Namibia: Investment forum focuses on economic recovery

Last week, various decision makers from the government and private sectors gathered at the Namibia Institutional Investors Forum at the Strand Hotel, Swakopmund to discuss Namibia’s economic growth through alternative investments.

The two-day forum, themed “Harnessing Alternative Investment to Drive Economic Recovery”, hosted nearly 100 top investment professionals from Namibia and around the world. The program focused on policy makers and regulators who have a direct impact on pension funds, insurance companies, development finance institutions and individual investors.

Quest speakers present included; Bishop Joshua Maponga (Founder and CEO of Farmers of Thought Institute), Kenneth Matomola (CEO Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority of Namibia), Tiaan Bazuin, (CEO Namibian Stock Exchange), Martin Inkumbi (CEO Bank of Namibia), James Mnyupe (Presidential Economic Advisor) and countless other delegates from reputable companies.

Hileni Nghinaunye, portfolio manager at Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers (Namibia), which was also the main sponsor of this year’s event, said the forum had been an informative and productive series of days.

“The presenters were relevant to this year and what it has in store for us. As an asset manager, I’d like to see different parties, not just focusing on updating their careers, but fighting the regulatory issues of the industry within reach, be approached and strategic.

We should interrogate these questions and recap on the financing gap of the President of the Development Bank of Namibia or GIPF as an example, between greenfield and brownfield transactions and leveraging SME finance. »

“The challenge is that current investors, trustees, institutional investors and pension funders don’t have an appetite for this greenfield, so we need to come up with a viable model to bridge that gap.

The best way is to talk to an institutional investor and have directors on stage to explain their willingness to take risk and how far they would go the mile to allocate capital to this type of asset class,” emphasized Nghinaunye.

Also in attendance was Michael Ndinisa, CEO and Forum host of MN Capital Group, which represents an investment communications and institutional business development firm. The firm specializes in providing institutional incentives to growing businesses, including shell companies, as well as government, pension benefits and foreign funds.

Throughout the two-day discussion, strategies were shared on how industries can work with regulators to create well-managed SME equity funds.

Maponga’s presentation focused on ensuring that the economy begins to update its software, taking into account resources and improving the relevance of laws and policies that were created in times gone by.

Mnyupe illustrated the government’s plans around its green hydrogen initiatives and mentioned that Namibia has seen an increase in investment leads, primarily in green hydrogen, with additional leads indicating interest in agriculture and tourism. This demonstrates Namibia’s development and future investment prospects, which are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. This topic should be discussed in depth at the next forum to explore the role of investment and asset managers to focus on alternatives, with potentially higher returns as well as asset classes offering higher returns.

The next forum will take place in Mauritius in May this year.

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