Namibia has came up with a long term plan, Vision 2030, which articulates the country’s aspirations of becoming an industrialized country. Government has also adopted medium terms plans in the form of National Development Plans (NDPs) which outlines prioritized policies and programmes for a specified time periods. The NDPs are seen to be the main vehicle to translate the Vision into action and make progress towards realizing the Vision 2030.
Currently, Namibia is busy with the implementation of NDP4, and one of the desired outcomes stipulated in this plan, which is a roadmap of Namibia up to 2016/17, is to enable Namibia to take a sizeable share of the regional logistics and distribution market.
In order to realise the desired outcome of becoming a regional logistic hub, the following high-level strategies and actions will be pursued over the next five- year planning cycle.
- During the NDP4, we will focus on claiming a sizeable share of the regional market in respect of international transportation, and on the upgrading and expansion of infrastructure needed to accommodate increased flow volumes. Therefore, current volumes should at least double in constant 2011 figures compared with baseline growth.
- Of critical importance is the expansion of the Port of Walvis Bay: it needs to be able to accommodate the ocean-liner class of container ships, and make their turnaround time as short as 24 hours. The rail connections to Angola, Botswana and Zambia also need to be completed. In particular, the status of the Trans- Kalahari Railway will receive urgent attention.
- The Municipality of Walvis Bay and other municipalities along the corridor routes should make land available for upgrading and developing state-of-the-art storage facilities.
- A PPP funding framework, involving all critical stakeholders – including commercial banks – will be crafted to encourage private sector participation in financing infrastructure projects. The private sector can also be involved by making concessions to some of the global giants in respect of the various modes of transport available.
- The Walvis Bay Corridor Group can be transformed from an entity that focuses on Walvis Bay Corridor to one that will consolidate the coordinated public and private sector efforts to make Namibia a regional logistics hub.
- Government will continue to pursue various international and bilateral agreements in setting one-stop border posts to ensure the flow of cross-border trade is as efficient as possible, and to address cabotage concerns.
- Aggressive investment will characterise efforts to develop our internal human resources capacity in order to manage all the components of the regional logistics hub and attract foreign skills. These efforts will include operating through international support programs such as donor funding and/or aid for trade to supplement and strengthen existing human resource and physical capacities. In addition, a sector-specific plan will be drafted to attract foreign experts, and to ensure skills are retained by transferring them to Namibians.
- Namibia will also be aggressively marketed as the logistics hub of choice for southern and central Africa.
The Government of the Republic of Namibia, with technical support from the Government of Japan, has commissioned the Project on Master Plan for Development of an International Logistics Hub for SADC Countries in the Republic of Namibia – “Namibia Logistics Master Plan”.
The National Logistics Master Plan, which is a component of the Transport Master Plan, aims to establish a development framework and strategies to make Namibia the regional logistics centre in the SADC Region. The overall objective would be to provide:
- a detailed image of Namibia as an international logistics hub
- future population distribution in accordance with expected growth industry
- spatial distribution of economic growth, and
- Identify the locations of strategic logistics hubs;
- Identify and scope location and capacity of requisite infrastructure;
- Identify required trade facilitation policies, procedures and projects
A consultative meeting was held with the Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Angola, Botswana, DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe on 29th July 2014, where the information on Namibia Logistics Hub Project was shared.
Currently, members of the Steering Committee for the Namibia Logistics Master Plan are conducting sensitising meetings with the Governments of the mentioned countries to share with them and solicit their support for Namibia’s plans to become a Regional Logistics Hub, for the benefit of SADC. Meetings are running successively from 5th October to 14th October 2014 with the Government ministries responsible for planning, transport, trade and other relevant institutions that include parastatls and business community in the Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola. These meetings will be preceded by briefing sessions to the Namibia Embassies that would serve as facilitation offices between Namibia and the countries they are serving in.