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Opinion Pieces

Economic and Business Advice for the next President

todayMay 28, 2024 16

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Opinion Piece by Josef Kefas Sheehama


There are a number of important business and economic issues that the incoming President should take care of as we anticipate the upcoming presidential and national assembly elections.

As an independent researcher in economic and business matters, I advise the incoming president to prioritize trade and industrial policies and foster positive relationships with international trade in order to attract investors and increase their investment levels in Namibia. This entails spending more on infrastructure and research and development, which will boost employment and contribute to economic growth. Full employment is a prerequisite for a healthy economy. The creation of jobs, workforce development, and equal opportunity should be the main goals of the economic agenda. The next president will need to manage inflation and unemployment, stabilize prices, raise people’s standards of living, and balance monetary and fiscal policies in order to achieve these objectives. Additionally, in order to optimize GDP growth potential, she/he must promote economic growth by investing in infrastructure, supporting small businesses, and encouraging innovation. It is imperative to increase the availability of affordable housing in order to invest in it.

Furthermore, i expect that reform measures that will reduce red tape and facilitate doing business in the country will be fully and quickly implemented. In addition to realizing what needs to be prioritized and improved in terms of government investment and economic policies to attract more domestic and foreign investment, the president’s leadership is essential in advancing all sectors. The next president, I believe, will share my opinion that Namibian businesses are structurally disadvantaged by the tax system’s excessive complexity and high tax rate. Encouraging corporate investment and promoting economic growth could be greatly aided by tax reform.

The Presidential Economic Advisory should place a high premium on economic innovations and strategies that support growth and job creation. The Economic Advisory is expected to provide

insightful analysis and recommendations for economic policies supporting trade and investment across all continents, with the goal of actively promoting investment and trade by creating a business-friendly environment. Investments in education and skill development are essential to a robust economy. Presidents should prioritize vocational training, lifelong learning, and educational reforms in order to improve the workforce. The president should enforce anti-corruption measures, strengthen institutions, and promote transparency because corruption obstructs economic progress.

The deficiencies in our educational system should be addressed by the next president. Exercise systems that reward school dropouts. If the schools in that particular region are failing, the president must hold the governors responsible. The governor ought to go to schools in order to have in-depth discussions with the principal, regional directors of education, and teachers. The next president should promote vocational education because it helps people individually and also advances economic growth, workforce development, and society as a whole. Vocational schools should be given priority by the administrator in order to produce a skilled workforce that can meet the demands of a world that is changing. The country’s healthcare system is currently fragmented, unsustainable, and unacceptable; the next president should investigate its provision and present the legislation as a means of resolving these issues.

Therefore, the construction of a hospital in the Havana informal settlement should be given priority in order to relieve the burden at Katutura State Hospital, notwithstanding the nation’s tight fiscal position, slow economic growth, and limited tax base. Thus, in order to preserve lives, a large percentage of income from finite resources should go to the health system.

Furthermore, the next president should weight the Social Security Commission to create a portfolio that takes into consideration the full retirement age, the highest benefit a woman can get while on maternity, and the amount of money men should get while a woman is on maternity leave. Under such a program, employers would have to provide a payroll retirement savings plan.

Moreover, the next president should be aware of the current policies regarding the government’s debt to GDP ratio, which stands at 65 percent of the GDP of the country. This debt could eventually rise to 70%, so it is important to address the issue. The incoming president has to realize that growing debt is a result of an imbalance between spending and revenues rather than a problem with rising deficits and debt per se. A reasonable increase in taxes combined with spending reductions that, over time, stabilizes the debt-to-GDP ratio at a manageable level.

Ultimately, I believe that the next president will probably boost funding for the agriculture industry. In order to change the legacy of inequality and promote new ways for fellow Namibians to interact

with one another, the incoming president must carefully consider these prevalent injustices and actively work to dismantle the 1896 Redline, which promotes prejudiced ideas. Furthermore, the mining industry is vital to the economy, so the next president will have to reform some of the policies that have led to its decline. The president will advise investors that all raw materials must be processed locally and that none will be exported. As a result, there will be an increase in wealth and jobs as well as investment in the infrastructure sector, which is a major engine of growth. The development of local processing industries will contribute to the fight against poverty in general as well as unemployment and vulnerability. Promoting local manufacturing to increase economic diversity. Namibia has the potential to decrease its reliance on imports and generate job opportunities through domestic manufacture of commodities.

Additionally, since local content is essential to the sustainable development of oil, gas, and green hydrogen, the incoming president ought to take this into consideration. The incoming president should get Namibia ready to join Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) so that it can obtain resources, technology, and knowledge pertaining to the energy industry. By doing this, Namibia will be better able to meet its own energy needs and become less dependent on outside sources. The HyRail project, spearheaded by TransNamib, Hyphen Technical, CMB Tech, and the University of Namibia, is poised to become Africa’s first hydrogen-powered train.

This is an exciting development that shows Namibia’s commitment to sustainable transportation and serves as a model for other regions. The next president should make sure that this project is carried out. These industries can expand with the support of effective local content policies.

To this end, by doing so, it can unlock its economic potential and foster prosperity for Namibians. Therefore, the next president should place a high priority on building Namibia’s infrastructure, revitalizing the economy, and providing opportunities for all Namibians.

Written by: Staff Writer

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