Namibia’s global competitive ranking improves


Namibia has improved on its global competitive ranking outperforming some regional economies that had previously been ranking better.


The local economy ranked 100 out of 140 countries and emerged as the ninth most competitive country on the African continent, since three North African countries were ranked better: Tunisia (87), Algeria (92) and Egypt (94).


Namibia also took the  6th  position of the most competitive economy in Sub-Saharan Africa behind Mauritius (49), South Africa (67), Seychelles (74), Botswana (90) and Kenya (93).

Added to that, Namibia is the ninth most competitive country on the African continent, since three North African countries are ranked better: Tunisia (87), Algeria (92) and Egypt (94).

Except for Seychelles that moved up 10 places compared to 2017, all other of these countries lost ground in competitiveness: South Africa (-5), Botswana (-5), Namibia (-1). 

Economic Association of Namibia’s economist, Klaus Schade said although Namibia improved her scores, while better-ranked countries such as South Africa and Botswana lost some ground, and slipped only one place compared to other African countries that ended up much lower, much more efforts are needed to turn around the loss of competitiveness and catch up with other countries on the continent.


He added, “Despite the launch of the NamBizOne portal and the establishment of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA), business registration remains cumbersome and time-consuming.”

“New technologies are hardly applied and business persons have to drop hard copies of application and registration forms still at various institutions instead of emailing soft copies including proof of payment to a one-window institution.”

Namibia scored 52.7 out of 100 representing a slight improvement of 0.3 compared 2017.

Seychelles improved the most in terms of the scores that went up from 55.2 to 58.5 resulting in a much better ranking, while Mauritius improved the score by 0.8 to 63.7.

Botswana’s score dropped by 0.5 to 54.5 and South Africa’s by 0.1 to 60.8.

Mozambique also lost ground in terms of scores, down by 2.1 to 39.8 and ranking down by eight ranks to place 133.

All other African countries improved their scores.

Schade said that the decline in ranking for most of the African countries despite an improvement in the scores indicates that other countries improved faster resulting in the African countries being left behind.

Namibia performs well in the pillar ‘institutions’ regarding the efficiency of the legal framework and press freedom (both rank 24), budget transparency and judicial independence (both rank 27) as well as property rights (rank 31), while the homicide rate (rank 128), e-participation (116) and quality of land administration (110) are dragging the ranking down.

However, on life expectancy, the country ranks low at 116.

Other rankings are as follows, time to start a business (135), quality of research institutions (111), insolvency regulatory framework (110), as well as in indicators related to internet uses (between 101 and 103).

Schade advised that more also needs to be done to improve ICT skills and access to fast ICT services in the country that are vital for businesses to compete on a regional and global scale and to attract domestic and foreign direct investment.

“New technologies, such as renewable energy sources, provide an opportunity to accelerate access to electricity and hence to ICT services, which will open new business opportunities.”

“Private investment into these sectors should, therefore, receive much stronger support, which would, in turn, reduce the reliance on public funds,” he said.  ?

The new Global Competitiveness Index focused on factors that are relevant for being at the forefront of the new industrial revolution, namely “human capital, innovation, resilience, and agility”.

The GCI is based on 12 pillars: institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product markets, labour market, financial system, market size, business dynamics, and innovation capacity, which are similar to the previous sub-pillars under the three main pillars.