2020 'most competitive' deadline missed
In 2012, Namibia’s fourth National Development Programme (NDP4) set a target for the country to be the number one economy in the region by 2020.
But in its latest ranking of 140 countries, based on factors driving productivity and prosperity, the WEF says Namibia rose by only a single digit on its global competitiveness rankings for 2016 to 2017, moving to 84th place from 85th.
That places Namibia sixth in Africa, behind Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana and Morocco.
While ranking well in categories like its institutions, infrastructure, financial-market development and labour-market efficiency, the country performed poorly in assessment of its primary and higher education, health, business sophistication, technological readiness and market size.
Access to financing and an inadequately educated workforce were said to be the main obstacles to doing business in Namibia, along with inefficient government bureaucracy.
“The marginal improvement in the overall ranking, while welcome, still leaves Namibia a long way from its NDP4 target of being the most competitive country in Southern Africa by 2017,” the local Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said in a statement issued yesterday.
“The NDP4 target has since been superseded by the Harambee Prosperity Plan released in April 2016, which sets a target of Namibia becoming the most competitive economy in Africa by 2020,” IPPR said.
At the current rate, it would take Namibia 25 years to overtake the top African country, Mauritius, at 45th place in the world.
“If the rate of progress does not improve, Namibia would only reach its Harambee target by 2041, and not 2020,” the IPPR said.
In the past five editions of the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report, Namibia has moved up eight places, from 92nd in the 2012-2013 report.