By Hilary Mare in Lüderitz
The Uukumwe Youth Empowerment Consortium (UYEC) today officially inaugurated its N$18 million seal processing factory in Lüderitz.
The seal processing facility, the first of its kind following independence, will process pelts, meat, blubber and other by products, while creating at least 25 jobs.
In December 2011, Uukumwe was awarded a seven-year seal harvesting right in Wolf and Atlas Bay in Lüderitz.
“I am very delighted that the factory is finally here… it is now time to work. Uukumwe is one of the companies giving meaning to the policy of empowerment, and I am delighted to see the strides that this company has made in it’s last 7 to 8 years of its existence,” Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Bernhardt Esau, said at the factory’s inaugaration a short while ago.
“This company has been able to reinvest its gains and this is what we want to see, because as a country we cannot be stuck in primary industries. We want to see Namibia graduate from a primary to a secondary industry State. We are also determined to ensure that our seal stocks are sustainably managed, and that harvesting is done in a systematic and well-managed manner.”
Uukumwe is a 100 percent Namibian entity, initiated by young Namibians, in order for them to participate in and benefit from Namibia’s fishing and marine industry, through fishing rights and quota allocations.
In 2012, Uukumwe received its first quota allocation of 5 000 units of seal pups and 356 units of adult bulls.
Uukumwe board chairperson, Olavi Hamutumwa, noted that this factory will contribute to the economy of Lüderitz, and therefore should be embraced.
“All the shareholders of Uukumwe, together with the people of Lüderitz, will now benefit from this factory. We were so keen on this factory, that we bought machinery four years ago. We also call on other players in the industry to comply with regulations and standards. Since the groundbreaking in 2015, the minister has stood by us, and we would like to thank him for believing in us,” Hamutumwa said.
The seals are harvested through the annual seal quota allocation of 80 000 young and 6 000 older seals, awarded by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
Uukumwe director, Leefa Ndilula, thanked those who believed in the dream of making the factory possible.
“Every dream has a dreamer, and we would like to thank the shareholders of Uukumwe, who believed in this dream. It has been a long journey, but the directors have held on, to make it a reality,” she said.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources allocates a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for seals on an annual basis.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015