Investment opportunities and poverty alleviation in Namibia

Keding, Wolfgang (2001-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Republic of Namibia gained its independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990. The divided economic sector between modem European orientated and the underdeveloped African sector places major challenges on the government, the business sector and on the population itself. Vast differences exist between income, educational level, and living conditions and life expectations. The economy can be described as stable. Mining, fishing and agriculture are the main contributors to the economy. Currently the government maintains a budget deficit of 23.5% of the Gross Domestic Product. The economic policy can be described as open and democratic. Exchange rates and interest rates are market-determined. The comparatively high Gini - Coefficient of 0,7%, an unemployment rate of 34% and the decrease of the life expectancy rate are major challenges faced by the government of the day. Since independence Namibia has become a member of many regional and world organisations. These organisations support Namibia in various development projects, which will contribute t a stable economy. The composition of the Namibian population together with the size of the country and its various natural resources makes Namibia not very attractive for major manufacturers or industrialisation. Therefore the development of Small Macro and Medium Enterprises are of utmost importance. Namibia has developed a sophisticated financial sector, compared to other African countries. The Namibian Stock Exchange was established during 1992 and has developed into the second largest stock exchange in Africa. Treasury Bills and Government Bonds have been introduced as investment tools. Various state-supported institutions have been founded to support economic development. The Ministry of Trade and Industry implemented various tax incentives to attract foreign and local investments. However these measures have not had the expected effect. Namibia can learn few things from Mauritius, which has had basically the same historical development and economic composition. To ensure future investments in Namibia the government should consider the implementation of an investment tax, the implementation of an Unemployment Insurance Fund, and the support of unemployed people. The effect of HIV/AIDS will have a major impact on the economy of the country. The regional development will have a major effect on the national economy. The Southern African Development Community should create a regional currency, a standard economic and political structure and a free trade area. Such a regional development will have a positive effect on all national economies. Namibia has enough investment opportunities for national and foreign investors. Political and economical stability has to be maintained to ensure continuous future support of the investors. To fight poverty additional steps have to be taken so that within 20 years poverty in Namibia is not an issue anymore.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Republiek van Namibië het op 21 Maart 1990 onafhanklik geword. Die groot ekonomiese verskille tussen moderne Europese en ander ontwikkelde Afrikaanse sektore plaas die regering, die besigheids sektor en die inwoners voor 'n groot uitdaging. Groot verskille bestaan tussen inkomste, opvoeding, lewens omstandighede en verwagte lewensduur. Die ekonomie kan as stabiel beskryf word. Huidiglik handhaaf die regering 'n begrotingstekort van 23.5% van die Nasionale Bruto Binnelandse Produk. Die ekonomiese beleid kan as demokraties en oop beskryf word. Die wisselkoerse en rentekoerse word deur die mark bepaal. Die relatief hoë Gini koefisiënt van 0.7%, 'n werkloosheidspersentasie van 34% en 'n daling in die verwagte lewensduur stel die regering voor 'n groot uitdaging. Sedert onafhanklikheid het Namibië lid geword van talle streeks- en werêld organisasies. Hierdie organisasies ondersteun Namibië in verskillende ontwikkelingsprojekte, wat 'n stabiele ekonomie tot gevolg sal hê. Die samestelling van die bevolking van Namibië en die grootte van die land tesame met die natuurlike hulpbronne maak dit aanloklik vir groot fabrieke en industrieë. Die ontwikkeling van mikro en klein besighede is dus uiters belangrik. Namibië het 'n gesofistukeerde finansiële sektor in vergelyking met ander Afrika lande ontwikkel. Die Namibiese effektebeurs is 1992 in die lewe geroep en het tot die tweede grootste effektebeurs in Afrika ontwikkel. Skatkis briewe en regerings skuldbriewe is ingevoer as beleggings moontlikhede. Verskillende regerings en ondersteunende instansies het onstaan om ekonomiese ontwikkelling te bevorder. Die Ministerie van Handel en Ontwikkeling het verskillende belasting voordele geskep om buitelandse beleggers te trek. Tot op die huidige dag het hierdie voordele nie die gewensde effek gehad nie. Namibië kan baie van Mauritius leer, wat basies dieselfde historiese ontwikkeling gehad het en dieselfde ekonomiese samestelling het. Om toekomstige ontwikkeling te verseker, behoort die regering die implementering van 'n beleggersbelasting te oorweeg, sowel as 'n werkloosheidsversekeringsfonds om werklose mense te help ondersteun. Die effek van MIV/VIGS sal 'n groot uitwerking hê op die ekonomie van die land. Streeksontwikkeling in Suider-Afrika sal 'n groot effek op die ontwikkelling van die nasionale ekonomie hê. Die Suid Afrikaanse Ontwikkelings Vereniging behoort een gesamentlike geldeenheid, 'n standaard ekonomiese en politieke beleid te hê om 'n vrye handelssone te implementeer. Die streeksontwikkeling sal 'n positiewe effek op alle nasionale ekonomieë hê. Namibië het genoeg beleggingsmoontlikhede vir nasionale en buitelandse ontwikkellaars. Politieke en ekonomiese stabiliteit behoort gehandhaaf te word om toekomstige steun van beleggers te waarborg. Om armoede te bekamp, moet addisionele stappe geneem word om te verseker dat dit oor 20 jaar geen probleem meer sal wees nie.

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