MIT announces consultations on key economic legislation and policies”

Martin Endjala

Elijah Mukobonda, the Chief Information Officer at the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT), has recently declared that the ministry will embark on public consultations for three significant legislative and policy documents.

These include the Special Economic Zone Bill (SEZ), the National Informal Economy, the Startups and Entrepreneurship Development Policy (NIESED), the Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Regulations, and the National Cooling Strategy.

The move comes as Namibia transitions from the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) to the SEZ, following the former’s lack of success.

“The EPZ did not generate the expected tax revenue for the Treasury and nearly resulted in Namibia being labelled a tax haven. This situation has necessitated a shift towards the more sustainable SEZ framework,” Mukobonda explained.

Additionally, the MIT is in the process of formulating a National Policy on the Informal Economy, Startups, and General Entrepreneurship.

The policy is aimed at fostering an environment conducive to business growth, with a focus on addressing the needs of informal business operators, offering entrepreneurial training, supporting infrastructural development for the sector, integrating digital technologies, and establishing incentives for sector expansion.

Following the Ministry’s 2022 consultations on the Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Bill, it has crafted regulations to steer the enactment of this law.

These regulations now require public feedback to ensure comprehensive and effective implementation.

Mukobonda stressed that the upcoming public consultations for these pivotal documents will be conducted in a clustered format to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

The schedule for these consultations is as follows: the Erongo and Otjozondjupa regions will commence the series in Walvis Bay on 5 February 2024.

This will be followed by sessions in the Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto, and Ohangwena regions on 9 February 2024.

Lastly, consultations for the Omaheke and Khomas regions are scheduled to take place in Windhoek on 12 February 2024.

These consultations represent a critical step in shaping policies and legislation that will significantly impact Namibia’s economic landscape, particularly in terms of investment, entrepreneurship, and the informal sector.

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