Namibia is a middle-income country endowed with abundant natural resources, natural beauties and friendly people! It has good housing, extensive water supply and excellent municipal services. The country is strategic for business due to its efficient banking, legal, telecommunication and transport (road, rail, air and port) system.
Namibia’s GDP is 12.56 billion US$, GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is 27.02 billion US$ and GDP per capita (PPP) is 11,500 US$ (2017 estimates). Mining and quarrying (mainly diamonds and uranium) account for 12.5 percent of the economy, manufacturing contributes 12.5 percent; agriculture and fishing 9 percent and service sector (wholesale and retail trade, hotel, banking, public administration education and real estate) account for around 60 percent of GDP (2018). The government of Namibia has therefore prioritized to empower key sectors that will drive the economy such as mining, tourism, agriculture, finance, transport and logistics and various manufactured products. It is also improving its education, health, water supply, and nutrition and food security systems for the wellbeing of its people. It is inviting friendly nations like India to work together to achieve these goals.
Economic direction for Namibia as at now is to strengthen productivity and competitiveness of agriculture, mining, tourism sectors; to add value to raw materials; to do more in-country production of food and feed; to the expand local manufacturing for the local and export markets, and to expand the services market especially in the logistics and transportation sectors. The government is keen an open to partnerships and investor on flexible terms. The outlook of the most productive sectors and potential areas of collaboration are here provided:
The mining sector has been the mainstay of the Namibia economy and it accounts for 12.5% of GDP (2018) and provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Namibia is a world-class producer of rough diamonds, uranium oxide, special high-grade zinc, gold bullion and salt. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Marine diamond mining is increasingly becoming important. Namibia possesses the 4th largest uranium deposits in the world. Other minerals are lead, tungsten, gold, tin, fluorspar, manganese, marble and copper.
Strong private investment has been driven by investment in mining. Areas of cooperation and investment in the mining sector include mineral exploration, mining and value addition of minerals for a diversified market. Value addition, in particular, will increase income and reduce the vulnerability of raw products to fluctuating process.
Agriculture and fisheries sectors
Agriculture in Namibia contributes around 5 percent of the national GDP while fisheries contribute 3-4 percent. The rural Namibians (25 – 40%) depend on subsistence agriculture and cattle husbandry for food and livelihood support. Maize, pearl millet, wheat, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; marine and fresh-water fish are produced in the country. Namibia has one of the best fishing resources in the world, owing to its nutrient-enriched water brought up by the Benguela Current. The 1,500km coastline has exceptionally high biological productivity. Agriculture exports constitute animal products, live animals, table grapes and dates (constituting 11% of total Namibian exports). Additionally, mariculture in Namibia is currently expanding as international markets for its farmed oysters and other shellfish are being opened, particularly in Asia.
Potential investment in agriculture and fisheries include irrigated crop production and processing including cereal milling, tilapia and salmon production and processing, mariculture and seafood, fish processing and cold chain in the fish sector, beef production, meat processing and packaging, dairy products, production and distribution of livestock and fish feeds. In recent years, severe drought affected crops and livestock production calling for investment in irrigation and water technologies and research feeding. Investment in irrigation will supplement the government’s effort to eradicate poverty and hunger, to reducing food imports and to boosting rural economies.
Energy to power Namibian factories, mines, farms, schools and offices is obtained from hydropower and thermal sources. Namibia has an installed power generation capacity of 347 MW from hydro (68%), 120 MW coal (23%), 34.5 MW from diesel (7%) and 9.5 MW from solar PV (2%). About 60 percent of electricity is imported primarily through bilateral contracts from South Africa’s Eskom and to a lesser extent, the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). Namibia’s Electricity demand is 657 MW (2015) and has grown at 5 percent over the last 5 years; while electricity consumption is 4 384 GWh growing at 3 percent over the last 5 years. From a resource perspective
Solar irradiation levels in Namibia is the second highest in the world at 3000 kWh/m²/an over a large part of the country. The Government of Namibia has taken steps to increase generation from renewable sources by legislating renewable energy feed-in-tariff. Due to the demand of the Namibian mining sector, NamPower (state-owned entity) is currently seeking equity participation from international power developers. Potential areas of collaboration in energy investment is in large PV solar plant as well as household solar technology appliances.
Namibia is one of the most visited countries in Africa and tourism is an important employer to the local youth and a source of foreign exchange. Namibia has a diversity of world class attractions ranging from the open and vast spaces, the rolling savannah, the world famous desert sand dunes, plenty of wildlife and cultural wealth. There are 12 wildlife and recreation parks including the renowned Etosha National Park and the Sossusvlei sand dunes attracting 1.5 million visitors annually. Vast lands in Central Namibia are being dedicated to game rearing and trophy hunting. Various water sports such as yachting and windsurfing, are available in Walvis Bay located on the Atlantic Ocean.
Possible investment in tourism sector exist in developing accommodation facilities in key places, setting up state-of-the-art conference facilities, cruise tourism, sports tourism, and in developing infrastructure for wildlife and adventure tourism against the backdrop of Namibia’s wilderness areas.
Namibia has improved the ease of doing business
Namibia has been an important investment destination due to robust macroeconomic environment that is politically stable, the independent judicial system, protection of property and contractual rights, good quality of infrastructure and easy access to SADC and other African markets, low inflation (the Namibian dollar is pegged to the South Africa Rand). Namibia enjoys preferential access to landlocked sub-Saharan countries by virtue of its membership to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). It has transparent and easy processes for foreign companies and created favorable legislations for investment.