WINDHOEK – One of the successes achieved thus far by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (NCCI’s) Private Sector One Voice initiative, which meets monthly to deliberate on topical matters affecting business, includes the crafting of a unified submission on the Namibia Investment Promotion Act (Nipa). This is according to NCCI CEO Charity Mwiya, who this week hosted an event on the private sector’s contribution to re-engineer the Namibian economy for sustainable growth and job creation.
“It is anticipated that this legislation, which should address concerns, such as unfair competitive advantage for foreigners, with Namibian entrepreneurs and the country’s SME sector more broadly accorded second rate treatment when it comes to investment, will shortly be enacted by Parliament. We cannot ignore these concerns. We have to renew people’s faith in the promise of this country, that this is a place where you can make it if you try. And we have to do this together: businesses, government, workers, youths, churches, civil society and politicians,” said Mwiya.
She added that the input provided at last year’s Investment Conference is another example of what the private sector can achieve, if it has unity of purpose.
“It shows that by working together to address challenges faced by the nation, in an objective and sustainable manner, so much more can be achieved than working in a fragmented and self-centred manner,” Mwiya added.
Commenting on two years of negative growth in the domestic economy, Mwiya said; “If the recession bothers us, we should be bothered by the fact that many Namibians always live in recession. Many do not have safe water to drink. Many do not know where they would get their meal for the day. A number of children die from hunger related illnesses…Socially, the recession reveals a host of sins that hurt people. It is especially good at exposing the sin of wasting other people’s money (or our own), and the sin of selfishness and greed, and the sin of fear when everything starts coming down, and the sin of grumbling and impatience”.
Mwiya continued that it is of the essence for Namibia to emerge out of the recession.
“Far too many enterprises have closed shop, downscaled operations or are holding back on investing to expand productive capacity. Although there is a need to reflect on what might have gone wrong over the past few years, it really is more important to focus here today, on what could and indeed should be done differently, going forward,” Mwiya stated.
In addition, she noted that for the Namibian economy to grow, the domestic economy should be based not on what the country can consume and borrow from other nations, but what it can make and what it can sell in the domestic market, and around the world.
“As business, I’m hoping that all of you are thinking what you can do for Namibia. Ask yourselves what you can do to hire more Namibian workers, what you can do to support the Namibian economy and invest in this nation,” said Mwiya.
Furthermore, she stated that even now, NCCI is eager to work with government to take additional steps across the budget to put Namibia on a sounder fiscal footing.
“By stopping spending on things, we don’t need, we can make investments in the things that we do need, the same way families do. If they’ve got a fiscal problem, if they’ve got to tighten their belt, they don’t stop paying for a child to go to university.
They cut out things they don’t need, but they still make investments in the things that are going to make sure we win the future. And that’s what we have to do as a country: Make some smart choices, tough choices, but smart ones,” Mwiya concluded.
2019-04-17 10:12:07 4 days ago