Namibia took centre stage in New York last week, where the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) conducted a series of investment promotion activities on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that ended on 26 September 2023.
“While the impact of these sessions and meetings will only be felt in the long-term, the NIPDB deems this to have been a successful mission, as our short-term objectives, focused on obtaining access to the right audience, participating at the right platforms and furthering objectives of building strategic relationships were attained,” reads an NIPDB statement.
As part of the process of attracting investments into the country, the NIPDB leverages several platforms to create awareness about Namibia as an investment destination.
“The value proposition of events, such as the UNGA, is their convening power of bringing together high-profile global leaders and decision-makers in one space, providing a unique platform for strategic information dissemination, to address misconceptions about Namibia and build investor confidence through interventions, such as investor meetings and investment summits,” the investment board stated.
While the Namibian economy recorded positive growth over the past two years, with a 4.2% growth rate in 2022, foreign and domestic investments remain the most viable levers that Namibia can pull to bring about sustainable economic growth and quality employment creation.
Following the collective efforts of public and private sector stakeholders, Namibia is slowly reaping the results of persistent and deliberate investment promotion activities.
This is evidenced by data released by the Greenfield Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Performance Index, which measures FDI attracted in proportion to a country’s economic size, which ranked Namibia number one in Africa and 13th globally in 2022.
The NIPDB further stated that it remains cognizant that securing tangible investments is a strategic imperative for the nation to attain its prosperity aspirations.
Conversely, it is important to note that converting leads into investments is a long and arduous process that involves multiple engagements with a potential investor before a final investment decision is made.
The NIPDB kicked off its US mission with curated panel discussions at the Concordia Annual Summit, with particular emphasis on the renewable energy and education sectors.
Nampower managing director Kahenge Haulofu and NIPDB CEO Nangula Uaandja participated in a discussion, themed ‘Investment and Growth Opportunities in Renewable Energy Resources’.
This discussion provided insight into, amongst others, the government’s efforts to enhance private sector participation in the renewable energy industry through interventions such as the National Integrated Resource Plan.
Namibia’s anchor event, ‘Invest in Namibia’, was co-hosted in partnership with Rand Merchant Bank in Namibia, the corporate and investment banking division of FirstRand Namibia Group.
During this session, public and private sector leaders engaged potential investors and shared information about Namibia’s investment environment and opportunities available in the priority areas of oil and gas, green hydrogen and mining.
Mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo, who was the keynote speaker at the event, provided a detailed overview of the mining and energy landscape in Namibia.
On her part, NIPDB CEO Nangula Uaandja provided in-depth information about the investment opportunities, while showcasing Namibia’s unique opportunities and comparative advantages as an investment destination.
Amplifying Namibia’s ambitions to become the sustainable energy capital of Africa, Uaandja highlighted that due to its unparalleled wind and solar resources, Namibia is one of five countries in the world with the potential to produce Green Hydrogen at competitive rates.
The ‘Invest in Namibia’ session was also attended by other political leaders, including the agriculture, water and land reform minister, Calle Schlettwein; education, arts and culture minister Anna Nghipondoka, as well as higher education, training and innovation minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi.
“These engagements are critically important because they are an opportunity to gain direct insights on the needs and expectations of investors and how to better position our country to attract quality investments,” reads the NIPDB statement.
In addition to these sessions, meetings were held with potential investors and collaborative partners, including the Cherie Blair Foundation.
In contributing to discussions on pertinent global issues, the NIPDB further participated in the Planning for Climate Commission report launch, organised by the Green Hydrogen Organisation, highlighting the key strategies required to make planning and permitting for renewable energy and green hydrogen projects faster and fairer.
Another key session facilitated by the World Economic Forum focused on sharing investment facilitation strategies that developing countries, such as Namibia, can employ to attract climate-aligned Foreign Direct Investment.
This is particularly important, as developing countries often face daunting funding gaps for climate-related projects.