Nkurenkuru is the administrative and commercial hub of Kavango West, the newest of Namibia’s 14 regions.
Business opportunities abound, yet evidence exists reflecting that Namibian entrepreneurs and captains of business are yet to discover the town’s investment and expansion attractiveness.
Seeing the town’s impressively rapid development since I first worked at Nkurenkuru a decade ago, never fails to amaze me.
As the newest administrative region, unsurprisingly most of the infrastructural development – including roads, servicing of land, government offices, health, and educational facilities – is public sector-driven.
But there is evidence of privately funded investment, which includes shopping malls, accommodation establishments, housing, and a private hospital.
On inquiring about ownership, one hears that most is foreign-owned.
A question that begs an answer: What do foreigners see in terms of returns on investment and future business growth prospects at Nkurenkuru that Namibians are missing?
Visit Nkurenkuru and surroundings and see for yourself that business opportunities abound in many economic sectors that include among others agriculture, value addition and food processing, tourism, building construction and allied services, furniture making and tourism.
Situated about 140km west of Rundu and less than 50km east of Mpungu, Nkurenkuru nestles on the Okavango River and means “the old place” in Kwangali.
On the opposite bank of the river is the Angolan town of Cuangar.
Nkurenkuru’s history and that of the surroundings is intertwined with that of the Kwangali people, part of the five Kavango kingdoms.
On 30 December 1886, an agreement was reached by the colonial powers – Germany and Portugal – that defined the Okavango River as the border between their two colonies, Angola and the then South West Africa, now Namibia.
Often members of the same family living in this area had no say in the matter, and from that day onwards, lived in two different countries and were forced to follow border controls and movement restrictions.
A police post since 17 June 1910 notes that Nkurenkuru largely remained insignificant until the Finnish Missionary Society established a mission station on New Year’s Day in 1929.
Nowadays, bureaucracy and movement hindrances are being relaxed and I had an opportunity to witness this first-hand.
During my visit this week, I observed worshippers returning home from a church service in Angola and young footballers returning home after playing a match at Nkurenkuru by crossing the river in a water-taxi.
Travellers in both groups paid a N$5 fare and, seemingly, there was minimal bureaucratic fuss and bother.
Heard of Nkurenkuru but never been there, most will act, as if it does not feature as a tourist destination nor on the way to become any place of known significance.
However, the Okavango River and indeed that geographical part of the country is a sight to behold, offering uniquely beautiful landscapes one finds only in this corner of the African continent.
Nkurenkuru is easy to reach travelling the traditional route through Rundu, but the Tsumeb, Tsintsabis and Mpungu route is scenically spectacular and my favourite.
In business speak LSD means look-see-discover or decide, so methinks now is the time for you to visit Nkurenkuru and check out the business and investment opportunities.