N$50 billion (USD3.4 billion) was reportedly raised during the successful two-day Namibian Economic Growth Summit in Windhoek this week, of which N$20 billion has already been validated as true investment commitments and N$30 billion is pending verification.
The investment pledges span across a variety of sectors in the Namibian industry, including information technology, housing, petroleum, biomass manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, energy, and tourism.
The Development Bank of South Africa in partnership with Development Bank of Namibia pledged N$8 billion of which N$5.5 billion and N$2.5 billion is to be invested in profit-making projects developed by NamPower and TransNamib, respectively.
Ohlthaver & List pledged to invest N$300 million in fishing, property and business ventures and another N$900 million in a joint venture to expand internet connectivity provision in Namibia.
Ongos Valley guaranteed N$4.3 billion towards real estate and housing investments, while Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) and AIM-Old Mutual pledged over $250 million for profit generating projects within the housing development sector and N$4 billion in renewal energy investments, respectively.
The Namibian Economic Growth Summit held under the theme “Economic Revival for Inclusive Growth: Strengthening the Namibian House” took place on 31 July-1 August to explore ways to grow Namibia’s economy, create job opportunities, and promote the country as a profitable investment location.
Over 800 Namibian and international participants comprising potential investors, businesspeople, members of the diplomatic corps, captains of industry and related government ministries and agencies attended the economic summit and its topical breakaway sessions.
The summit was organized by the High Level Panel on the Namibian Economy that was appointed by President Geingob in April 2019 to develop and list practical solutions to address the triple challenge of unemployment, income/wealth inequalities and poverty.
“This Economic Growth Summit is therefore a flagship output of the work of the panel and is expected to yield a private-sector led economic revival,” said Geingob during the opening of the summit.
He added that “our economic situation has compelled us to rethink our developmental path, which has had a disproportionate reliance on Government expenditure.” This approach, he said, could not be sustainable in the long run spurring a need to buttress ongoing reforms, to ensure a more conducive business environment and reduction in bureaucratic bottlenecks.
“The private sector as the engine for economic growth should therefore subscribe to our common agenda for inclusive growth and shared prosperity,” he stated.
Geingob also announced legislative adjustments under consideration such as The National Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill (NEEEB) to be tabled in Parliament the next six months; the Namibia Investment Promotion Act of 2016 (NIPA); the Central Procurement Board of Namibia; Loan-to-Value Regulations; and changes to existing VISA regulations.
Addressing the media on the outcomes of the summit, Chairperson of the High Level Panel on the Namibian Economy, Johannes !Gawaxab, said the stated investment announcements exceeded the panel’s targets and signified the beginning of a new narrative towards the revival of the local economy, creating employment and making profitable partnerships between the public and private sector.
!Gawaxab added that, “The investment committee received many proposals and submissions about projects, investments and commitments. They have assessed, verified and validated [the commitments] and we’ve even received letters to that effect from some investors,” he said.
!Gawaxab said the investments pending verification included submissions from “reputable institutions” such as the Africa Export-Import Bank and the Old Mutual Investment Group.
Additional reporting: NAMPA