have created 3,000 indirect jobs through the companies plus the 700 employed by the Dockyard,” she said.