By Annines Angula
Namibians and foreign visitors have been urged to make their way to the southern town of Lüderitz for the popular annual Crayfish Festival that will be held under the theme “Our ocean our treasure”.
This year’s festival is planned for 26 April to 1 May 2018 at the southern harbour town.
Organisers say the festival has grown from strength to strength, cementing the quiet coastal town as a sought after destination for both domestic and international tourists. Preparations are going on well as the town has already sorted out its business stands and the gala dinner took place last week.
Lüderitz Town Council’s economic development officer Peya Mushelenga told The Southern Times that they planned to cater for all the visitors coming to the town during the festival, but space remained the biggest challenge for the organisers.
“Space is one of the biggest challenges that the town council faces when organising the crayfish festival. Currently there are only 70 exhibitors and 30 corporate stands on the harbour square, which is not enough to cater for all people that want to take part in the festival. If we have enough space to accommodate all people, then business will be easy,” he said.
There is also sporting activities such as soccer and rugby that will be held during the festival. Since its inception in 2008, the crayfish festival has helped bring business to Lüderitz.
One of the traditional sponsors of the festival, Standard Bank, said it has once again recommitted itself with a sponsorship of R100 000 this year
“Standard Bank continues to be a long standing partner in Lüderitz through popular events like the crayfish festival as we believe this will enhance the economic potential of the town and be of benefit to the exhibiting entrepreneurs,” said the bank’s Lüderitz branch manager, Victoria Wilson, at the fundraising gala dinner for the 11th crayfish festival on 23 February.
She stressed that the town had expanded its trading and investment drive to diversity its portfolio within the //Karas Region. Wilson noted that Lüderitz holds a significant place in Standard Bank’s history as it is where its first branch was opened in Namibia about 102 years ago.
The Crayfish Festival has grown from strength to strength, cementing the quiet coastal town as a sought after destination for both domestic and international tourists, said the bank official.
“Not only is the festival a big draw card for tourists and visitors to the town but it also serves to promote local economic development. It is therefore really remarkable to see how the Crayfish Festival has grown over the years and become a much anticipated event. I wish to wholeheartedly thank the Lüderitz Town Council for their continuous commitment to the residents and partnering with us to grow this beautiful town. I am confident that this festival will once again be a great success,” she said.
The Crayfish Festival, coupled with other developments such as the Lüderitz Waterfront and the N$15-million seal processing factory which has provided the much-needed job opportunities geared to foster local and international trade, has ensured that the diamond town is well on its way to economic prosperity for its over 20 000 inhabitants.
Victoria Wilson (right) hands over N$100 000 to Lüderitz Mayor Hilaria Mukapuli.