Namibia slips one place in World Bank annual Doing Business report
The World Bank released its annual Doing Business Report 2019 this week and Namibia scored slightly better than last year, with the score improving by 0.24 to 60.53, however, dropping one rank from 106 to 107 out of a total of 190 countries.
Namibia ranks seventh out of 14 member states of the Southern African Development Community like last year. While five SADC member states improved the ranking by up to five places (Mauritius) and one country maintained the ranking (South Africa), most SADC countries dropped by up to seven places (Tanzania). Mauritius remained the top performer within SADC moving up five ranks to rank 20.
According to the report, Namibia improved the ranking in three out of the ten indicators, namely in dealing with construction permits (up by 24 places to rank 83), enforcing contracts (up by one to rank 58) and in registering property (also up by one to rank 174). The country maintained the ranking regarding starting a business at 172 out of 190 countries.
In contrast, Namibia lost ground in six categories: Getting electricity (down by three to 71), getting credit (down by five to 73), paying taxes (down by 2 to 81), protecting minority investors (down by ten to 99), resolving insolvency (down by two to 125) and trading across borders (down by four to 136).
Since the National Development Plan 4 in 2012, Namibia aims at being the most competitive economy in Africa. This target is repeated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and NDP5. Considering this, Research Associate at the Economic Association of Namibia, Klaus Schade said Namibia missed the target again by a wide margin.
“Even though Namibia maintained the score in most indicators, the country slipped ranks again, which clearly indicates that other countries have made more progress over the years. The number of days to start a business remains unchanged at 66 since 2010 despite the establishment of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA),” Schade said.
He added that despite the launch of the NamBizOne portal, there is no progress with the single window facility, which would accelerate business registrations.
“New technologies are hardly used to ease business registrations. Registration applications cannot be submitted by email, neither proof of payment. Furthermore, opening hours at BIPA, for instance, are business unfriendly,” Schade stressed.
Overall, Schade noted that the results of both the Global Competitiveness Report and the Doing Business Report need to be analysed thoroughly and decisive steps need to be taken to address the poor performance.
“As the Minister of Finance stressed several times in his Mid-Year Budget Review Speech, improving competitiveness is vital to attract domestic and foreign direct investment that will create jobs and generate income. We cannot afford to continue with business as usual,” Schade said.