French businesses operating in Namibia have formed a club with the purpose of “promoting their commercial interests and to ensure inter-active multilateral stakeholder relations in Namibia in the business environment.” The club, which was borne out of an idea back in 2013, was inaugurated last week Thursday at the Franco-Namibia Cultural Centre in Windhoek. Members include all French companies operating in Namibia, as well as those intending to set up future operations in the country. French Ambassador to Namibia, Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni is the first president of the club, while Hilifa Mbako, Managing Director of AREVA Namibia is the vice-president.
According to a statement from the French Embassy, the club would be the “leading point of contact for investors and the go-between for governments, business, media and others interested in the French business environment.” The club would also be the chief advocacy body that represents the French business fraternity, and the aim is to enable senior executives to shape the context in which their industries operate in Namibia and function under the auspices of the Embassy of France. “It will take into account the needs and priorities of Namibia, in the context of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework for instance.
“On a long-term basis, it will incite our companies to propose new job opportunities in Namibia and to encourage training. “So you can be assured that their strategy will be in keeping with the economic and social goals fixed by the Namibian government in the 4th National Development Plan,” said Bassa-Mazzoni. The club currently has 10 members and a growing number of social institutions associated with French industry.
The founding members of the association are Areva Namibia, Total Namibia, Veolia, Maurel & Prom, Innosun, Aqua Engineering Services, Colas, Naiber Namibia and Bureau Veritas Namibia.