WINDHOEK: Members of Parliament (MPs) will next Tuesday ratify Namibia’s first-ever industrial policy, which outlines the principles that will guide industrialisation efforts in the country over the next two decades.
Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Tjekero Tweya tabled the policy before the National Assembly here on Wednesday for consideration and ratification by MPs.
“Namibia’s industrial ambition is firmly articulated in Vision 2030, which stipulates that the country should be an industrialised nation with a high income by the year 2030,” he said.
Tweya said the core objective of the policy is to articulate Government’s thinking and approach towards industrialisation, and how it intends to support the alignment of all stakeholder policies and programmes to that effect.
The policy will also set clear guidelines with regards to the role of the State in industrialisation, as well as the expected role of other stakeholders including the private sector, organised labour and civil society in Namibia’s aims of becoming an industrialised nation.
“Notwithstanding the absence of a clear industrial policy, Namibia’s economic performance since Independence has been laudable, and we have much to celebrate,” the Deputy Minister said.
He stated that since Independence, the annual average real economic growth rate has settled at a higher equilibrium level of about 4 per cent, compared to a pre-independence average of about 2 per cent.
Consequently, there was a steady increase in the real per capita income of Namibians Tweya noted, adding that by 2008, Namibia propelled itself into the league of upper middle income countries as classified by the World Bank.
“Going forward we shall adopt our own Namibian definition of economic development, which shall include, in addition to income based on purchasing power parity, also a measure of equity and reduction in the income disparity,” he said.
Tweya informed his fellow lawmakers that while the country has much to celebrate, it is still of concern that the structure of the Namibian economy remains relatively narrow, making it vulnerable to exogenous shocks.
He said this vulnerability to external shocks was evident during the 2008 to 2009 global economic crisis that led to a sharp contraction of Namibia’s mineral sector and subsequently, an overall contraction of the economy in 2009.
“It is against this backdrop, and in accordance with our common vision, that the Ministry of Trade and Industry had decided to prioritise the development of an industrial policy to guide our industrial development process,” Tweya said.