NIDA to drive Growth at Home Industrial Policy

Windhoek- A new state-owned enterprise, Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA) has been set up to execute the ‘Growth at Home’ industrial policy, through the merging of two development agencies, Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) and the Offshore Development Corporation (ODC).

Dr Michael Humavindu, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, said that instead of creating another State-Owned Enterprise (SOE), NIDA would take over the combined functions of the two agencies. 

According to Humavindu, NIDA could be in operation as soon as 2016 as the merger has already been approved by Cabinet and parties to the formation of the new organisation are busy drafting the necessary legal framework for the finalisation of the NIDA Bill in line with defined functions. 

A detailed strategy, organisational concept, human resource and business plan for NIDA is also underway, while transferring the functions and resources of ODC and NDC are being revised as well, to drive the economic transformation process in close cooperation with the Ministry of Industrialisation. 

The key functions of NIDA will include execution of Growth at Home and Sector Strategy policies, research and development of new opportunities for value addition, developing key industrial and business infrastructure. 

Other functions are promoting and facilitating trade, investment and introduction of new technology, offering advisory services and implementing incentives and other business support schemes contributing to industrialisation and equity investment fostering economic transformation. 

The NDC was established with the objective to promote, develop and support all sectors of the Namibian economy for sustained economic growth and the economic empowerment of its people in conformity with the development strategies and policies of the government. 

The ODC, a sister company of NDC, was established to promote and market investment opportunities under Namibia’s Export Processing Zone (EPZ), monitor and coordinate all EPZ related activities and provide an umbrella facilitative service to approved investors in the country. 

‘Growth at Home’ is the country’s execution strategy for industrialisation rooted in the Namibian Industrial Policy, Vision 2030 and the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), which is geared towards finding ways to add local value, promote regional value chains and bilateral cooperation, protect infant industry, export promotion and continuous reform of the business environment, among others. 

In a country with numerous raw material, there are tremendous opportunities for value addition in order to create jobs, accelerate economic growth and reduce inequality. 

It is important for Namibia to add value to raw materials before they are exported by strengthening the local, national and regional value chains. 

“The key point is to make the most of available natural resources and to add as much as possible value to raw materials before they are exported,” reads the Growth at Home: Namibia’s Execution Strategy for Industrialisation publication, which provides a road map for execution for the country’s industrial policy. 

In the initial phase, the ‘Growth at Home’ strategy will use a targeted approach towards industrialisation by directing focus on industries that have a comparative advantage, such as mining, agriculture, fishing, and chemical industries linked to steel manufacturing and components of the automotive sector. 

Namibia will also find ways to protect its infant industry and safeguard its policy space by introducing measures for tariff protection, quantitative restrictions and appropriate incentives to nurture the industry. 

A sound and easy to use monitoring system will also be put in place to track the progress towards outlined targets, in order to document how resources are used and an annual progress report will be produced to capture the progress against indicators.

July 2015
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