History of the Namibia Craft Centre
The Namibia Craft Centre opened its doors in 1990, under Newveld Ventures Investment & Development Company (Pty) Ltd. In 1996 the Rossing Foundation took over the management of the centre, and expanded and upgraded it with the inclusion of the Omba Gallery. Kerry MacNamara Architects won an award for the design of the centre, and the new Namibia Craft Centre opened its doors in 1997. As the demand for more trading space increased, the Namibian Craft Centre expanded further in 1999 to include the Hilde List Loft and the Cold Room.
In 2004, the Omba Arts Trust was established and took over the management of the Namibian Craft Centre from the Rossing Foundation. In 2009, the trust decided to focus on its core business of craft development, which resulted in the registration of the Namibia Craft Centre as a section 21 Company: Namibia Arts, Craft & Design.
Namibia Craft Centre: 824,000 km² under one roof
The Namibia Craft Centre provides retail space to approximately 40 craft enterprises that hail from distinct communities, ethnic groups and projects, providing a platform for Namibian handicraft from jewellery to carved tree roots. Centrally situated in Tal Street in the Old Breweries Complex with enclosed parking, the Centre is easily accessible for drivers or pedestrians.
Expertly woven baskets, carved Makalani kernels, stylish San ostrich-eggshell jewellery, richly-dyed wild silk scarves, Himba bracelets, attractive handmade paper, hand-woven carpets, striking textiles and colourful embroidered linen; the Namibia Craft Centre is a treasure-trove of colour and craft, a collection of Namibian items epitomising the country – the character and essence of its intriguing cultures, its large blue skies and endless landscapes, its wildlife and wonder. It’s Namibia (conveniently) under one roof. The Craft Centre supports jobs to more than 4,000 crafters and their families in some of the most rural and marginalised areas.
Something you may soon realise while walking around this intriguing centre is that besides the rich stories and the golden opportunity of having access to goods from all corners of Namibia collected under one roof, the word ‘craft’ and ‘art’ are often intertwined. The time spent weaving a basket, threading cotton or beads to create a picture or a bracelet, to carve a frame from wood or to make paper, is combined with the skill and talent of craftspeople countrywide to create striking works of art. Whether you walk out the door with a postcard sized photograph of a Himba woman, a basket or an embroidered pillow, you will probably have purchased a piece of art rather than just a souvenir – as well as having gained a smidgen of Namibia to be cherished after your return home.
After a good and fulfilling trip, use those few hours left in Windhoek before the flight back home to search for those special bits and pieces for friends and family or for yourself from areas you were unable to visit, or to remind you of your experiences in the country of space and soul.
To build on our success as the preferred Namibian craft experience by promoting innovation, excellence and diversity.
To showcase the best of Namibian handicraft.
To provide a marketing platform for craft enterprises and communities selling authentic Namibian handicraft.
To provide a diverse shopping and cultural experience for visitors offering a range of unique products, including a small selection of tourism and value add businesses such as tour operators and info kiosks.