22 October 2021 | Opinion
Two months ago, Lucia Iipumbu - minister of industrialisation and trade - officially received six cars from Robert van Rooijen – CEO of Peugeot Opel Assembly Namibia (POAN).
The ministry procured these cars as a gesture to support the initiative in walking the talk with the ‘buy local, grow Namibia’ campaign currently in motion. Also representing the low-hanging fruit of the ingenuity to assemble Peugeot cars in the country.
The investment agreement facilitated the joint-venture contract between Groupe PSA (a French multinational automotive manufacturing company) and the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC then, now the Namibia Industrial Development Agency [NIDA], an amalgamation with the former Offshore Development Corporation) to assemble Opel and Peugeot vehicles at Walvis Bay. The assembly anticipated achieving a target volume of 5 000 units by 2020 to meet the SACU countries market demand.
Moreover, the project seeks to bolster the diversification stratagem set out in our ‘Growth at Home’ strategy.
Local small- and medium-sized enterprises are expected to incur benefits from this investment, enabling Namibia to realise the positive externalities and spillovers from foreign direct investment.
To date, the plant has sold 22 cars with 131 units still in stock. Additionally, the manufacturing plant has employed 20 local people so far and it targets to employ at least 50 workers. However, due to low sales of the manufactured goods, under-employment is evident.
We positively await favourable government laws and regulations to catalyse and propel sales to realise the particular objective of growing at home.
The Peugeots come in three series, with the price ranging from N$500 000 to N$680 000. Depending on individual preference, the 2008 is the smallest one and costs N$500 000, the next in line is the 3008 costing N$580 00.
So far, the ministry of industrialisation and trade, NIDA and the Walvis municipality acquired the Peugeot brand. To those who love specifics, the cars purchased by the ministry are the 3008.
The clarion call implores citizens to ‘Buy Local and Grow Namibia’, echoing sentiments expressed by the #GoLocal and #GrowNamibia campaign.
*Elijah Mukubonda is employed at the ministry of industrialisation and trade.