By: Justicia Shipena
The chief executive officer of Namibia Investment Promotion & Development Board (NIPDB), Nangula Uaandja, says that they don’t travel the world selling Namibian projects to foreigners.
Uaandja said this during the commencement of the innovation investment readiness (IIR) week. The IIR, which is scheduled to conclude on 15 July, will present various players in the industry who will deliberate on innovative products and solutions in sectors to promote Namibia as an attractive investment destination.
According to her, some think investor negotiators go and dish out projects to foreigners while leaving Namibians behind.
“When we are running around the world trying to get investors, we don’t sell other people’s projects,” she said.
Uaandja added that there is a need for conversations to attract leads that one can follow up.
“That is how you build trust. People were like you were at the Dubai Expo. How many agreements did you sign? One can’t just meet someone in the morning and sign papers. It’s relationship building.”
At the back of it, during the Namibia Investment Summit in Dubai earlier this year, agriculture minister Calle Schlletwein announced to Dubai’s investors that the government would issue a request for proposals to lease out 11 green schemes in June this year.
The 20th Annual Symposium of the Bank of Namibia shows that Namibia is an upper-middle-income country.
“There are two problems with the category where we are put. We have got two challenges. Our GDP per capita is just over 4 000. Of course, we want to grow, but we have got problem number two, equality.”
In this light, she said Namibia needs to increase investment and make sure that those investments are also in-tradable to increase its export.
“If we can increase that in our formula, our GDP will grow. The rule of investment is that we need to invest more,” she said.
She stated that the private sector requires a change in mindset.
“We need to inject new thinking. According to research, people say our private sector is too small and too comfortable, and they don’t take risks. That is what I’m hearing from the research I am doing.”
At the same event, the presidential economic advisor and green hydrogen commissioner James Mnyupe further promoted the green hydrogen project.
The green hydrogen project is an economic recovery plan to unlock 2GW of renewable electricity generation, which will require producing green hydrogen with other phases designed to scale up to 5GW and 3GW of electrolyser capacity.
“This is part of an economic recovery plan for Namibia,” said Mnyupe.
Speaking on travel and investment, Mnyupe said Namibian people say the presidency and other government officials travelled extensively and questioned what it has to show.
“I think we have raised almost a billion dollars for Namibia, which has a 50 million budget. We have raised a billion dollars in less than 12 months.”
He stated that most of it derives from grant funding.