Kaleb Nghishidivali

On Tuesday, the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) has announced that it is in the process of crafting a concept for a Namibian Resident-by-Investment (RBI) framework called the Desert Visa Programme, which covers various categories of investment and proposes certain conditions for each category.

This was said by NIPDB the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nangula Uaandja through the press.

Residence-by-Investment (RBI) programmes has become increasingly popular across the world, as ways to attract high net worth individuals into a country, and as a means to strategically revitalize national economies.

Uaandja indicated that globally, more than 100 countries have targeted RBI programmes, with most regimes offering these investors permanent residence that allows them and their families to live, work and invest in the country, in accordance with the conditions set by each country.

The programme requires foreigners seeking Namibian residency to buy real estate valued at least $316,000 (N$5.7 million) at President’s Links Estate at the coast.

While South Africa’s programme, the Financial Independent Permit (permanent residence), allows the wealthy to work, study, or manage their own business in the country and requires a minimum net worth of $820,000.

NIPDB said that among the various categories conceptualised under the RBI framework, will be through real estate investments.

“The NIPDB is currently working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (MHAISS) to ensure that all aspects and potential gaps in the programme are well considered, and that the criteria for the approvals for real estate de`velopments qualifying for RBI are well set out before submitting the same to Cabinet for approval,” said NIPDB CEO.

This activity, has an underlying objective of raising N$50 billion in investments during the Harambee Prosperity Plan 11 (HPPII) period, was due for implementation during the second quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year, Uaandja noted.

Therefore, HPPII mandates that the NIPDB in conjunction with the Ministry of Home Affairs will formulate a targeted Golden VISA program looking to incentivize and attract investors with skills, discretionary capital and ambitions to set up businesses and residency in Namibia.

The CEO further added that at its inception in 2021, the NIPDB was familiarized with the President’s Link Estate development in Walvis Bay. The project promoters sought the assistance of the Board with provision of several investor services in line with their mandate to render investment facilitation services to potential investors.

In accordance with the HPP II objective, the project promoters further requested an update and have been following up on the status of the Golden Visa program.

The total investment value of the golf estate is set to be over N$4 billion. It is also envisaged that the project will create over 2,500 temporary jobs, 1,300 permanent jobs, and build over 700 low cost houses for Namibians (in addition to the homes constructed on the Estate).

“One of the marketing angles for this project includes RBI through real estate component” she supplements.

However, she said in the absence of an approved Golden Visa programmes and while the modalities of the type of residency offered through these programmes and the conditions attached thereto, are still be in worked through and pending approval by the relevant authorities, the NIPDB has advised the project promoters to attract investors based on the existing laws and regulations as applied by MHAISS.

Furthermore, Uaandja indicated that Namibia is faced with challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. In order to effectively address these challenges, the Namibian government has committed to a private sector led growth and has embraced investments as an important part of the solution to these challenges.

“In this regard, the NIPDB is working collaboratively with various OMAs to ensure that they attract investments that will bring Namibia closer to achieving the national priorities and economic development objectives, in accordance with the national laws and regulations,” she noted.

March 15, 2023

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