Windhoek-Namibian Minister of Finance Ipumbu Shiimi is pushing for solid Public Private Partnership in infrastructure development projects to improve the ailing economy which contracted by an astounding 8 percent in the last financial year.
The projects targeted by Namibia for PPPs include water resource management, particularly sea water desalination and waste water treatment, renewable energy, agriculture sector, health and education as well as the construction and maintenance of bulk accommodation facilities to stimulate the economy.
Shiimi said,“The Government is committed to leveraging private sector capital to meet the infrastructural development needs of our country through Public Private Partnerships, particularly under the current economic climate. Among the targeted sectors identified for PPP investment opportunities are the water resource, particularly sea water desalination and waste water treatment, the renewable energy, given Namibia‘s high solar radiation resource and the country‘s comparative advantage.”
According to Shiimi there is potential to unlock private capital, develop world class infrastructure and services facilities, as well as expediting economic recovery and growth for Namibia in PPPs.
“It is through growth that the triple challenges of income inequalities, poverty and unemployment are sustainably addressed and eroded. This is the 6th National PPP Conference. Potential productive PPP opportunities have been put forth in prior years and, at this conference, a diversified portfolio of potential projects is unveiled. It is now material that the country moves to the implementation stage. In this respect, the conference brings together key stakeholders who will provide insight on the pertinent issues and challenges to developing credible, bankable and viable projects,” he said.
According Shiimi, Namibia has already crafted policy certainty and institutional framework including the operationalization of the PPP Unit under the Ministry of Finance since 2015, appointment of the PPP Committee in 2018, with the mandate of appraising project documentation and providing transaction approvals at various stages of a PPP project lifecycle, the envisaged establishment of the Project Preparation Facility (PPF) in collaboration with the Development Bank of Namibia and Government has already committed the initial N$100 million over the next three years for the activities.
“We believe that this pipeline of projects presents investors with diversified opportunities across the spread of projects that can generate economies of scale in terms of bid preparation and tender management,” he said.
Meanwhile Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes !Gawaxab said they are maintaining a 2.7 percent growth prospect despite the domestic economy remaining weak during the first four months of 2021 with major weaknesses recorded in the tourism, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, as well as transport and storage sector.
Announcing the monetary policy where he kept the prime lending rate (Repo rate) at 3.5 basis points to stimulate the economy ,!Gawaxab said activity in the wholesale and retail trade sector, as well as the telecommunications subsector recorded positive growth during the same period.
“Recent monthly indicators showed that the mining, as well as the transport and storage sectors gained some momentum. Going forward, the domestic economy is expected to grow by 2.7 percent in 2021,” he said
The central bank governor said uncertainties and risks have increased and are likely to impact the economy negatively going forward.
!Gawaxab added that the successful procurement and expeditious rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Namibia remain key to the extent and speed of the economic recovery.
“Annual average inflation increased to 3.2 percent during the first five months of 2021, compared to 2.1 percent for the corresponding period in the previous year,” he said.
!Gawaxab also reiterated that the increase in inflation was mainly driven by an increase in food and housing inflation during the period under review.