Namibia to miss industrialisation targets

Namibia will miss its target of becoming a fully-fledged industrialised country by 2030, Chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on Economic and Public Administration Natangwe Ithete, has warned. 

The country’s industrial ambition is articulated in Vision 2030, which stipulates that the country should be an industrialised nation with a high income by the year 2030. 

However, Ithete said the evidence presented at the reviews is that Namibia is not doing well in terms of manufacturing. 

“The committee identified some of the challenges hampering industrialisation and trade enhancement in the country, and due to outdated laws and regulations. Lack of forward and backward linkages between economic sectors, inadequate coordinated planning and implementation for joint project and fragmented business programmes, are other underliers leading to the failure," Ithete said.  

He said this while addressing business personnel and City of Windhoek councillors during a meeting to diagnose economical shortfalls and also visit business sites around the city. 

 The former Finance Deputy Minister called for a complete overhaul of the country's education system and tax regulations, which are fingered as contributing to the country's declining economic competitive ranking, among other challenges experienced.

 "Namibia's resource base is highly relevant for the industrial development agenda, but what is clear is that the nation will have to chart an inclusive growth agenda. Yet for inclusiveness to be operationalised, education and development systems of the country need substantial overhaul with particular emphasis on vocational and technical training," he said. 

Ithete implored the government and local authorities to improve and capacitate the SME sector so that it absorbs the unemployed youth in the city and also facilitate the integration of many SMEs into the formal economy, so they are able to pay tax and contribute to the state coffer. 

"The informal sector has contributed significantly to the growth and prosperity of many economies when carefully harnessed," he said. 

The City of Windhoek’s management was commended for its proactive smart vision of advancing technological aspects into water metering and electricity as the nation embraces the fourth industrial revolution. 

Meanwhile, Acting CEO of the City of Windhoek Obrien Hekandjo said business activities have gone down in the CBD, with SMEs showing a decline of 40% in market participatory activity, as some shops and complexes remain empty. 

"Some of the challenges we noted, are the suppressed spending by consumers and the market at large, aging infrastructure, short business operating hours, whereby after 18h00 you find the town is empty without any economic activities. Lack of residential property in the CBD is another factor, coupled with high rental prices," Hekandjo said.

 In addition, he said the CBD's sluggish performance is due to new bigger developments moving out of the city centre, while others harbour the view that the CBD is unattractive.  

To reignite the business boom, Hekandjo said, there is a need to harmonise Public-Private Partnerships, invest in CBD empty spaces to make them attractive, including investment in repairs, maintenance and upgrades of buildings, shops and all infrastructures in the CBD. 

"Council also wishes to give special rates to business-owners so that they can beautify their places and increase its spending and, in some instances, donate land for investment attraction," he said. 

Windhoek Economic Development strategy, Investment Incentive and Promotion; Tourism development, and Market and Development Master Plan, are coined as key action plans to turn around the once glorious business activity-infested City. 


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Last modified on Wednesday, 14 September 2022 19:18

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