Industrialisation ministry hits big milestones in 2023

Lucia Iipumbu

The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade recorded tremendous progress in the implementation of key programmes aimed at contributing to the growth of the economy and job creation during 2023.

During the year, industrialisation minister Lucia Iipumbu held town hall meetings in all 14 regions of Namibia to explain the new programmes and policies.

According to a recent statement issued by ministry spokesperson Elijah Mukubonda, the ministry created policies, laws and strategies to facilitate ease of doing business, promote investments, create industries, support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and expand and develop export markets for Namibian products.

He said the ministry gave priority to the logistics, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture sectors in a bid to make Namibia realise its Vision 2030 objectives to become an industrialised country.

Apart from reaching out to international entities for foreign direct investments to grow the economy, the ministry also reached out to other countries to learn about best practices, noted the statement.

This was done in conjunction with entities like the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), which hosted promotion events for business opportunities in the country on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September, as well as expos in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

“The 2023 period witnessed a gradual drive to enhance the industrial sector; promote investment through legal and regulatory frameworks to industrialise Namibia; strengthen its trade locally, regionally, and globally; and to enable small and medium enterprises to flourish,” the statement reads.

Listing the legislative milestones, Mukubonda said the minister had facilitated the enactment and promulgation of the Metrology Act, which provides legal units of measurements and legal metrology, technical regulations and national measurement standards.

“The act designates the Namibia Standards Institution (NSI) as the head of metrology in Namibia, and repealed the Trade Metrology Act of 1973,” he said, adding that the property practitioners bill, which will replace the Namibia Estates Agents Act, is at an advanced stage.

“The competition bill will be aligned to the National Competition Policy 2020-2025; while the Namibia investment promotion and facilitation bill will encompass the treatment and support for local and foreign investors,” the statement reads.

The ministry also drafted the National Informal Economy, Startups and Entrepreneurship Development Policy to support enterprise development; the sustainable special economic zone bill built on the 2022-2027 National Policy Sustainable Special Economic Zones Policy.

The ministry drafted the National Cooling Strategy for development, promotion and regulation of the heating, ventilation, refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors under the ministry’s National Ozone unit.

The focus of the ministry’s Growth at Home strategy is sustained economic growth and wealth creation through diversification of Namibia’s economy to boost manufacturing and value addition, and increase capacity for local firms to produce and supply goods and services to the domestic and export markets.

The ministry promoted the manufacturing sector to grow and diversify exports and export markets; and the development of MSMEs implementing the Liquor Act, the consumer protection policy and, Namibia investment promotion and facilitation bill and National Sustainable Special Economic Zones policy.

Mukubonda said the ministry recognised the vital role of MSMEs in development and revived the Equipment Aid Scheme that has assisted more than 4 000 entrepreneurs since inception.

“Namibia launched the Agoa Utilisation Strategy and Action Plan to increase exports to the USA, while the ministry set up the Agoa National Steering Committee to implement the Agoa Utilisation Strategy and Action Plan for Namibia,” Mukubonda said.

Namibia has ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, and in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations System in Namibia, officially launched Namibia’s National Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA for the period 2022-2027.

According to the ministry, the agreement provides an opportunity for Namibia to increase its intra-African exports and enhance its export-led manufacturing and services capabilities.

Namibia is set to benefit from the AfCFTA, particularly offering opportunities for economic diversification and value chains development and expansion, as means to economic transformation.

According to analysts, Namibia is set to see its gross domestic product increase by between 4,1% (or US$ 1,85 billion) and 4,2% (or US$ 1,93 million).

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