Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board

Author: Johan Steenkamp

NIPDB analysis of the National Budget 2024/25

Windhoek, 29 February 2024

In his New Year’s speech for 2024, President Hage Geingob themed this year as the ‘Year of Expectations’. In so doing, the President had envisioned that following the Government’s promise of prosperity and the subsequent strategic interventions to attain this ambitious goal, this will be the year that elements of this vision are expected to start manifesting. The budget presented by Honourable Iipumbu Shiimi yesterday indicates that the strategy is starting to bear fruit and reflects good news for everyone from individuals to business entities.

The 2024/25 national budget is anchored in the overarching theme “Continuing the legacy of His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob by caring for the Namibian child”, and is focused on the deliberate intention to bring prosperity closer to the Namibian people by promoting economic growth, while reinforcing the government’s vision of building an inclusive private-sector led economy. We therefore welcome the government’s efforts to broaden the country’s tax base, and implementation of certain provisions in the SADC Protocols to align with regional benchmarks.

Notwithstanding the recent greylisting and related reputational risks, the Namibian economy has been on an upward trajectory in the last three years, with a growth rate of 6.5% in 2022 and an average of 7% in the first three quarters of 2023 and record-breaking Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of N$ 17.5 billion for 2022 and N$ 26.4 billion for the first three quarters of 2023. With an increasing global presence and unparalleled natural resources, the Namibian economy has the potential to grow significantly provided the country sustains a progressive business environment, underpinned by a collective priority towards constraints elimination, policy reforms, skills and MSME development, amongst others.

As Namibia shapes her trajectory as a viable investment destination, the amendments in the national budget are therefore consistent with these aspirations. The budget reflects the government’s efforts to bolster economic growth by improving Namibia’s investment attractiveness, through unlocking domestic and foreign investment, developing a conducive environment for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive and creating opportunities for employment. Furthermore, notable tax relief measures for individuals and businesses, such as reduced income and employee taxes, a higher VAT threshold and reduced transfer duties, carry positive impacts for Namibians. We could not have asked for a more fitting tribute to the legacy of the late President Dr. Hage G. Geingob, who advocated for bold and innovative actions to unlock the country’s economic potential and deliver prosperity to Namibians.

At the NIPDB, supporting the government’s economic development agenda remains at the core of our activities. We therefore applaud Honourable Shiimi, the entire Ministry staff and the National Planning Commission for the impactful changes in the budget, particularly relating to targeted interventions and initiatives, some of which are outlined below:

● Increase in the VAT threshold from annual turnover of N$ 500,000 to N$ 1million will not only ease the administrative burden on small businesses, but will also accelerate their growth, by enabling them to compete effectively (with a comparatively lower cost of providing goods and services) and play a pivotal role in economic development.

● Gradual reduction in the corporate tax rate for non-mining entities from 32% to 28% will contribute towards improving Namibia’s competitiveness and provide extra cash to large corporations leading to potential further reinvestment in projects aimed at spurring the economic activities and increased employment;

● A reduced corporate tax rate for MSMEs as defined from 32% to 20% shows the government’s commitment to encourage the growth of these entities;

● The introduction of a dividends tax at 10%, aligned with regional benchmarks, will broaden the tax base and eventually reduce the tax burden currently heavily carried by individuals through PAYE;

● The reduction of the corporate tax rate from 32% to 20% and zero-rating on VAT for approved Special Economic Zones (for up to 10 years) will encourage investments in projects aligned with national priorities of mineral beneficiation/value   addition, agro-processing and business process outsourcing. This intervention contributes to the government’s industrialisation agenda and drives further investments in the country;

● Limitation of assessed losses to a maximum of 10 years aligns with regional benchmarks and most importantly will ensure that large corporations will also contribute to the tax coffers, thereby broadening the tax base. This will also reduce the tax burden currently heavily carried by individuals through PAYE;

● The limitation of interest deduction to non-resident related parties is also an intervention that aligns with regional benchmarks. Aside from the obvious benefits of increased tax revenue and curbing transfer pricing challenges, this provision will also encourage corporations to source competitive financing mechanisms including sourcing local capital to finance investment projects;

