With political stability, good economic management and a welcoming attitude towards foreign investment, Namibia presents many investment opportunities, particularly in natural resources. The country’s medium-term growth will be driven in the main by capital-intensive investment projects in the mining and infrastructure space, while key exports such as diamonds and uranium will benefit from gradually improving demand conditions in key markets.

We keep our clients informed of the latest market moves and political developments in Namibia, as part of our 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspective. Clients also benefit from in-depth analysis on 11 of Namibia’s most important industries. We provide interactive data and forecasting alongside detailed and risk-assessed analysis from our results-proven research teams. Our aim is to keep you ahead of the curve, so you can feel confident doing business in Namibia.

Country Risk

Namibia Country Risk

Namibia Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Namibia Operational Risk

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BMI View: With one of the most highly ranked logistics networks on the continent, Namibia has become a regional transport hub, particularly for its landlocked neighbours, which benefit from its well-developed port and road infrastructure. Significant investments are being poured into ongoing projects to further boost the country's port, airport, road and railway infrastructure in an effort to increase its international appeal, but businesses remain burdened by Namibia's lengthy and burdensome trade governance processes, which multiply costs, lead times and delays. The country's limited utilities capabilities also present a notable source of risk, particularly in Namibia's vulnerability to droughts, its expensive Internet services, and its dependence on power and fuel imports. As a result, Namibia...

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Namibia Crime & Security

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From a regional perspective, Namibia is a safe and politically stable country. Although crime in the form of pick-pocketing, purse snatching and burglaries are relatively common, crimes to the person tend to be forms of domestic violence as opposed to targeted attacks. In addition, the country has an extremely low terrorism risk and a capable military. The country is considered low risk by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice, although it is advised that travellers exercise a sensible degree of caution. Consequently Namibia scores 66.7 out of 100 for its Crime and Security Risk, ranking it second in the Sub-Saharan African region behind Lesotho.

Crime in the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek, is high, with muggers often targeting foreign tourists. Attacks can take place in busy city centre locations in broad daylight, as well during late night journeys home. There have also been cases of credit card skimming at some hotels and...

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Namibia Labour Market

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BMI considers Namibia's labour market to offer a number of opportunities to businesses looking to invest in Sub-Saharan Africa. A relatively high life expectancy, good rates of female participation in the labour force, strong literacy rates, low labour tax and contributions and minimal severance pay costs make the country a highly attractive location for businesses to invest in. However, the country does pose risks in terms of its low enrolment rates in secondary and tertiary education, high unemployment, and uncompetitive annual leave costs. These risks increase costs to businesses due to the need to employ foreign workers, train unskilled labourers and compensate for holiday leave. Scoring 41.7 out of 100, the country ranks eighth in the region in our Labour Market Risk Index, between Cameroon and Uganda.

With a population size of just 2.2mn, Namibia offers a relatively small pool of employees compared to some other...

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Namibia Logistics

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With one of the most highly ranked logistics networks on the continent, Namibia has become a regional transport hub, particularly for its landlocked neighbours, which benefit from its well-developed port and road infrastructure. Significant investments are being poured into ongoing projects to further boost the country's port, airport, road and railway infrastructure in an effort to increase its international appeal, but businesses remain burdened by Namibia's lengthy and burdensome trade governance processes, which multiply costs, lead times and delays. The country's limited utilities capabilities also present a notable source of risk, particularly in Namibia's vulnerability to droughts, its expensive Internet services, and its dependence on power and fuel imports. As such, Namibia scores 46.4 out of 100 for Logistics, ranking fourth in the region, between Seychelles and Ghana.

Namibia's economic and trade growth represents a major source of...

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Namibia Trade & Investment

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BMI View: Namibia is a regional outperformer for Trade And Investment Risk thanks to its openness to trade and a regulatory environment that is both clear and favourable towards foreign investors. The country is ranked eighth out of 44 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a score of 47.7 out of 100. We attribute this to the high risks stemming from high levels of red tape when it comes to opening a business and registering property, and lower FDI levels than its regional peers.

Namibia's openness to trade and investment flows have seen the country's economy expand rapidly in the past decade, with real GDP rising from USD3.37bn in 2002 to USD13.4bn in 2012. However, as many of its neighbours, Namibia is highly dependent on primary commodities such as minerals, diamonds and agricultural which leave it vulnerable to fluctuating...

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Namibia Industry Coverage (12)

Agribusiness

Namibia Agribusiness

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BMI View: We expect food security in South West Africa to improve over the short term, as we expect higher corn production from Zambia in 2014/15. Over the medium term, we see downside risks to sugar production in the region owing a global glut of the sweetener. Even with reduced production incentives, we expect Zambia to easily remain the region's largest corn producer and exporter, while other countries in the region will struggle to maintain production surpluses. We believe that the potential in the Angolan sugar sector due to recent investments coming on...

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Autos

Namibia Autos

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According to the Bank of Namibia (BoN), new vehicle sales in Q314 came in at 5,525 units, an increase of 22.7% year-on-year (y-o-y). This brought auto sales for 9M14 to 15,803 units, an increase of 35.3% y-o-y. We have been bullish on auto demand for some time and recent industry sales figures reinforce our view. We estimate vehicle sales to have increased by 33.0% in 2014 to 21,176 units. As private consumption growth picks up in 2015, we expect auto sales to continue growing and forecast a rise of 20% in 2015, to 25,412 units.

