International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has questioned how long will Africa continue to export jobs.

She asked this during the official launch of the Namibia-Angola Business Forum in Helao Nafidi, Ohangwena region on Friday.

“We cannot be independent if our people are hungry,” she added.

The motive of the meeting was for the two countries to exchange information related to investment opportunities that will lead to improved cross-border trade.

“Exporting of raw materials is basically exporting jobs for young people who end up messing with their lives because of no job opportunities,” she stated.

She said she wants business people to focus on trade, investments and the value chain.

“I want Namibian businesspeople to identify the commodities they can sell to Angola and what they can buy from Angola. I also want the Angolan businesspeople to do the same,” she noted.

She added that she wants the Angolan businesspeople to identify in which area of the Namibian economy they want to invest, with particular reference to manufacturing, and the Namibian businesspeople must do the same in relation to the Angolan economy.

Nandi-Ndaitwah further said the value chain is important as it balances wealth and job creation in both countries instantly.

“Therefore, I strongly believe trade, investment and the value chain are the pillars for true economic cooperation between countries.”

She said, equally important is that any size of business can be accommodated under those pillars.

Minister of commerce and industry of the Republic of Angola Victor Francisco dos Santos said a good relationship and cooperation between countries promote development.

“Although there have been issues and other obstacles, we are here to find solutions and implement what will lead to improved cross-border trade,” he explained.

He said in this manner, they will be able to overcome difficulties and follow requirements.

By the end of this meeting, we will be able to identify opportunities, various barriers and find solutions, he said.

According to Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) president Bisey Uirab, NCCI commits to continue supporting export-ready businesses to grow their business beyond the domestic market.

“It is our belief that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Angola (CCIA) has a similar objective in mind for their member firms,” he said.

That is the rationale for the establishment of this Namibia-Angola Business Forum.

He said, going a step further, the two representative bodies plan to use the Namibia-Angola Business Forum, being launched here today, to assist enterprises in Angola and Namibia who might not have considered entering the export arena, to ready themselves to do so and become exporters of goods and services.

“Additionally, CCIA and NCCI will work with the governmental structures in our countries to expand investment flows between Angola and Namibia,” noted Dos Santos.

In this regard, the Namibia-Angola Business Forum will be promoting joint ventures and cross-border investment.

He explained that the time has come for countries in southern Africa to become less reliant on goods and services from other geographical regions of the world.

He added that they have much to offer each other, in terms of goods and services.