● Increase in the tax threshold from N$50,000 to N$100,000 and an inflation adjustment of 2.5% means that many Namibians especially those in the lower income brackets will be able to have more disposable income which consequently contributes to economic growth;

● Investment in skills development through the Youth Employment Tax Incentive (My First Job) by contributing 50% towards the internship cost, limited to N$ 50,000 per annum per intern. This intervention will increase Namibia’s competitiveness as skills availability has been identified as the number one consideration for investors before making a final investment decision. The NIPDB is proud to partner with the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises to roll out this project on 01 April 2024.

The 2024/25 budget represents a pivotal move in sculpting a thriving Namibian economy and reaffirming the government’s commitment to inclusive prosperity.

About NIPDB:
The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) is mandated to promote and facilitate investment by foreign and Namibian investors, and coordinate MSME activities across all levers of the economy, with the aim of contributing to economic development and job creation.

Issued by : Nangula Uaandja
Chairperson and CEO

Contact Person : Catherine Shipushu

Senior Manager: Marketing, Branding and Communications
Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board
Telephone: +264 83 333 8636
Mobile: +264 81 127 9069

Namibia Gearing Up for the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit

Namibia is gearing up to make its mark at the upcoming 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) in Abuja, Nigeria from 26 February to 1 March 2024. Led by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Honourable Tom Alweendo and supported by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), a business delegation with interests in participating in the upstream oil and gas services sector will be representing Namibia’s interests at this esteemed event.

The NIES has established itself as a prominent platform for African nations to engage with the global energy community, leveraging on the successes of previous editions to foster collaboration, knowledge exchange and investment opportunities. Namibia’s participation underscores its commitment to learning from Nigeria’s journey in energy development, particularly in unlocking local content creation and driving socio-economic growth.

A highlight of the summit will be the National Oil Companies (NOCs) Forum, which will bring together CEOs and key stakeholders from various African NOCs. Under the sub-theme “Sustainable Strategies for Energy Leadership: Navigating Security, Transition, and Finance in a Changing World,” this session is poised to shape the future of the energy sector across the continent.

On the sidelines of the summit, the NIPDB will host two key events:
NIES-Namibia B2B Forum 2024
Date: Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Time: 14:00 – 19:00
Venue: Abuja (Location to be confirmed)

The Business-to-Business (B2B) networking event aims to foster collaborations between Nigerian and Namibian businesses. By providing a platform for networking, knowledge sharing and partnership building, the forum seeks to promote market access, investment opportunities and technological advancements between the two countries.

Discussions will also focus on Namibia’s energy ambitions and investment opportunities in exploration. Through interactive sessions, participants will gain valuable insights into potential partnerships and avenues for growth.

Invest in Namibia Forum
Date: Thursday, 29 February 2024
Time: 09:30 – 13:00 pm
Venue: Abuja (Location to be confirmed)

This session will showcase Namibia as a premier investment destination across various economic sectors. Through presentations, panel discussions, and interactive sessions, the forum will highlight key sectors of interest and facilitate connections between potential investors and Namibian entities.

For inquiries and attendance, please contact:
Mr. Hafeni Motsi
Senior Energy Investment Analysis
+264 (0) 81 144 1476

Mrs. Theresa Sipiho
Investment & Export Promotion Attaché (Sub-Sahara Africa)

NIPDB message of condolences following the untimely passing of H.E. President Dr Hage Gottfried Geingob

NIPDB message of condolences following the untimely passing of H.E. President Dr Hage Gottfried Geingob

On Sunday, 04 February 2024, the Namibian nation woke up to the painful news of the untimely death of His Excellency President Hage Gottfried Geingob, who passed away in a local hospital in Windhoek, surrounded by his wife and children.

The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) hereby extends our most sincere condolences to President Geingob’s family and the rest of the Namibian nation.

