Namibia is one of Africa’s shining lights when it comes to recognising the value of mining to the economy and having attractive policies for investing in the mining sector. The country’s record in this regard is supported at all levels from government to the private sector.
Namibia has consistently been among the top 10 African performers in recent years in the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies. In the most recent survey, it was 54th overall, down from 53rd, and was sixth best on the continent. It was the second most attractive African jurisdiction when only policies were considered, ranking 39th overall.
“The mining sector has remained the bedrock of the Namibian economy in all conditions, in good and turbulent times, as seen in the last two years,” the Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Veston Malango said during the Namibian mining expo in Windhoek recently.
The mining sector employs nearly 17,000 people and generated N$29.09 billion in revenue in 2017, up from N$28.9 billion in 2016. Wages and salaries of employees in the sector amounted to over N$4.6 billion in 2017.
The contribution to the country’s gross domestic product is around 11%, according to the Namibia Statistics Agency.
The mood of optimism is on the increase with a number of new mining projects and renewal of old operations on the cards, supported by growing investment from domestic and foreign players in the industry.
This doesn’t just happen – it needs a combination of factors at a global and national level as well as government support and private sector backing.
Nedbank Namibia is indicative of the private support. During the expo the bank expressed its willingness to continue financing the mining and resources sector, which is great news for all involved.
Corporate investment banking (CIB) manager Dominic Shikola said: “Nedbank CIB's mining and resources team is committed to the mining sector and we understand that growing any business requires capital. We will continue to play a crucial role in ensuring that the sector has access to the much-needed capital it requires, as we are aware that it is critical for the growth of the Namibian economy.”
Shikola said Nedbank CIB’s mining and resources team specialised in providing complete funding solutions, including sourcing, designing, structuring and negotiating of transactions.
This was in keeping with the expo’s theme - 'Maximising the multiplier effect from Namibia's mining sector'.
“Mining will continue to be the locomotive of the Namibian economy, and Nedbank CIB will continue to support and partner entities within the sector to ensure its sustainability,” said Shikola.
Other African nations would do well to follow the lead set by Namibia and other nations that are supporting the industry and benefiting from it.
Yolanda Torrisi is Chairperson of The African Mining Network and comments on African mining issues and the growing global interest in the continent. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org