Businessman Martin Shipanga is back in the spotlight these days. The former City of Windhoek and Nedbank Namibia CEO has been out of the spotlight for a number of years,
quietly building his diversified Shipanga group of companies.
In the 2000s, Shipanga made headlines when his N$40,000 monthly salary at the City of Windhoek was said to be higher than that of the then President Sam Nujoma.
When he left the Windhoek Municipality, Shipanga joined Nedbank Namibia as its CEO, one of the first black Namibians to head a majority owned South African bank.
Shipanga returned to the limelight last year when he campaigned for President Hage Geingob to be elected as President of the ruling SWAPO Party.
In an interview this week, the businessman said he has not been shying away from the spotlight, but was busy with ‘grassroots’ activities.
“I have always been very active both socially and economically, judging by the businesses and community work that we have been doing. We are more grassroots driven and in our communities is where we operate and they are very well aware of what services we provide. We add to their livelihoods through our social responsibility programmes,” he said about activities of the Shipanga group which is involved in security services, healthcare, medical suites, infrastructure and pharmaceutical.
Shipanga has now set out to revive the activities of the Namibia Chamber of Commercial and Industry (NCCI) in Windhoek after he was recently elected as chairperson of the Windhoek branch.
“We are finalising our road map for the Windhoek NCCI Branch and in there, they shall be detailed focus areas of delivery. Critical is that we have resolved to be inclusive of all business, whether members of NCCI or not.
“Equally, we have consulted with various associations in order to streamline our synergies, and the engagements were very productive. The aim is for business to speak with one voice. We shall certainly produce a road map on what we believe needs to be done in order to fast track our economic recovery.”
Shipanga side stepped the question, whether he wants to become president of the NCCI national body.
“I am already chairman of the Windhoek branch and have a lot of work to cover. We have a great team of entrepreneurs, with practical approaches to what we need to get done.”
An interview with Shipanga would have been incomplete without asking for his views about the current state of the City of Windhoek, which is struggling to provide services to residents and has debts of over N$600 million.
“This is tricky and I will need to understand more about what they are doing and how they intend to tackle and deal with the challenges. We, however, will soon be engaging the City of Windhoek on what type of environment business needs to participate in in order to create the much needed jobs in our local economy.”