DIAGNOSTIC AND SCOPING STUDY

 

CONCEPT

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has tasked the WBCG to identify and support the roll-out of spatial development initiatives along designated development corridors. These initiatives will ideally be catalytic (i.e. fostering related investment) and industrial (i.e. adding value to primary activity) and of a sufficient scale to make a noticeable difference in terms of job creation and output. In line with the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP_ IV), and given Namibia’s competitive advantages, it is foreseen that such “anchor projects” will be developed in the mining, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries and logistics sectors.

Through a Technical Assistance Grant from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) the WBCG carried out its mandate through the Diagnostic and Scoping Study for the Namibia Spatial Development Initiatives Programme. Aurecon, a multi – disciplinary consultancy firm, conducted the said study. The end goal of the Study was a master plan for each corridor, notably TransKalahari Corridor, TransCunene Corridor and TransCaprivi Corridor (a.k.a. Walvis Bay – Ndola – Lubumbashi Development Corridor), emphasizing selected spatial development initiatives that can be rolled out in the short to medium term with the support of government agencies in the infrastructure sectors (such as transport, energy and water) as well as other areas.

PROJECT STEPS

The Study was carried out in five steps. The first step was to identify a long list of spatial development initiatives (SDI). To qualify for the long list, an initiative should spatially fall within the influence area of the three corridors, it should have the potential to stimulate related economic activities by buying from and selling to the local and national economy, it should be large enough to have a significant economic impact on GDP, and it should already be promoted or have the potential of being developed by the private sector (if necessary, in partnership with public sector). The Study did not attempt to generate project ideas (which could be idealistic); rather, it collected practical project ideas as already formulated by project developers and promoters.

WBCG previously advertised for interested parties to contribute to the said long list. The Study amplified that original list by consulting entities where project ideas are likely to be declared. These include Ministries who issue business permits (e.g. Mining, Fisheries), national development agencies (e.g. National Planning Commission, National Development Corporation), regional and local authorities, and representative private sector bodies (e.g. Chamber of Mines, chambers of commerce and industry). This initial consultation process took place in June and July 2013.

The second step was to assess the projects on the long list for their catalytic potential (i.e. whether they can stimulate further economic densification) and readiness (i.e. how far they are from practical implementation). The potential to stimulate further activity is based on the nature of the initiative (e.g. whether it requires a large work force, or whether it needs to source local inputs) and the characteristics of the area the project is located.

The third step therefore entailed reviewing the land-use (types of economic activity) and demography (population, employment, local inputs, etc.) along the corridors. Information on the local characteristics along the corridors was sourced from entities such as the NPC, Development Bank of Namibia, Ministry of Finance (EPAS), Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Bank of Namibia, Agribank, and the Namibia Statistics Agency. This step further entailed assessing the provision of key infrastructures along the corridors to establish whether there was sufficient capacity for the nominated initiatives. Infrastructures assessed include roads, railways, energy, water and ICT provision.

The fourth step was to overlay the long-list (Step 1), catalytic potential (Step 2) and local characteristics (Step 3), and to prioritize the initiatives that are likely to have the greatest positive effects the soonest.

The fifth step was to review the priority initiatives and assess how the WBCG partners – including Ministries, infrastructure agencies and others such as the Development Bank of Namibia, NDC, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) – can provide support to ensure the investments take place.

RESULTS

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENTS

There have been ongoing consultations with key SDI stakeholders in Namibia, Zambia and Botswana to introduce and update them on recent developments of the Namibia SDI Program along the designated development corridors, notably Trans Cunene Corridor, Trans Caprivi Corridor (a.k.a. Walvis Bay - Ndola - Lubumbashi Development Corridor), and Trans Kalahari Corridor.

 

Following the conclusion of the diagnostic and scoping study for the Namibia SDI Program culminating in a corridor master plan that was validated with all relevant stakeholders during a stakeholder validation workshop held in Windhoek during May 2014, the WBCG has once again been directed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to develop 20 additional projects from the SDI Project Long list to feasibility / bankable stage.

 

Stakeholder consultations are therefore imperative for gathering information of specific strategic investment projects along the designated development corridors.

The MTI also directed WBCG to undertake thorough value chains analysis for any prioritized project initiatives in line with Namibia’s “Growth at Home” strategy and industrial development policy.