President Geingob was a respected leader among his peers and the chief architect of Namibia’s constitution, which has remained the governing instrument and cornerstone of our democracy and political stability for over 30 years. In this difficult moment, we pay tribute to a visionary leader who embodied a palpable commitment to nation building, who led with humility and an enduring passion for the wellbeing of his people.

His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob valued efficiency and stability. He has often emphasised that Namibia “is not a one-man show” and his legacy is rooted in his belief and ethos that Namibia is a country that is efficiently run through systems, processes and institutions. As we navigate this difficult time of transition, we assure our partners and stakeholders across the world of our commitment to upholding the legacy of President Hage Geingob and his commitment to the rule of law, transparency and accountability through efficient Government mechanisms.

Furthermore, we are honoured to serve H.E. President Dr. Nangolo Mbumba, who embodies the same principles and dedication as President Geingob, to advance Namibia as a viable investment destination. Namibia remains open for business, and the NIPDB’s mandate to promote and facilitate sustainable investments into the country, remains our enduring commitment and a fitting tribute to honour the legacy of our late president.

In this regard, we would like to assure all our stakeholders that the NIPDB’s operations will continue, with due sensitivity and respect to the current state of affairs in the country. In the coming days, we anticipate the government to make formal announcements pertaining to the national protocols to be observed during the period of mourning leading up to President Geingob’s funeral.

While we endeavour to maintain our usual level of service during this time, we request your patience in the event that disruptions are experienced, and we thank you in advance for your understanding.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact:

Margareth Gustavo
Executive Director: Strategy & Branding
Phone: +264 (0) 83 333 8630
Mobile: +264 (0) 81 125 4359

François van Schalkwyk
Executive Director: Investment & New Ventures
Phone: +264 (0) 83 333 8620
Mobile: +264 (0) 81 142 6216

Catherine Shipushu
Senior Manager: Communications, Marketing, Branding
Phone: +264 (0) 83 333 8636
Mobile: +264 (0) 81 1279069

Issued by:
Nangula Uaandja
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer

Namibia to host Inaugural Global African Hydrogen Summit 2024

Johan Steenkamp

Dubai, 08 December 2023

As part of Namibia’s COP28 programme, the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF), DMG events and Vasco Da Gama Energy on 06 November 2023 officially launched the inaugural Global African Hydrogen Summit (GAh2S), to be hosted in Windhoek on 03 – 05 September 2024.

Themed “From Ambition to Action: Fuelling Africa’s Green Industrial Revolution”, the three-day Summit will convene heads of state, government agencies, industry business leaders, project developers, investors, thought leaders and technologists from across Africa and around the globe to drive critical investments and financing into bankable green energy projects. Project and investment showcases will span the hydrogen, renewables, power, infrastructure, transportation and mobility sectors.

The launch was officiated by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Honourable Tom Alweendo who emphasised that the world is facing an unprecedented climate crisis and that the urgency to transition to clean and sustainable energy sources has never been more apparent. Alweendo added that this has become a global imperative that demands collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, and Namibia is poised to play a pivotal role in this global transition agenda.

Said Alweendo: “Africa’s energy position is changing and it is against this backdrop that as a country we are positioning ourselves as the sustainable energy capital of Africa. This will not only be achieved through the sustainable beneficiation of our primary energy resources, but also through the development of green and blue economic growth and energies, investing in platforms that facilitate dialogue and partnerships, skills and technology transfers, as well as trade between Africa and the rest of the world”.

He continued “the Global African Hydrogen Summit will be the first platform of its kind to be leveraged by African governments, investors, financiers, scholars and the public in order to unlock additional opportunities for our continent and its partners. It will also provide a platform for the global players in the hydrogen value chain to showcase their projects, plans and technologies to the African continent”, said Alweendo.

GAh2S will focus on the global role that Africa expects to play in the hydrogen market and will facilitate collaboration and advance dialogue across policy, investment and the emerging hydrogen value chain. The continent has the potential to harmonise its own industrialisation to become a global powerhouse of green manufactured products, whilst applying a localised multiplier effect, stimulating in-continent value including employment creation, ancillary industries, light manufacturing and natural resource refining – uplifting economies across Africa, whilst sustainably bringing an end to energy poverty.

