LET US REMIND ourselves that foreigners with real money are reluctant to invest in a country when they see little evidence of locals investing in their own economy.
They are put off, believing there is something locals see which deters them from investing in their own country that they as potential foreign investors just cannot see.
A distinctive Morse code, the letters SOS have been used since 1905 as an emergency radio code by ships at sea in distress.
SOS is associated with popular phrases such as ‘save our souls’ and ‘save our ship’.
Modified to ‘save ourselves’ it could be the coded strategy for repositioning Namibia’s economy.
For the benefit of youngsters only familiar with social media platforms for communication purposes, the code is named after Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph.
If you do not know what a telegraph is, ask your grandparents or elders in the community.
Morse code was used to encode text characters by signals of different duration, known as dots and dashes.
The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) comes at the right time.
It could be the country’s economic SOS strategy.
NIPDB is a public entity with the core mandate of promoting, attracting, and retaining domestic and foreign investment. Not only foreign investment, but investment by locals too.
The retention of investors is another laudable objective of this new public entity.
As the adage goes, a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
Viewed in the context of domestic investment promotion surely this means finding ways to facilitate the graduation of aspirant entrepreneurs from the informal to the formal sector.
It also means finding ways to best support owners of micro-enterprises with ability and a burning desire to grow businesses to become entrepreneurs on the way up. – that next generation of Aupa Frans Indongo, Navin Morar, Land Benade, and other iconic entrepreneurs.
Under the leadership of the respected Nangula Uaandja, the NIPDB is making a good start.
Over the past years controversy has surrounded the introduction of economic empowerment legislation that promotes and does not hinder or harm economic growth.
There has been much toing and froing on the national equitable economic empowerment bill (Neeeb), and false starts too.
As it lies at the foundation of their work, the NIPDB will host three stakeholder consultation sessions next week.
Although consultation only takes place in Windhoek with attendance restricted to 50 people per session, nobody should feel excluded.
The NIPDB says virtual attendance is possible.
If they have not done so yet, local branches of business support organisations (BSOs) still have time to arrange for groups of members to participate virtually.
This then facilitates participation by budding entrepreneurs in outlying areas with limited resources or access to internet connectivity.
BSOs have members countrywide, including the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Construction Industry Federation, the Namibian Manufacturers’ Association, the Hospitality Association of Namibia, and the Namibian Employers’ Federation, among others.
There’s no point in complaining after the deed is done.
The NIPDB is setting the pace for Neeeb to be a development tool and part of an SOS economic growth strategy.
Enterprise Namibia must not be found lacking in its response.
* Danny Meyer is reachable at [email protected]