With Foreign Direct Investments plummeting over the past two years, it has become more and more evident that the decline in Namibia’s global economic competitiveness has had a negative impact on the country’s economy.
The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) launched their briefing paper titled the ease of Improving the Business in Namibia in which it lambasted government, stated that continuous policy uncertainty and a lack of accountability is the reason for the sad state of affairs.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 140 countries. Namibia fell by one place in the 2018 Global Competitiveness rankings from 99th to 100th. Despite this Namibia’s score went up by 0.3 to 52.7.
The World Bank’s Doing Business Report is also an annual publication that examines ten pillars that are relevant to operating a business across 190 countries. In the 2019 edition of the report Namibia was ranked at 107th out 190 countries – one place down on the 2018 results. Namibia is positioned seventh out of the SADC countries assessed.
The IPPR stated that the reasons for the current stae of affairs are amongst others: Lack of political will – No pro-investor / pro-business senior political champion. Lack of urgency – Since 2010 Namibia has hardly made any progress, primarily because improving the country’s economic competitiveness was not a political and governance priority.
Bureaucracy – The slow machinery of state is a significant hurdle;
Resistance to new governance mindset and culture – Continued resistance to and push-back against changing the way government works.
Weak fiscal position and fiscal mismanagement – As of 2016, the Namibian government has been hamstrung by a much deteriorated fiscal environment and position.
Policy uncertainty has effectively hamstrung the private sector to a large extent. Business and investor confidence is missing from the Namibian economy to a large extent due to policy uncertainty. A short term solution involves government correcting the policy environment and providing clarity on empowerment and investment policy firstly.”