A more competitive private sector could boost growth and jobs in Namibia, World Bank report
14-07-2022 10:41:32 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 1844 | Tags:

Namibia can transform its economy, create jobs, reduce inequality, and recover faster from the impact of COVID-19 by deepening private sector reforms and increasing private sector participation in its renewable energy, climate-smart agribusiness, housing, and other key sectors, according to a report published today by IFC and the World Bank.

The report, the Namibia Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) , highlights opportunities for Namibia to attract investment and achieve sustainable private sector-driven growth. The report suggests policy reforms to encourage competition and public private partnerships (PPPs), especially in the energy and water sectors. 

The CPSD further points to the need for greater efficiencies in Namibia's logistics and trade facilitation sectors and highlights untapped opportunities in digital transformation and the water sector for green and resilient growth.

After decades of strong growth, Namibia's economy has more recently slowed, a process worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, with the commodities market in disarray, drought, and other factors, Namibia's economy contracted by 8.5 percent. Even so, the country offers excellent investment and growth opportunities especially in renewable energy, climate-smart agribusiness, and housing, according to the CPSD.

" The World Bank is committed to supporting the government to enact reforms aimed at attracting private investment to diversify the economy and create jobs ," said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Namibia . 

" Namibia has the opportunity to create a more conducive business environment, revitalize its private sector, and reposition its economy on a greener, more resilient and inclusive path ," said Adamou Labara, IFC's Country Manager for Namibia . " The CPSD identifies ways to unlock private sector development in key sectors to address challenges of high youth unemployment, poverty, and inequality ."

The CPSD notes Namibia's world-class but largely untapped renewable energy resources as particularly poised for development. The country has one of the highest solar irradiation levels globally and excellent wind resources. Strengthening private sector participation in renewable energy will enable Namibia to transition into a regional, green power supplier.

Namibia also shows promise for climate-smart investments in the livestock and horticulture sectors, which could generate income and employment. The private sector is well placed to help develop and scale approaches for innovative water solutions such as desalination, where Namibia is already a leader.

The CPSD aligns closely with Namibia's Fifth National Development Plan and the Harambee Prosperity Plans. The 2021 Industrial Policy and Vision 2030, both development plans issued by the government of Namibia, emphasize the role of the private sector in reaching Namibia's goal of becoming a high-income, industrialized nation focused on increased innovation, productivity, and value addition, one with vibrant Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and export sectors.

The full report can be accessed here

www.worldbank.org