Outgoing executive secretary for United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Dr. Carlos Lopez has outlined regional integration, good governance and structural transformation of the economy as the most important factors for country growth. Lopez was speaking at the Invest in Namibia Conference that is underway in Windhoek under the theme: Promoting Investment for Inclusive Growth and Industrialisation. According to Lopez: “Namibia is an excellent investment destination. Although more is done to achieve industrialization, but not at the desired rate.” Lopez is optimistic that the ongoing precarious global economic climate is a temporary phase and placed emphasis on Africa’s ability to withstand the tough times. In his address, President Hage Geingob said despite the slow growth on a national front, opportunities for investment still exist in Namibia. “We understand that there is more to investment than positive economic outlooks and although it may not seem comfortable to invest at the moment, it may turn out to be the most profitable decision in the long term. In the current difficult economic outlook lies opportunity for those that are bold,” he said.
He assured potential investors that they can put your trust in the Namibian institutions and political system. “We are commited to the policy of transparency and accountability and while I will work tirelessly alongside my team to promote Namibia as a viable investment destination, I would like to once again re-iterate that the Presidency welcomes courtesy visits and engagements with business people, but the tendency to seek appointment for the specific discussion of business plans and tenders is not welcome,” Geingob said. Namibia’s growth over the years has drawn a lot of attention on the international arena, but Geingob is of the view that the country’s success story has also led to some challenges internally. “Due to rapid economic growth, the economy has expanded by a factor of close to 30 times in nominal terms. This has put some pressure on infrastructure development, including electricity, water and transport. If these critically enabling infrastructure are not up scaled very soon, it will restrain Namibia’s growth outlook,” he said.
He added: “Just to be clear, this is not a Namibia specific challenge, but is something that is experienced by the entire African continent due to rapid economic growth. However, as I stated before, these challenges present enormous opportunity for investors.” He said to entice private investment, Government decided to open the economy by actively embracing Public Private Partnerships that meet the expectation of both parties. “After all, one of the key tenets of the Harambee Prosperity Plan is partnership. It must, however, be partnerships that are mutually beneficial and grounded in the spirit of mutual trust and transparency,” he said. Geingob also spoke about the need to address inequality and Namibia pursuance to provide a sound business environment. The conference will focus on topics such as energy diversification;transport and logistics sector expansion;manufacturing;tourism;agro-processing for food security;affordable housing and property development opportunities and potential investment in health infrastructure.
By Staff Reporter