Namibia:Slow Reform Affects Investment – Geingob

President Hage Geingob says because of inefficiencies, bureaucratic bottlenecks and the slow pace of reform, the country continues to lose its standing on the global competitiveness ranking.

He said this while addressing the first Cabinet meeting of the year last week.

"Our investment climate has been perceived to be not conducive due to a lack of implementation of agreed-upon reforms. This has become an impediment to investment and economic growth," said Geingob, who advised Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila to expedite the implementation of reform measures.

Geingob also ordered the PM to conduct a bureaucratic bottleneck audit, and to decongest Namibia's systems and institutions.

The Namibian last year reported on the slow process which investors are subjected to when registering businesses, something which the Business and Intellectual Property Authority and the Namibia Investment Centre are meant to address.

Promises were made for the setting up of the integrated client service facilities this year, which is supposed to give potential investors the ability to register businesses online.

Slight progress was made last year with the setting up of the NamBiz portal, a one-stop shop for business information and documents on investing in the country.

The NamBiz portal itself has not been managed well, and The Namibian reported that the portal was off in late December and early January this year.

The portal was set up early last year by the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise and the Namibia Investment Centre.

The President's Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) highlights improving the country's competitiveness rankings and turning Namibia into an investment hub as one of the important aspects.