WALVIS BAY – Deputy minister of industrialisation Verna Sinimbo says they remain imperative for Namibia to continue focusing on expanding the services and manufacturing sectors if Namibia aims to be a fully industrialised nation by 2030 as both sectors account for more than two-thirds of the economy.
Responding to questions raised by the media last week during her familiarisation visit to the coast, Sinimbo explained the industrialisation agenda of Namibia is within the ambit and mandate of the ministry, whose response is limited.
“Namibia aims to be a fully industrialised nation by 2030, with both services and manufacturing accounting for more than two-thirds of the economy. Similarly, within the SADC Industrialisation Agenda, it is the regional wish for the manufacturing sector to attain more than 30% of manufacturing value added to the economy by 2030,” she explained
According to her, Namibia has done very well in the service sector; however, both the public sector – but mainly the private sector – need to do more to attain more than 30% of manufacturing value added to the economy by 2030.
Currently, she says, Namibia’s regional manufacturing value added to the economy hovers around 11 to 12 %, while the service sector constitutes a larger section, approaching even 60% of the gross domestic product GDP in many countries.
“Therefore, it remains imperative for Namibia to continue focusing on expanding the manufacturing side of the equation whilst equally, also during integration of both sectors as the service component in some of the manufacturers, becomes imperative to the whole value chain. To this end, the Growth at Home Strategy agenda is to infuse the identification and promotion of new value chains to help drive the growth of manufacturing value,” Sinimbo said.
She added the ministry in 2016 launched 10 sectoral growth strategies for cosmetics, wildlife products, leather, metal fabrication, handicrafts, gemstones and jewellery, seafood processing, charcoal and taxidermy.
“In 2019, the biomass subsector was identified as a key growth area as well. Similarly, the ministry has initiated key industrial projects to ensure catalytic investment in the industrialisation space such as in automotive and in beef cold storage facilities,” explained Sinimbo.
Hence, she says, attaining industrialisation will not only depend on the ministry but should be a collective effort, as major interventions such as supportive project enhancements on energy costs, industrial land availability, viable communication costs and other economic incentives are needed.
“Some of these supportive project enhancements are to be captured in new policy and legislative work such as for the special economic zones regime, which will be tabled soon. Harnessing these strategic areas and sectors will ultimately enable us on a firmer footing to ensure our Vision 2030 and SADC industrialisation agenda is fully attained,” she concluded.