Invest in Namibia 2016 could save us

Namibia is entering a critical week where international businesses will grace us with their presence at the Invest in Namibia 2016, where the country would sell itself to the world as a conducive commercial hub.

With our political stability, top infrastructure and investment-friendly environment, there is no reason why Namibia cannot fend off competition from its African peers, many of whom are home to political instability, corruption and transport facilities.

With secure harbours at Luderitz and Walvis Bay, a rail network of 2,382 km, over 5000 km or tarred road and international airlines such as KLM, Ethiopian Airways and Qatar Airways all joining existing airlines using the Namibian airspace, there isn’t any doubt that this country offers superior investment attraction than many of its peers on the continent.

Evidence of all this is there for all to see. What remains now is the wisdom and persuasion by those in charge of this important conference to convince our visitors that indeed Namibia is the ideal African investment destination.

This would lead, eventually, to economic growth of our country – and indeed that of businesses investing in the country – to the benefit of both parties. It is, in a nutshell, a win-win situation for investors and Namibia.

We can no longer sustain a situation where government, with all the enormous mandate is has towards the nation, remains the biggest employer in the country. Government should not be in the business of employment provision, but provide a friendly environment in which private businesses thrive and – therefore – provide jobs.

From our vintage point, poverty alleviation would be resolved not by feeding the poor, literally in their mouth as is currently the case, but by providing families with jobs so that they can sustain themselves.

Government’s main focus should be to stimulate growth of the economy and everything would take care of itself.

Without economic growth, government cannot collect enough revenue to carry out its constitutional mandate.

For government to collect taxes, there ought to be a functioning machinery of economic activity whose revenue is then taxed. If the economy is in decline, so will the revenues of private enterprises and, effectively, taxes to government.

We therefore welcome what at this point in time sounds like an exciting moment in the life of our nation – that an event of this magnitude is called. Namibian businesses must use the occasion to link up with international partners and grow their portfolios.

The spinoff effects from such engagements are immeasurable. Let us therefore make the most of this auspicious occasion to the benefit of both our country and those willing to invest in it.

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