Caption: Call of duty. Development Bank of Namibia Senior Communications Manager has been appointed Acting CEO of the Zambezi Waterfront and Tourism Park in Katima Mulilo.
The route ahead for Zambezi Waterfront Development Bank of Namibia's Jerome Mutumba appointed Acting CEO
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Communications Manager Jerome Mutumba has been seconded to the Zambezi Waterfront and Tourism Park in Katima Mulilo to assist the DBN board to formulate, design and implement a new business model that will help to sustain the state-owned tourism enterprise.His appointment was approved by the DBN board on request from the board of the Zambezi Waterfront and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
According to Mutumba, a seasoned business strategist and marketer, the Zambezi Waterfront is an investment in tourism that will bear fruits, provided that it is managed strategically and efficiently. He says that the Waterfront is a vital element for tourism in the Zambezi region, as well as in the broader tourism nexus of Victoria Falls on the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides, and the Zambezi Delta, stretching into Botswana.
The Zambezi Waterfront, he says, is intended to stimulate the region’s economic activities which are premised on the forward and backward linkages of tourism’s multiplier effect. The Waterfront Company holds great potential to create sustainable jobs and boost trade activities in the region.
Mutumba says the envisaged model could expand beyond the current scope of the Waterfront activities. The entity lies on 39 ha of prime land on the banks of the Zambezi. He believes that there is a need for enhancing business activities at the Waterfront and also for changing the current landscape of the town of Katima Mulilo. It is essential to make Katima Mulilo a highly sought after holiday destination. This, Mutumba argues, could position the waterfront as a one-stop centre for mixed-use, leisure, holiday accommodation, business and other socio-economic activities for the good of the public.
With reference to the Victoria Falls link, Mutumba says the Waterfront provides accommodation for travellers arriving from and departing to Victoria Falls. He says the same is true for the Zambezi Delta and Botswana.
He points out that in the SADC regional context, Namibia's Zambezi region forms part of a circuit. Tourists should not be expected to merely drive on the same route, but should have the choice of taking a circular route that incorporates attractions in other countries. By doing so, tourism to the Zambezi region will be enhanced. The viability of cross-border tourism, in line with the initiative to improve tourism across several countries, specifically Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia, will also be strengthened.
On the topic of the current closure of the entity, Mutumba says the halt to operations is temporary. According to him, the Government of Namibia has made a substantial investment in the enterprise and expects it to become sustainable for the benefit of the tourism industry, as well as to contribute to regional economic development.
He says that the rationale for the closure is to provide a pause to examine how the management of the Zambezi Waterfront can be improved, and what business model could satisfy the requirements of international and local tourism more adequately.