Namibia ranks low on investment attractiveness

By Hilary Mare

NAMIBIA ranked forty-seventh out of 77 destinations in terms of investment attractiveness, Canada-based public policy research organisation the Fraser Institute’s 2020 Survey of Mining Companies, released late last month, has shown.
Namibia was the only African jurisdiction that did not improve its policy perception index score therefore experiencing a 13-point decline in its policy score, dropping in the overall policy ranking from 14 out of 76 jurisdictions in 2019.
Meanwhile, although the median score for Africa on the investment attractiveness index improved by nine points in 2020, it remained the second-least attractive jurisdiction for investment, with a median score of 60.83.
Africa’s median policy perception index score also increased by almost 20 points and it is no longer the worst-performing region in terms of policy environment for mining activities.
In fact, all African jurisdictions, with the exception of Namibia, increased their policy scores, the survey noted.
Botswana is the highest-ranked jurisdiction in Africa on policy, ranking fifteenth out of 77. This was an improvement of eight points, compared with its ranking in 2019.
Three African countries – Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo – were in the bottom 10 of the survey rankings this year based on policy. Zimbabwe was also among the bottom 10 in the previous eight years.
“The survey is an attempt to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment. The survey was circulated electronically to approximately 2 200 individuals between August 6th to November 6th, 2020. Survey responses have been tallied to rank provinces, states, and countries according to the extent that public policy factors encourage or discourage mining investment.
“We received a total of 276 responses for the survey, providing sufficient data to evaluate 77 jurisdictions. By way of comparison, 76 jurisdictions were evaluated in 2019, 83 in 2018, 91 in 2017, and 104 in 2016. The number of jurisdictions that can be included in the study tends to wax and wane as the mining sector grows or shrinks due to commodity prices and sectoral factors,” the Fraser Institute said.
The top jurisdiction in the world for investment based on the Investment Attractiveness Index is Nevada, which moved up from third place in 2019. Arizona, which ranked 9th in 2019, moved into 2nd place this year. Saskatchewan climbed eight spots from 11th in 2019 to 3rd in 2020. Western Australia ranked 4th this year after topping the ranking last year, and Alaska dropped a spot from 4th in 2019 to 5th in 2020. Rounding out the top 10 are Quebec, South Australia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Idaho, and Finland.
When considering both policy and mineral potential in the Investment Attractiveness Index, Venezuela ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment followed by Argentina: Chubut, and Tanzania. Also, in the bottom 10 (beginning with the worst) are Indonesia, Argentina: La Rioja, Bolivia, Argentina: Mendoza, Zimbabwe, Spain, and Michigan.