Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Namibia
According to a World Bank report, the industrial sector in Namibia contributed 19.61% to the country’s total GDP for 2010 (2011). The manufacturing sector contributed 14.4 % to GDP; this represents NAD$11.7billion from a total GDP of NAD$81.5 billion. The Industrial sector is Namibia’s second highest employer and employed 22.4% of the total Namibian labour force in 2008. The manufacturing sector as a whole recorded a growth of 9.1 % in 2010 compared to 5.6% in 2009 (Namibia National Planning Commission, 2010).
The main manufacturing activities in Namibia are light industry-based and directly link with the country’s agricultural sector. They include meatpacking, fish processing, and dairy processing. Since Namibia’s independence in 1990, fisheries have become increasingly important to the economy of the country.
Fishing is the third-largest sector of the Namibian economy, and has grown considerably in recent years, the value of fish exports are now approximately six times greater than in 1990. Namibia is one of the top 10 fishing countries in the world, and has the largest estimated national fish reserves in Southern Africa. Hangana Seafood (Pty) Ltd, is one of the largest fish production companies in Namibia, and operates a wet fish factory with the capacity to process between 55 and 70 tonnes of hake per day. In 2013 Hangana Seafood employed roughly 1,200 people.
Diamond production also makes a large contribution to the Namibian economy, with approximately 1.6million carats produced per year. While traditional land based mining of diamonds still takes place in Namibia this has been largely surpassed by marine diamond recovery, which now accounts for over 60% of Namibia’s total diamond production. The major diamond producing company in Namibia is Namdeb Diamond Corporation (Pty) Ltd.
Exports from Namibia are mainly comprised of diamonds which make up 25% of the country’s total exports. Other exported produce includes uranium, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, and food products. Over 25% of total exports from Namibia go to South Africa. Europe and the US also major trade partners with the country.
The manufacturing sector in Namibia currently faces many challenges including a lack of skilled workers in the labour market and unfavorable trade practices within the South African Development Community (SADC). In 2010 the Namibian Manufacturing Association (NMA) highlighted these issues as potential concerns to the Namibian economy. The NMA suggested that the approval and implementation of policies and strategies developed to help combat these issues, including the National Export Strategy, Private Sector Development Strategy and Foreign Direct Investment Act, is essential in order to accelerate growth in the manufacturing sector.
The 2012-2013 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness report rated Namibia as 98 out of 144 countries for production process sophistication, with an overall score of 3.3 out of 7 with 7 being the most sophisticated. This is a fairy standard score for the region; the neighbouring country of Botswana ranked 106 out of 144 countries with an overall score of 3.2.
The Namibian Manufacturers Association (NMA) was founded in 1994, and is a not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of Namibian manufacturers. The NMA regularly meets with government bodies, and trade organisation amongst others, targeting key area for improvement within the manufacturing industry, in terms of sustainability, competition and prosperity. The NMA currently represents over 140 members. Membership is voluntary.