Director of Global Chamber of Business Leaders (GCBL) Shakemore Timburwa yesterday hailed Namibia for having access to all the necessary opportunities to drive economic growth and turn around the livelihoods of its citizens.
During a courtesy visit on President Hage Geingob yesterday, Timburwa explained GCBL is a coalition of governmental leaders, CEOs and executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and business and industry leaders who share a common vision: the sustainable well-being and growth of business in a disruptive and ever-evolving global economy.
While outlining the functions of the chamber, he stated Namibia should devise strategies to leverage and open up the economy. He noted GCBL is ready to receive suggestions from Namibia to encourage investment into the country.
Timburwa said: “Namibia can approach the chamber with your specific projects and seek for investors. GCBL is a new entity in Africa, but it has been operational in Asia and Europe for almost seven years now. In this regard, African states should take advantage of this opportunity”.
He added he is fully aware of how some investors exploit African states, but said this time around, things must change for the better.
“Investors should sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with member state, including social development agreements to create employment and improve locals value chains. Conditions must be set for investors not to take raw materials out of the country but to process them here,” Timburwa urged.
Furthermore, during geological examinations for Namibia before his visit in the country, he noted conclusions indicated the country has the ability to further expand the Hosea Kutako International Airport and build more terminals simply due to the availability of land.
“More terminals can make Namibia a pass-through country, and this can benefit other sectors such as the tourism and hospitality, which can be catered for in the surrounding area,” he said.
Also, he outlined that Namibia can expand the Walvis Bay hub for it to become the biggest on the continent, noting that this would transform the coastal town to eventually spill over to other sectors.
At the same occasion yesterday, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi said Namibia is happy to engage with the chamber and that the country’s aspirations are articulated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan II.
He added the new fuel for the future is green energy, which he noted Namibia is tapping into.
Shiimi stated Namibia’s dream is to become a logistic hub – and through consolidated approaches, the dream can be achieved with the help of the global chamber.
“With the free trade agreement on the continent, we are confident that Namibia will reap the benefits, as many guidelines are put in place after identifying potential sectors to help with the diversification process of the economy,” said the finance minister.
Speaking during the courtesy visit, President Geingob said: “Investors are difficult people. Their first consideration is how they can make money. They must also start thinking how they can contribute to the development of the society”.
Meanwhile, during a one-on-one interview with New Era earlier this week, Timburwa said with his first business visit to Namibia, he aims to synergise the narrative around youth development, transformation of Africa and entrepreneurship.
Timburwa is further expected to give lectures at the University of Namibia, and meet with SME startups before his departure.
“I am meeting the youth and see their potential, and I am eager to do business in the country. I am willing to invest in Namibia through the youth in all sectors,” stated Timburwa.
He further encouraged the youth to be focused and have a common vision to take Africa to greater heights: “Namibia should invest in innovation – just to close the gap and leverage on technology,” he advised.
In his personal business capacity, Timburwa focusses on green energy, mining commodities and infrastructure construction.