Namibia to unlock US$1bn investment at Economic Summit in July

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Timo Shihepo

Windhoek - Namibia’s economic summit, which is earmarked to revive the country’s ailing economy by attracting investment worth at least US$1 billion, is slated from 31 July to 1 August.

Namibia’s economy has been facing tough times for the past three years prompting government to introduce mechanisms to revive the economy’s fortunes.

One of those mechanisms include the Economic Summit that was announced by President Hage Geingob during this year’s state of the nation address. At the time, Geingob did not mention when the summit was going to be held.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, the summit will be a two-day event to be held under the theme: ‘Economic Revival for Inclusive Growth – Strengthening the Namibian House’.

The Information Ministry said the summit was aimed at reviving and growing the Namibian economy, creating job opportunities, promoting Namibia as an attractive investment and tourist destination, identifying and removing bottlenecks that are slowing the growth of the local economy.

A yet unidentified High-Level Panel on the Namibian economy will organise the summit. About 600 delegates from around the world will join local and regional investors. The summit is also targeting the private sector, development partners, financial institutions, industry leaders, the youth and organised labour.

“It is expected that new investments worth US$1 billion by both local and foreign investors would be attracted over the next two years. It is expected that these new investments would contribute towards economic revival and create new employment opportunities,” said Information Deputy Minister Engel Nawatiseb at a media briefing last Wednesday.

During the summit, provision will be made for speakers as well as panel discussions to debate topical issues on the growth of the Namibian economy to address poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Namibia has one of the worst inequality statistics in the world, while the unemployment rate has been increasing due to the negative growth of the economy. Statistics released by Namibia Statistics Agency on Thursday revealed that the Namibian economy has failed to grow and rather contracted in the first quarter of 2019.  The economy has now contacted in 11 consecutive quarters.

“There is a genuine effort on the part of the government to augment and supplement interventions aimed at growing the local economy,” said Nawatiseb.

More information showed that the summit will provide for concurrent breakaway sessions to debate public-private-partnerships to revive the construction sector, investment in infrastructure projects to help stimulate growth, employment creation, manufacturing and unlocking agriculture towards sustainable food security and job creation.

  The ministry will release the summit’s full programme in two weeks’ time. 

 

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