Clean hydrogen can cover a significant portion of the global energy transition needs, especially in hard-to-abate sectors and industries such as steel manufacturing and aviation. Several African countries—most notably Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia and South Africa—are actively pursuing clean hydrogen production. These countries formed the collective Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance in May 2023 to collaborate on capacity creation, financing, certification, and regulatory and policy agendas of green hydrogen development in Africa. A McKinsey & Company report projects that by 2050, the annual investment required will more than double to US$160 billion, with the focus of investment likely shifting to an expected 43% of capital expenditure spent on hydrogen.

With an abundance of solar and wind energy resources as well as the availability of unpopulated land, Namibia has a unique potential to enable low-cost green hydrogen production. The country is currently investing in the research and development of green hydrogen technologies, through engagement of, and support from, foreign institutions and partner countries like Germany. In May 2023, the government of Namibia and Hyphen Hydrogen Energy announced a deal for the next phase of a US$10 billion green hydrogen project that will export green molecules to Europe once complete. Long-term offtake agreements are expected in this case. The development of a stable green hydrogen market has the potential to facilitate investment in skills for the domestic workforce, enhance local jobs creation and thus uplift livelihoods.

Convening The Global Hydrogen Industry In Namibia

In its inaugural edition hosted in Namibia, the three-day Global African Hydrogen Summit will convene heads of state, government agencies, industry business leaders, project developers, investors, thought leaders and technologists from across Africa and around the globe to drive critical investments and financing into bankable green energy projects of strategic and national importance across Africa, spanning hydrogen, renewables, power, infrastructure, transportation and mobility.

As a dynamic and innovative investment platform, the Global African Hydrogen Summit will provide a variety of engagement opportunities including an educative masterclass, high level leadership dialogues, a strategic conference, project investment boardroom roundtables, and a technology and innovation hub.

Participation is expected from across the global hydrogen value chain including:
· 6+ heads of state
· 20+ African ministers
· 40+ bankable African clean energy projects
· 2,000+ attendees
· 700+ conference delegates
· 100+ youth participants
· 80+ expert industry speakers
· 75+ technology and innovation zones
· 65+ countries represented from around the globe
· 50+ showcased startups

Namibia and Estonia establish Strategic Partnership to empower MSMEs

Johan Steenkamp

Wednesday, 18 October 2023, Windhoek

According to the 2022 Digital Financing for Sustainable Development: An Assessment and Strategy for Namibia commissioned by Government of the Republic of Namibia, with support from the United Nations (UN) in Namibia under the technical assistance of the UN Development Programme, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Namibia, though crucial, grapple with the need for digital adaptation, sustainable innovation and consistent growth. In light of these challenges, the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) has entered into a strategic partnership with the Estonian Centre for International Development (EstDev), a government-funded foundation responsible for managing and implementing Estonia’s international development cooperation and humanitarian assistance projects. The partnership will, amongst others, culminate in the development of a digital capacity and skills development strategy for Namibian MSMEs, which will define and outline support measures for their benefit.

“We are very pleased to embark on our collaboration with the NIPDB. EstDev and NIPDB share the same motivation to deliver change. We also share the same vision to support Namibian MSMEs and start-up ecosystems. For Estonia, Namibia has a special meaning. We both gained independence at the same time, we are both small and agile, and share similar values on human rights and democratic governance. Thus, it is no wonder that Namibia is one of the African countries Estonia has prioritised for its development cooperation” Ms. Nelli Timm, Regional Advisor for Africa for EstDev.

With a combined investment of EUR 146,000 (close to N$3 million), the partnership between NIPDB and EstDev is a determined step to enhance and elevate the capabilities of the MSME sector in Namibia in areas such as online banking and eCommerce, the use of

mobile apps to streamline their activities and online market research.

