Control room of the Goreangab water treatment plant in Windhoek, Namibia

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Increasing training and creating jobs

Germany’s activities in this area aim to contribute to the development of a social market economy with potential for growth, thereby enabling as many people as possible to participate in social and economic life. The focus is therefore on promoting employment and vocational training, increasing competitiveness and developing the financial system.

Supporting businesses

In order to stimulate Namibia’s economy, create more jobs and reduce poverty, Germany is supporting selected value chains with high potential for employment. Exports of natural cosmetics, for example, have already increased significantly.

Training courses and grants are improving access to financial services for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Around 900 MSMEs have received support so far, more than half of which are run by women.

Germany’s development cooperation activities are also helping to digitalise company registration processes, thereby cutting processing time. Digital request systems are also making it possible to offer support services for MSMEs across the country, not just in Namibia’s three economic hubs (Windhoek, the coastal region and the central north).

Germany is also supporting the foundation and development of start-ups. A new centre for start-ups and innovation in the capital of Windhoek will act as a central point of contact for those looking to found new businesses. The BMZ aims to have assisted at least 800 start-ups through support programmes by 2023.

Training and upskilling workers

Cumbersome bureaucracy and an acute lack of skilled workers is making Namibian companies less competitive. On behalf of the BMZ, GIZ is supporting the responsible ministry in its efforts to improve and expand professional training and upskilling opportunities in selected industries such as solar technology, horticulture, agricultural technology, construction machinery and automotive mechatronics. In close cooperation with the private sector, targeted support is being given to dual vocational training models (on-the-job plus school-based training).

With assistance from Germany, vocational profiles and curricula are being developed, private and state training centres supported, training hubs established and kitted out, and training given to teaching and administrative staff at vocational schools. In addition, the first state vocational schools are being provided with comprehensive e-learning programmes.

Enabling investment through micro-loans

People living in sparsely populated rural areas and small businesses in the informal sector have previously had very limited access to financial services.

The KfW Development Bank is therefore assisting the government financial service provider NamPost in establishing a network of over 160 branches and offering appropriate financial products. This gives disadvantaged population groups the opportunity to build up savings, and gives small businesses access to the loans they need to make investments and create new jobs. Around 13,400 micro-loans were approved by February 2021.

COVID-19 rescue package for small and medium-sized enterprises

Namibia launched a country-wide support package to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, protect jobs and keep businesses afloat. Among other things, small and medium-sized enterprises have access to low-interest bridging loans via the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN). Germany is helping to make these loans more attractive and increasing their impact by supplying its own loan to the DBN. The aim is to provide loans to at least 200 companies as part of this support programme.

As at: 27/05/2022