As the tourism sector steadily picks up and recovers from post-COVID-19 challenges, Environment, Tourism, and Forestry Minister Pohamba Shifeta says his ministry will support initiatives aimed at fostering economic growth and employment creation.
Shifeta shared these remarks while addressing the graduation of tour guides at Hobatere in the Kunene Region.
The Minister says the graduation of skilled and accredited tour guides from Kunene and Erongo regions by the Ongula Training Academy is a step in the right direction to promote tourism development as part of National Development Plan 5.
"This is the most important profession in the tourism industry, especially now that we have more tourists coming to Namibia. Today we witnessed the graduation of 30 tour guides from the Brandberg landscape and the Ombonde people's landscape in the Kunene and Erongo regions, respectively. These new local tour guides are an addition to other value chains supported, such as nature-based tourism, crafts, digital value creation, and wildlife-based value chains."
Other economic activities in cooperation with the German Government, meant to improve the livelihood of people, involve crafts training and harvesting of Devil's Claw, as well as support for infrastructure developments in the Brandberg and Ombonde landscape areas, catering to local eco-entrepreneurs.
On behalf of the German Ambassador to Namibia, the Head of Development Cooperation, Updike Metzger, said the training was supported through the German Biodiversity Economy Project.
"Apart from the training of tour guides, the project also supports the campsites, guesthouses, and artisans, improving the devil's claw value chain, developing a Herero living museum, and producing fresh vegetables and fruits for the tourism sector. That's why I am convinced that the biodiversity economy project, jointly implemented by MEFT and GIZ, makes an important difference for the local economies, livelihoods, and landscapes."
The governors of the Kunene and Erongo regions were also represented.