The partnership, which has its roots in strategic meetings held between EstDev and NIPDB in Estonia in May 2023, will materialise in three key projects, the first of which will kick off in November 2023, in Swakopmund:

Tallinn University of Technology – This initiative aims to introduce Estonian methodologies and online tools to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Namibia, with an emphasis on sustainable growth through green technology and a circular economy.

BCS Digital Skills Academy – This initiative, led by the NIPDB, will respond to the demand for digital proficiency in Namibia, outlining strategies for the forthcoming 3-5 years, encompassing action points and an introductory training segment.

Foundation Tallinn Science Park TEHNOPOL – Aiming to consolidate economic relationships between Estonia and Namibia, this endeavour will focus on building a sustainable start-up environment, prioritising green technology, elevating entrepreneurial awareness and underpinning environmental advancement.

Speaking during the official announcement of the partnership, Executive Director: MSME Development, Innovation and Acceleration from NIPDB, Mr Dino Ballotti remarked, “The NIPDB’s mission to Estonia earlier this year offered a comprehensive view of a dynamic tech and innovation ecosystem. The insights gained and connections forged during this visit are now yielding positive results as we’ll see Namibian MSMEs benefiting from Estonia’s experiences and learnings.”

The rationale for this alliance is further strengthened by EstDev’s ongoing work to assist nations in realising their developmental targets. Their African Regional Strategy 2020-2030 positions Namibia as a key collaborator for Estonia. Moreover, Estonia’s investment in pioneering a digital transformation and fostering entrepreneurship resonates with Namibia’s strategic vision, especially when considered alongside the European Union’s green hydrogen initiative.

A call for application will be issued to invite Namibian MSMEs to take advantage of this opportunity.

TechNovation Social 2023: Reviving Namibia’s Culture and Creative Industry for Economic Growth

Johan Steenkamp

Monday, 3 April, Windhoek

Twelve (12) Namibian MSMEs will have an opportunity to showcase their products at the upcoming Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) on the sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) in Cote d’Ivoire this November following their successful win at the 2023 Technovation Social which took place in Windhoek, on Friday 31 March 2023. An initiative of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), the 2023 TechNovation Social is a biennial event, established to support and draw inspiration from Namibia’s Culture and Creative Industry (CCI) with the aim to unlock enterprise opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The CCI in Namibia continues to be relatively under-supported and under-recognised. This was particularly apparent during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, when many MSMEs within the industry found themselves without an income. Conversely, this sector offers some of the most dynamic business and career opportunities worldwide. In other countries, the pandemic underscored the importance of the CCI as a catalyst for the creation of new platforms, infrastructure, and facilities, capturing the attention of the world. The NIPDB, thus, believes that an empowered CCI can carry the Namibia brand to the world through its timeless creations.

“The NIPDB is mandated to be the lead coordinator of MSME activities in Namibia and unlock enterprise opportunities that support the development and growth of MSMEs. We achieve this by fostering trust relationships between various stakeholders with the goal to bridge the gap between those who have access to capital and markets and those who need access to those resources. We believe that this is key to empowering MSMEs across industries including, but not limited to, CCI,” stated Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the NIPDB, Nangula Uaandja.

TechNovationSocial, thus, exists to rejuvenate Namibia’s CCI sector by offering MSMEs in this industry access to international markets, funding, and revenue-generating prospects, as well as a platform to carry the Namibian brand and showcase their talents on an expansive stage. MSMEs in the CCI were invited to participate in and exhibit at TechNovationSocial. The MSMEs represented various subsectors, including new media and graphic design, fashion design, architecture, technology, software development, game development, pottery, textile manufacturing, music and performing arts, cosmetology, and filmmaking, among others.

Twelve (12) MSMEs were chosen to participate in a seven-month enterprise development journey which will culminate in a participation at the CANEX Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The CANEX Summit unites creatives from across the continent and beyond, offering a platform for industry visionaries to display their work, collaborate, and forge connections with key decision-makers, influential investors, financial experts, and fellow creative professionals. With a stellar lineup of leading brands, artists, musicians, producers, and distributors, CANEX is poised to become the biggest assembly of creative talent in Africa for the year.

