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Ojtiwarango Municipality co-creates a Vision for their town
When the business leaders, faith-based groups, youth representatives and other key stakeholders from the town of Otjiwarango, Namibia’s famed  “cheetah capital of the world”, were invited to a stakeholder workshop to discuss their town development strategy, they were not sure what to expect. But as the day progressed they watched their highly competent municipal planning team in action. The planners did not want to merely consult, but were serious about the town’s stakeholders taking ownership of the plan. So, they embraced the process and allowed the stakeholders to amend the city vision that was suggested by the officials and political leadership.
They listened attentively when the stakeholders shared what made them sad in their town, and were encouraged to build on what made their stakeholders happy. This open and flexible style of engagement heartened the town’s stakeholders. As one business leader put it “I can now safely say that this is OUR vision for the town”. In fact, when the facilitators outlined the way forward and suggested that the draft plan will be brought back for comment to a second meeting, stakeholders suggested that before the document is printed, they would like to add exactly what each of the key stakeholders can do to make the plan a truly shared document.
They also were encouraged listening to the eThekwini’s story of the Imagine Durban process, from the Durban team that were supporting their municipal planners. They requested that Durban please support them to encourage greater investment in the town through cooperation between South Africa and Namibia. The draft Town Development Strategy will soon be prepared for Otjiwarango, along with three other Namibian towns, as part of a Cities Alliance funded programme in partnership with ALAN, NALAO, MILE and the UCLG.

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