AN attractive investment destination is a two-way street. Creating an attractive and mutually beneficial investment landscape does not only lie with countries seeking investment, but investors should endeavour to create meaningful partnerships with host countries.
These are the views of mines minister Tom Alweendo, who last week said the scales of responsibility must be balanced. “Investors need to think about what they need to do to ensure that they establish real partnerships. This includes investors contemplating what they take out against what they leave behind, and adhere to the country’s environmental legislation to ensure the preservation of resources for future generations”, he said during the fourth edition of the Namibia International
Energy Conference (NIEC), which concluded last Friday. The conference was held under the theme ‘The Energy Mix: Positioning for Industrialisation, Investment and Growth’.
Namibia went in with a firm message that for the country and the rest of the continent to realise its energy mix ambitions, there must be mutually beneficial investments, collaboration, accountability and empowerment. In Africa, around 621 million people do not have access to electricity. The African market poses huge potential for the world’s energy market. Reaching these energy investments cannot be left to chance.
Alweendo said right policies need to be in place, and countries have to have strong, functional systems and institutions in place to ensure resources flow towards investment, dynamic permitting systems, agile decision-making and clear and transparent criteria for investors.
This year in March, Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) CEO Nangula Uaandja said Namibia has secured about N$94 billion worth of investment opportunities with the potential to create 122 000 jobs. During that visit where the NIPDB executive committee and advisory board met President Hage Geingob in March, she said promoting Namibia at this moment is an easy task due to new developments the country has confirmed, such as green hydrogen and recent oil discoveries.
During the conference, green hydrogen and the recent oil discoveries received attention, and Namibia was applauded by other African states while receiving advice from them. Meanwhile, many Namibians have been questioning investors who do nothing but take profits back to their countries while leaving little positive for Namibia.