The winners of 2023 TechNovation Social, who represent various regions and sub-sectors are:

  1. Africa Brandberg Investments (Lisias Uusiku) – new media and graphic design company
  2. African Naturals Trading (Zodidi Gaseb) – cosmetic company
  3. Afroprint Line Trading (Ndeshi Fikameni) – fashion design company
  4. Artist Sculptor (Kambezunda Ngavee) – visual arts company
  5. By Ray Designs (Raymond Shikale) – textile manufacturing company
  6. Couture by Kimatheus Boutique (Kaino Matheus) – fashion design company
  7. Kuku’s Art (Vistorina Silvanus) – visual arts company
  8. Momve e-Theatre Service (Ndinomholo Ndilula) – technology, software development and game development
  9. Ngandu Events (Steven Haingura) – music and performing arts company
  10. RFC Creative Agency (Reggie Zaire) – filmmaking and production company
  11. The WOW Company (Werner Alweendo) – technology, software development and game development company
  12. Wision Media (Vaughan Weiss) – architecture company

This is what two of the winners had to say:

  • Vaughan Weiss of Wision Media: “Getting the opportunity to represent Namibia and Wision humbled me. I am excited for business to grow and reach the rest of the African continent. It was an empowering moment,”
  • Kaino Matheus of Couture by Kimatheus Boutique: “I now have faith in my capabilities. This win has indeed instilled within me the courage to refine my branding, especially after attending the branding masterclass which was recently hosted by the NIPDB. I aspire to elevate my business to new heights by absorbing valuable knowledge from everyone. The fact that I emerged victorious serves as reassurance to persistently innovate and enhance my brand and marketing strategies while preparing to sell my garments on an international scale. I sincerely appreciate the recognition from all stakeholders and sponsors,”

As part of the journey, the 12 MSMEs will participate in a training programme to gain the most value from their experience and participation. Amongst others, the programs will focus on brand development, capacity building, pitching for television and brand visibility through the partner and sponsor organisations – Coca Cola Beverages Africa, FNB Namibia, City of Windhoek, Multichoice Namibia, Turipamwe, Redflag, Creative Culture Investments, Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) at the Intra-African Trade Forum (IATF), Business Box and the MTC Windhoek Fashion Week.

Private sector collaboration is a crucial driver of MSME growth and development in Namibia, and we are grateful for the unwavering support of our key sponsor for the TechNovation Social event, FNB Namibia, a demonstration of their commitment. “Technovation creates a platform for FNB Namibia’s clients within the cultural and creative industry to grow their businesses, meet like minded individuals as well as engage potential investors while also inspiring the next generation of business owners to chase their dreams and make tangible contributions to our nation,” stated Communication Specialist at FNB Namibia, Hileni Amadhila.

“While creatives work from a place of passion, it is equally crucial to prioritise the business and financial aspects of their ventures. If they are unable to handle these matters themselves, investing in a knowledgeable and trustworthy support team can be the difference between success and failure. Talent alone is not always sufficient to achieve success. To take the business to the next level, one needs to leverage new tools and resources. We at the NIPDB, along with our partners, want to support them on that journey,” shared Executive Director: MSME Development Innovation and Acceleration at the NIPDB, Dino Ballotti.

Global triumphs in the CCI have propelled economic growth in numerous countries. The Philippines has capitalised on pageant participation, utilising events like Miss Universe and Miss World to enhance its global presence, attract tourists, and showcase its cultural heritage. Similarly, the fashion industries in France and Italy have significantly contributed to their economic growth, with Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks positioning them at the vanguard of the global fashion industry, catalysing job creation, innovation, and exports of luxury goods and textiles.

Therefore, through TechNovation Social, we aim to leverage the potential of the creative economy to drive economic transformation, job creation, and sustainable human development. By placing MSMEs with their talents and skills at the centre of the development process and fostering cooperation across all levers of the economy, we can create a more inclusive and socially cohesive society. Our goal is to unlock the full potential of the creative industry and use it to leapfrog our economy into the much-touted knowledge economy.

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