Namibia’s ranking drops in latest “Doing Business Report”

 

Namibia has dropped by one rank in the World Bank’s latest doing business report although experts have said the score is slightly better than that of the last report.

The report provides among others governments, investors and financial institutions with information on factors crucial for investors.

It covers ten areas, such as the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity or registering property, with a total of 45 indicators.

Namibia’s score improved by 0.24 to ?60.53, yet the country dropped from 106 to 107 out of a total of 190 countries.

 

 Namibia, however, ranks seven out of 14 member states of the Southern African Development Community like last year.

While five SADC member states improved the ranking by up to five places (Mauritius) and one country maintained the ranking (South Africa), most SADC countries dropped by up to seven places (Tanzania). ?

 

“Mauritius remained the top performer within SADC moving up five ranks to rank 20. Two other countries outside SADC, but in the region, showed impressive improvements, namely Kenya and Rwanda. Kenya moved up by 19 ranks to place 61 and Rwanda by 12 ranks to place 29.”

“Rwanda is the second most competitive economy in Africa after Mauritius, a ranking it achieved over a relatively short period of time,” said economist at the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) Klaus Schade.

He said Namibia improved the ranking in three out of the ten indicators, namely in dealing with construction permits (up by 24 places to rank 83), enforcing contracts (up by one to rank 58) and in registering property (also up by one to rank 174).

 The country maintained the ranking regarding starting a business at 172 out of 190 countries. ?

In contrast, Namibia lost ground in six categories: Getting electricity (down by three to 71), getting credit (down by five to 73), paying taxes (down by 2 to 81), protecting minority investors (down by ten to 99), resolving insolvency (down by two to 125) and trading across borders (down by four to 136). ?

Said Schade, “Since NDP 4 in 2012, Namibia aims at being the most competitive economy in Africa. This target is repeated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and NDP5.”

“We have missed the target again by a wide margin. Even though Namibia maintained the score in most indicators, the country slipped ranks again, which clearly indicates that other countries have made more progress over the years.”

“The number of days to start a business remains unchanged at 66 since 2010 despite the establishment of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA).”

He added that despite the launch of the NamBizOne portal there is no progress with the single window facility, which would accelerate business registrations.

“Although the score in the quality of land administration improved, it remained in the lowest 30%. The speedy implementation of resolutions taken at the land conference concerning urban land reform and related matters could improve the access to urban land as well as the time and cost of registration,” said the economist.

 

Namibia also aims at becoming a logistics hub for southern Africa and although the country improved the ranking in trading across borders from 151 in 2010 to 136 now, the ranking has deteriorated from 123 out of 189 in 2016.

Schade adds that the declining ranking is another example for progress by other countries since Namibia maintained the scores in all indicators since 2016.

“The administrative processes that result in long times and high cost to comply with export requirements compared to import requirements need to be reviewed, not only to support the ambition to become the logistics hub but in order to ease access to foreign markets for Namibian businesses,” he said.