Namibia: Local exporters urged to take continental market route as companies shine at exporter awards

Namibia: Local exporters urged to take continental market route as companies shine at exporter awards
Published date:
Monday, 09 August 2021
Maihapa Ndjavera

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu said a number of export markets have been secured for Namibian exporters, including in Africa, and encouraged all local producers to seize opportunities of continental access. 

Iipumbu made these remarks when she officiated at the first Namibia Annual Exporter Awards last week. The awards were held in collaboration between the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub) and Namibia Manufacturers Association (NMA).

“Hence, the call is now upon you, entrepreneurs, to work hard and utilise the opportunity made available for you to thrive globally and contribute to the country’s foreign exchange reserves through export earnings,” said Iipumbu.

The awards had three categories, namely: Exporter of the year to South Africa, which was won by Plastic Packaging; Exporter of the Year to the United States, which won by Meatco – and thirdly, the overall Exporter of the Year, which went to Plastic Packaging.

Plastic Packaging manufacturers recycles and distributes plastic products in Namibia, Angola and South Africa’s Northern Cape. Their offering spans a wide range of markets, such as the retail and wholesale industry, industrial sector, agriculture, fishing industry, mining, meat processing, dairy industry, catering and food processing as well as any other segment that requires packaging products. 

Meatco is Namibia’s national meat-processing and marketing entity. The minister said Namibia has an open economy that is susceptible to global market competition – and, as a result, the country has been experiencing a negative balance of payment over the years due to exceeding imports higher than exports as a result of a limited production basket. 


namibia leading exports to unitedstates AGOAinfo


“Besides high-tech products and consumables, which forms part of Namibia’s main imports, Namibia continues to import large quantities of basic commodities and other products that our business community can venture into. There is, therefore, an opportunity for Namibia to increase production capacity – and, as a result, increase exports,” she added.

The trade minister continued that one of the notable trade arrangements Namibia currently focusses on is the market opportunity for products into the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is a non-reciprocal unilateral trade arrangement aimed at strengthening trade and investment relations between the US and the sub-Saharan African region through the promotion of free-market systems, reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

It is through this arrangement that Namibian meat and meat products were able to enter the USA market.

The trade minister said Namibia continues to appreciate continuous support from the USAID TradeHub, which has assisted Namibia in developing AGOA utilisation strategy. She added that the strategy seeks to increase Namibia’s exports under the AGOA program, which allows Namibia to export over 6 400 products on a duty-free to the United States of America. 

The strategy further provides a prioritised roadmap on how Namibia can increase its exports to the United States under the duty-free market access under AGOA, and it recommends steps to address the policy, supply-side and market challenges faced by potential Namibian exporters.

The impact of Covid-19 and other external factors facing world economies have negatively contributed to domestic industries in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, mining and tourism. 

“Despite several economic challenges that face our people, this event seeks to recognise the outstanding performance and extraordinary efforts by our business people who make strides in overcoming market entry hurdles and achieving successful and consistent trade,” Iipumbu concluded.

Share this article

View related news articles

USAID and Namibian government showcase successes in Namibia

Today, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States to Namibia Jessica Long and representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), together with the Namibian Government, reflected on the past six years of the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub).  The event in Windhoek brought together stakeholders from the Namibian market to share experiences, successes, and lessons...

03 August 2022

Namibia: Trade ministry and USAID TradeHub bring AGOA capacity building into focus

Last year, Namibia launched its AGOA Utilisation Strategy with the objective of diversifying and increasing its exports to the United States of America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The strategy chiefly seeks to assist Namibia to develop its competitiveness in utilising the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) that provides eligible countries with duty free access to the lucrative USA market.  Now, Namibia...

06 June 2022

Namibia: Ambassador keen to expand country's Meatco market

Namibian ambassador to the USA Margaret Mensah-Williams recently conducted a familiarisation visit at Meatco, expressing her satisfaction at the manner the institution is operating and fulfilling its mandate.   Mensah-Williams, who was welcomed by Meatco CEO Mwilima Mushokabanji, was particularly impressed by the vast experience and knowledge Meatco has in producing high-quality beef products that are highly competitive in the advanced...

20 January 2022

Namibia: American delegation looks for renewable energy opportunities

President Hage Geingob on Friday hosted a delegation from the United States of America at State House. A delegation of businesspeople, accompanied by lawmakers from several states, was in Namibia to look out for opportunities, particularly in the renewable energy industry. Before the closed-door meeting, Geingob said Namibia is a peaceful country that has gone through peaceful transitions of power. He informed the delegation that Namibia has...

24 August 2021

Namibia launches AGOA strategy to increase tariff-free exports to the United States

Today, U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson joined Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu to officially launch Namibia’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Utilization Strategy. The strategy seeks to increase Namibia’s exports under the AGOA program, which allows Namibia to export over 6,400 products tariff-free to the United States. This joint effort to develop the AGOA strategy is part of the United States’ efforts to...

11 May 2021

Namibia: Meatco hailed for beef export success … ‘nothing good comes easy’

Minister of International Relations and Corporation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday hailed the exportation of Namibian beef to the United States, describing it as a “great achievement” in the advancement of the country economic diplomacy.  Nandi-Ndaitwah made the remarks during the sending off of the first container of 25 tons of Namibian beef to the US, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city yesterday, making Namibia the first...

21 February 2020

USAID Southern Africa to support upcoming Swakopmund international trade expo

The USAID/Southern Africa will collaborate with the government and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) for the upcoming 7th Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAITEX). Dr Takele Tassew, Agriculture and Trade Advisor for the USAID/Southern Africa Regional Economic Growth Office, confirmed in a statement that this partnership is possible because of a meeting they had with the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME...

03 October 2019

US to deepen partnership with Namibia

The United States is working closely with Namibia to realise further growth in trade and investment between the two countries. United States (US) ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson at a media briefing on Friday said her government is working closely to raise US companies' awareness about opportunities in Namibia which support development goals. Johnson made these remarks in line with the US's new trade and investment opportunity programme,...

15 July 2019

Namibia encouraged to make more use of AGOA

THE United States of America's ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson has encouraged Namibian businesses to make use of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), also known as the Trade and Development Act of 2000, was approved by the United States congress in May 2000. It promotes duty-free market access to the US to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa, and to improve economic...

06 July 2018

Namibia seeks to take advantage of AGOA

The Namibian government is working on a strategy to take maximum advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that has been extended till 2025, the Namibian Press Agency has reported. The original Act expires on September 30, 2015. “We are now developing an engagement strategy on how best we can benefit from AGOA as well as ready ourselves for post- 2025 for the new World Trade Agreement compatible arrangement,” director of...

06 July 2015