Governor wants renamed airport upgraded

28 August 2019 | Infrastructure

Oshana governor Elia Irimari has welcomed the renaming of the Ondangwa Airport to Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Airport, while also appealing to the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) to consider upgrading the facility to a fully-fledged international airport, in recognition of Ya Toivo's legacy.

Irimari said the airport is strategically located to enhance the movement of people and cargo to the northern regions and neighbouring Angola.

The NAC hosted the renaming ceremony recently, where Namibians from all works of life witnessed the event with Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba officiating.

NAC board chairperson Leake Hangala said the airport provides links to southern Angola and additionally serves as a refuelling stop for flights to central Africa and beyond.

“We at the NAC are privileged to be part of this event, which is dedicated to renaming this major facility in our country in honour of one of the most illustrious sons of the soil, Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo. Although Tatekulu Ya Toivo is no more amongst us, his legacy continues to inspire us, and we at the NAC feel greatly honoured to be associated with this great son of this soil,” Hangala said.

“We are currently in the process finalising the production of his statue that will be mounted here... Once the production process has been completed, we will agree on a suitable date to mount the statue, and the thousands of travellers passing through this airport will have the privilege to view and take pictures with this giant statue of our great Namibian hero.”

Irimari said Ya Toivo, a liberation struggle icon who also participated in the Second World War, encouraged Namibians to prepare for the struggle for national independence and sovereignty, which was “long and bitter”. He had assured them that victory was certain, and today Namibia is free.

The governor said the legacy Ya Toivo has left behind will benefit future generations for many years to come.

“It is therefore befitting that we rename the Ondangwa Airport, because of its central significance, in honour of comrade Ya Toivo. This is indeed an important airport to Namibia, especially this part of northern Namibia,” said Irimari.

“In cognisance of the important legacy of Ya Toivo, I cordially request the NAC to consider upgrading the airport into a fully-fledged international airport.

There is adequate land to allow for major upgrades and the airport is strategically located to enhance the movement of people and cargo to the northern regions and neighbouring Angola.”

ILENI NANDJATO