Jan Coetzee - Team Namibia Chairperson, Headway Consulting: Managing Director
Board Chairman, Team Namibia
There is a wind sweeping through Namibia. An enthusiasm, an entrepreneurial spirit coupled with an intense belief that if it is Namibian, it is for the better. Namibians believe in themselves and their local produce. This is called national pride.
I firmly believe that Team Namibia has the right approach to ignite an increased demand for Namibian products and services, which in turn increases trade volumes and necessitates businesses to increase capacity and employ more Namibians. This gives our fellow countrymen spending power and contributes further towards economic sustainability.
The 2013 Growth at Home strategy has underscored industrialisation, preferential incentive regimes and skills development as the key drivers to achieving economic growth and ultimately realizing our Vision 2030 and NDP4 goals. With a relatively small domestic consumer market, Namibian products need to be developed at quality standards that are able to compete in export markets and also to secure access to the local markets through procurement.
This is the role that Team Namibia passionately plays and advocates for: adherence, compliance and adoption of best practice standards. Our primary objective therefore, is to become one of the leading promoters for economic sustainability in Namibia.
With regard to trade related infrastructure, there is room for innovation, particularly in the technological area of Information Systems. The greatest opportunity to stimulate demand for local produce is to increase awareness of the available products and services. Digital advancements need to be fully exploited, to bring information at nose length of every Namibian consumer and citizen.
The timing is opportune and Namibia is on track with continental developments. As Africa works towards implementing six legal frameworks to achieve a “Continental Free Trade Area” by 2017, Namibia’s strategic outlook on infrastructure development and increased local production will enable our country to participate in this regional and continental economic integration.
According to a 2013 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Special Report, Africa is growing into the world’s biggest market. By 2015, 75% of the African population will be under the age of 30. By 2018, the total continent’s GDP will be in excess of 1,6 trillion USD; and the middle income social class is growing, with an estimate 180 million families who will have a disposable income.
The future is very bright for Africa and indeed for Namibia.