With its stable government and economy, Namibia offers numerous opportunities in various fields for international investors.
POPULATION AND LANGUAGES
Namibia ranks amongst the most sparsely populated countries in the world with an average population density of approximately three people per square kilometre. The estimated population is estimated at 2.5 million in 2020, of which around 17% live in the capital, Windhoek. Close to 45% of the population live in urban areas, but this is expected to grow to 67% in 2041.
English, the official language, is widely spoken but it is common for people to speak two or more languages. Oshiwambo is the home language of close to 50% of the population. Afrikaans, Otjiherero, Khoekhoegowab (Damara/Nama), Rukwangali, Silozi, Tswana, German and various San languages, as well as other languages are also spoken by different population groups.
SERVICED LAND & HOUSING
Namibia has a huge backlog of affordable serviced land and housing. Several large housing projects have been launched but there are still opportunities forinvestment in this field, especially middle- and low-income housing.
The broad outline for the country’s industrialisation between 2012 and 2030 is provided in Namibia’s Industrial Policy.
Specific targets in Vision 2030 are that the manufacturing and services sectors should constitute about 80% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and that processed goods should account for no less than 70% of total exports. There is, consequently, great potential for manufacturing enterprises that produce processed and value-added goods, as well as services.
Namibia has a wealth of natural resources and local value addition is one of the most important features of Growth at Home, a strategy that is being implemented to advance the country’s industrialisation. The strategy also aims to upgrade and diversify locally manufactured products. Growth at Home, which started in 2015, is being implemented in four phases of five years to 2030 and beyond. Priority industrialisation programmes have been identified in the following sectors: agro- and fish-processing, steel manufacturing and metal fabrication, transportation equipment, manufacturing, automotive industry, chemical industry, mineral beneficiation, green economy, building material and furniture, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
PRIVATE PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS
The government has created a conducive environment for Public Private Partnership (PPP) investment. This includes the National PPP Policy of 2012, the Private Public Partnership Act, Act No. 4 of 2017 and PPP regulations. Investment opportunities include, amongst others, agriculture, renewable energy, public services in the health and education sectors, housing, land servicing, water provision, public asset maintenance and transport and logistics.
SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE REGIME
The Special Economic Zone regime will replace the Export Processing Zone which has been phased out. The new regime, which is being finalised, will definethe governance structure, as well as applicable incentives.
Namibia’s strategic location on the southwestern coast of Africa places it in an ideal position to facilitate trade between landlocked southern African countries and global markets through four well-developed transport corridors. The Walvis Bay Corridor Group promotes trade through four corridors: the Trans Kalahari Corridor (Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa), Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Corridor (Namibia, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo), the Trans Cunene Corridor (Namibia and Angola) and the Trans Oranje Corridor which links the port of Lüderitz with the Northern Cape Province in South Africa and the capital Windhoek.
Namibia enjoys trade preference with the United States until 2025 under AGOA, and 100% customs-free access to the European Union market under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). It is a signatory to the SADC Protocol on Trade and has ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
The country’s power utility, NamPower, plans to increase the generation of renewable energy by an additional 100 MW by 2023, while independent power producers (IPPs) are anticipated to generate an additional 124 MW of renewable energy.
The liberalisation of participation in energy generation through the Modified Single Buyer Model has created opportunities for investments
in renewable energy, aimed at reducing Namibia’s reliance on imported electricity. Renewable energy projects include solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and biofuel projects.
Namibia ranks among the top five most competitive tourist destinations in Africa. It is a country wide open spaces and landscapes ranging from the Namib Desert to the woodlands and waterways in the northeast of the country. Opportunities in the tourism industry include investment in accommodation facilities and PPPs in community conservancies.