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SONA2020: Delays in decision-making drive away investors, Geingob

Namibia sometimes fails to concretise investment deals and secure development because of delays in decision-making, President Hage Geingob said in his state of the nation address Thursday.

According to Geingob, he had on different occasions urged ministers to provide answers to prospective investors timely.

“We cannot continue to keep people waiting indefinitely. Whether ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ we must provide responses. I am mindful that with increased perceptions of corruption, Ministers and officials may be apprehensive to take decisions,” he said.

Geingob said investment promotion has been central to his administration’s economic development agenda although there was tapering off in investments from 2016, following completion of major capital projects in the mining and construction sectors.

To mitigate declining investments, he explained, the government aggressively pursued regional and international investment roadshows.

“The 2016 International Invest in Namibia Conference secured 34 investment projects with a total value of N$2.65 billion. The 2019 Economic Growth Summit, convened under the auspices of the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy, mobilized N$14 billion in investment and financial commitments,” he also said.

However, the new Cabinet is enjoined to timeously provide responses. SME development recorded satisfactory improvements over the term.

He said following the closure of the SME Bank, the government, through the Development Bank of Namibia established SME Centers in three regions, to respond to SME funding needs.

The president explained that the Development Bank of Namibia approved N$425 million for SME projects between 2017 and 2020, benefitting 318 SMEs.

Furthermore, Geingob said to address the hurdle of non-collateralised lending, the government introduced the Skills Based Lending facility; the credit guarantee scheme; mentorship programmes and facilitated the establishment of 100 and 21 rural youth enterprises to the tune of N$130 million.

Wonder Guchu

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