Strategy to consolidate economic summit key
THE economic growth summit has come and gone, but despite the enormous investment commitments and pledges made in the region of N$50 billion, key lessons and points to ponder emerge.
The successes of the summit have been well documented and the forward thinking has also been presented to key stakeholders, however a clear strategy with pre-determined pathways that can help discern which investor to partner with and whose investment to decline is critically essential.
With the primary aim to advise on bold, practical and evidence-based solutions to address the triple challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty in our country, the High Level Panel on the economy must help attract the right capital that propel Namibia’s growth prospects without future adverse repercussions.
Whilst the focus is on the medium and long-term, the current attention to short term, tactical interventions to complement the National Development Plan 5 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan present landmines that should be diffused that come with investors that seek to take advantage of our country’s position to exploit us.
At this time, Namibia can take a leaf from Rwanda which has from time it decided to revive its economy has had a clear vision and seamless execution on all fronts of the political economy. This has not only seen the east African country experiencing an average GDP growth of 7.4% over the past decade but elevated the country into a shining symbol of African growth.
There is doubting that Rwanda has invested in a clear vision and ability to spot and support entrepreneurial ventures whether commercial or social. As attested by those that have had the chance to interact with the country from the front row seat, one of its main attraction is its ability to set up commercial and social enterprise. In essence, Rwanda could also teach Namibia about the seamless execution of its strategic vision with its approach to foreign direct investment the best example.
As a publication we endorse the notion that in order to grow the Namibian economy, as Namibians, we must do all we can to welcome and promote both domestic and foreign investment, inspire action, marshal our entrepreneurial spirit, root out fraudulent activity and support the community around us.
This matched with positive and beneficial foreign investments is the key to unlocking success of our economy. Therefore in view of the impending investment road shows to the West, the Panel needs to carry with it the spirit of ‘Namibia first’, and negotiate only those deals that bring more returns for Namibia and its people while vehemently declining any investments that disadvantage our own.
The cocktail of policy interventions announced by President Hage Geingob are positive for investment but further require acute monitoring and refining particularly with regards to land, NEEEF and ease of doing business reforms. While we want to open up the system to support investments both local and foreign, loophole exploitable to hurt us in the future should be proactively plugged.