Namibia, a country located in southwestern Africa, is poised to become the continent’s next millionaire hub. With its growing wealth and potential for investment, the Namibian government must take strategic steps to ensure that this new wave of prosperity reaches all its citizens, especially those who face disadvantages.
According to Angelique Bock, an economic researcher at Simonis Storm Securities, it is crucial for the government to effectively allocate the potential revenue from these investments towards improving the lives of disadvantaged Namibians. This can be achieved by directing funds towards building schools, investing in agriculture, and developing infrastructure.
New World Wealth, a global wealth intelligence firm based in South Africa, has recently identified Namibia as Africa’s next big millionaire hotspot. The firm ranked the country as the third wealthiest on the continent in terms of wealth per capita, just behind Mauritius and South Africa.
The presence of millionaires investing in Namibia has the potential to bring about significant improvements to the country. Increased investment could lead to improved infrastructure and the creation of more jobs for Namibians. However, it is important to consider how these wealthy individuals choose to invest their money, as there is a risk that they may benefit more than the general population.
According to the March Africa Wealth Report by New World Wealth, there are currently around 2,100 individuals in Namibia with a wealth exceeding US$1 million. This number has increased from the 1,700 individuals reported in the previous year’s edition of the report. It is projected that by 2040, the number of millionaires in Namibia will exceed 10,000.
The potential benefits of millionaire investments in Namibia are far-reaching, particularly if they focus on labor-intensive sectors such as construction and agriculture. By investing in these sectors, millionaires can contribute to the country’s economic growth and help reduce unemployment among both unskilled and skilled workers.
The report also reveals that there is approximately US$26 billion worth of total investable wealth held in Namibia. This substantial amount of capital presents an opportunity for meaningful investment that can have a long-term positive impact on the country’s development.
Increased government revenue, particularly from corporate taxes and related taxes, would be the most significant advantage for Namibia, according to Bock. However, she highlights a key concern regarding how the government allocates this additional income. The challenge lies in whether the funds will be used for the country’s development or simply to cover operational expenses.
Citizens in Namibia are skeptical about reaping the benefits of sectors like green hydrogen and oil and gas due to concerns about government financial management. Bock cites examples of other countries where promises of growth and job creation did not translate into meaningful improvements for their citizens.
Bock emphasizes that the onus to improve Namibia’s socio-economic situation rests with the government, working in collaboration with other economic agents such as the private sector and non-governmental organizations. To achieve fair economic development, transparent and merit-based tender processes must be implemented together with tax policies that strike a balance between revenue generation and incentives for local job creation.
Additionally, Bock stresses the importance of strengthening anti-corruption measures, involving communities in decision-making processes, and promoting sustainable resource management.
Meanwhile, a report forecasts a significant increase in net worth by 60% or more until 2032. Major industries driving Namibia’s growth include mining (diamonds, uranium, gold, zinc, and copper), ecotourism (safari lodges and hunting), farming, fishing, and manufacturing.
Namibia has various upscale residential neighborhoods that are highly sought after by affluent buyers, such as Ludwigsdorf and Klein Windhoek in Windhoek, Vogelstrand at Swakopmund, and Langstrand near Walvis Bay. In addition to these neighborhoods, high-end lifestyle estates like Finkenstein Estate, Am Weinberg Estate, and the upcoming Presidents Links Estate are becoming increasingly prominent in the country.
Catherine Shipushu, spokesperson for the Namibian Investment Promotion and Development Board, highlights that Namibia provides a favorable business environment supported by advanced financial systems and a sophisticated banking sector. The country exhibits a strong macroeconomic framework, globally competitive infrastructure, good governance practices, and a young, educated workforce that is easily trainable.
Shipushu further states that Namibia has bold aspirations of becoming Africa’s sustainable energy capital. With this vision in mind, the country is positioning itself as a significant player in the global oil and energy market.
According to Shipushu, international investors should consider Namibia as it offers a distinctive and appealing investment opportunity. With its growing economy and commitment to sustainable development, Namibia possesses the potential for long-term growth and profitability.