As the central bank adopts a hawkish stance to curb rising inflation, our Country Risk team sees further monetary policy tightening in the coming quarters as regulators look to curb consumer spending, and expects BoN to increase its policy rate by 50bps from the current 6.25% level during the remainder of 2015 ( see 'Rate Hikes To Commence In 2015', April 23). We believe this...

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Commercial Banking

Namibia Commercial Banking

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...
Commercial Banking Sector Indicators
Date Total assets Client loans Bond portfolio Other Liabilities and capital Capital Client deposits

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Food & Drink

Namibia Food & Drink

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BMI View: Despite having a relatively high per capita income of USD4,942 in 2014, Namibia's income distribution is among the worst in the world. Although we still estimate that around one-third of the labour force is unemployed, poverty has been on a downward trend for more than a decade. The Fourth National Development Plan (launched in 2012) aims to tackle these problems with a programme designed to run until 2017. However, the country's relatively small population and rising concerns about a looming energy crisis make Namibia less attractive...

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Freight Transport

Namibia Freight Transport

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BMI View: Our forecast for the Namibian freight transport sector is positive, in both the near and longer term. Domestic economic growth and an expanding mining sector will continue to drive demand within the country, while continuing investment in freight transport links - both road and rail - with hinterland countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe will see transit volumes grow. The Namibian economy will post solid growth of 5.0% in 2015, and expand by the same average pace annually over the next five years, which will naturally drive growth in freight volumes. There are risks to the downside in the near term, as falling commodity prices could forestall investment into the mining sector, and the...

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Infrastructure

Namibia Infrastructure

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BMI View: Following a mixed 2014, we expect the Namibian economy and the construction sector to continue to perform well, however with a downward revision to our medium-term outlook. Growth rates in 2015 will not be able to match the high double-digit numbers seen over the past years, as the governments stimulus programme terminated at end-2014.

Namibia's construction sector growth is being driven by a number of factors (listed below). The country has great potential and a building boom has seen a flurry of contracts signed and building permits approved. This acceleration in approvals has been filtering through to activity on the ground in 2014. However with overall mixed economic...

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Insurance

Namibia Insurance

Mining

Namibia Mining

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BMI View: While Namibia holds substantial diamond and uranium reserves among other minerals, the government's potential to enforce policy to extract greater revenue from the sector remains a key downside risk to investment. Overall, we forecast Namibia's mining industry value to grow on average 4.7% y-o-y from an estimated USD1.5bn in 2014 to USD1.9bn in 2018. This will represent a decline in the mining sector's contribution to GDP from 13% in 2014 to 10% in 2018. On the positive side, we anticipate greater Chinese investment to flow into the country's mining sector.

Fastest Growth In Uranium
Namibia - Select Mineral Production Growth
...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Namibia Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: Recently updated storage requirements for pharmaceutical distributors demonstrate an improving regulatory environment in Namibia. The three main players Nampharm , Geka Pharma and Erongomed with sufficient recourses to meet the requirements should also be able to increase their market share either via acquisitions or as a result of smaller players going out of business. Namibia's pharmaceutical market is small but attractive, as demonstrated by an impressive presence of patented medicines.

Headline Expenditure Forecasts

  • Pharmaceuticals: NAD2.08bn (USD192mn) in 2014 to NAD2.37bn (USD229mn) in 2015; +13.6% in...

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Power

Namibia Power

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BMI View: Namibia is at a critical juncture in the development of its electricity sector. The country faces a severe crisis in the provision of power as it relies on a dilapidated hydropower system, vulnerable to breakdown and drought, and on imported electricity from South Africa. Various projects are in the pipeline, which will transform the country's ability to generate electricity over this decade, above all the Kudu gas-fired power station and the Arandis power station, as well as further investments in hydropower and solar energy. Together, these...

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Telecommunications

Namibia Telecommunications

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BMI View : BMI's Q215 Southern Africa report analyses the latest industry, regulatory and macroeconomic developments in the telecoms markets in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius and Namibia. It also contains our estimate of the market data relating to the end of 2014 and an update of our five-year forecasts to 2019 for the mobile, fixed-line and internet sectors.

Key...

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Tourism

Namibia Tourism

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The Namibian tourism industry is still developing and has an endowment of natural beauty and attractions that will require conservation in the future. The continuing improvement of economic conditions in key source markets such Zambia and Germany will help the tourism industry to grow somewhat in the coming years; however, it will always be constrained unless there is a large investment in infrastructure in the country. Additionally, high levels of poverty and Aids, and a rising level of crime against tourists in Windhoek may all prove a deterrent to potential visitors.

Ultimately, the lack of tourism and travel infrastructure is holding the country back. As it is difficult to get around and with poor hotel investment, there needs to be a concerted effort by the government to improve the roads, airports, and train services within the country to try to attract both foreign tourists and foreign investment to develop properties. Currently, the...

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