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A Thousand Investment Conference to be Hold in Namibia

A Thousand Investment Conference to be Hold in Namibia

By Chamwe Kaira

The Embassy of the Republic of Namibia has invited all interested business people and companies to join H.E Ambassador Martin Abidjan for the Invest in Namibia Conference under the theme “Promoting Investment for Inclusive Growth and Industrialization” on November 8 and 9, 2016, hosted by the Government of Namibia.

More than a thousand local and international investors are expected to attend the Invest in Namibia international conference, which is expected to be opened by President Hage Geingob in Windhoek today. The government has already hosted conferences in Johannesburg and New York ahead of the Windhoek conference.

It comes against the backdrop of an economic slump and declining state revenue, and Namibia's declining international competitiveness.

Press secretary in the Presidency Albertus Aochamub told The Namibian yesterday that 600 investors were initially expected to attend the conference, but by midday yesterday, 1 000 people had shown interest. "We are thinking about having one or two overflow venues," he stated.

Aochamub said the government wants the discussions to focus on the target areas of affordable housing, the agricultural sector, energy sector, logistics and infrastructure, the manufacturing sector and tourism.

Investors from South Africa, Mexico, Belarus, Italy, the USA, and Germany, amongst others, are expected to attend.

Aochamub said the conference is part of the Harambee Prosperity Plan, which requires the hosting of an investors' conference in the first year of implementation.

Asked about Geingob's major expectations, Aochamub said the President looks forward to solutions for the construction of affordable housing.

"The President expects at least two memoranda of understanding to be signed during the conference," he said.Geingob also wants the conference to push Namibia's goal of becoming a gateway for the southern African region.

The permanent secretary in the ministry of trade Gabriel Sinimbo said yesterday afternoon that final preparations were being made at the conference venue (Safari Hotel), and that the ministry was ready to host the conference. "It has been hectic, but we are ready." He said although specific projects will be promoted, Namibian investors will still be given opportunities to promote their projects during one-on-one meetings. "We are providing platforms for business-to-business meetings."

Speakers will include Carlos Lopes, former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and Wolfgang Tiefensee, a minister of economy of the Federal German Free State of Thuringen. Aochamub said Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote will not make it due to other commitments. By yesterday afternoon, confirmation was still being awaited from Isabel dos Santos of Bank BIC of Angola.

Gauteng premier David Makhura is leading his provincial delegation, comprising senior officials and business people, to the conference. Makhura will visit industrial parks, uranium mines and water reclamation plants during his stay in the country.

South Africa has always been Namibia's top trading partner for both imports and exports. The two countries have 71 signed agreements and memoranda of understanding. In 2015, some of the top products which Gauteng exported to Namibia included vehicles, electrical machinery and equipment, iron and steel, mineral fuels, pharmaceutical products and furniture, amongst others.


The projects which will be promoted to investors during the conference include the Ongos Monte Christo City Development in Windhoek.

A new city development, Ongos Monte Christo, will be constructed in the north-western area of Windhoek. The city will have 63 015 plots. These will be predominantly allocated for the development of low- to middle-income housing. The project cost is estimated at N$13,5 billion.

The conference will also promote a wheat and maize irrigation scheme at Mupapama in the Kavango. Total funding for this project is N$20,8 million. Another agricultural project is the Hardap Irrigation Scheme at Mariental, with a project cost of N$140 million.

In the energy sector, NamPower is looking for partners for the construction of three 20 MW - 30 MW biomass power plants with storage and fuel handling infrastructure, and support infrastructure. The project cost is N$1,2 billion.

Otavi Rebar Manufacturing is looking for partners to establish a 148 000 tonne per annum rebar manufacturing plant based on Danieli technology at Otavi. Danieli Morgardshammer is an Italian company, and is ranked amongst the top three suppliers of steelmaking plants and equipment in the world. Reinforced steel bars are used for the reinforcement of concrete structures and the manufacturing of roof anchor bolts used in underground mining. The total funding needed is N$3,8 billion.
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