Namibia - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices used in selling in this market, including sales material that needs to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2022-10-03

Trade Promotion and Advertising

The following trade shows usually take place in Namibia, and they provide a good opportunity to showcase one’s products.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some trade shows may be cancelled or delayed.

APRIL
Luderitz Crayfish Festival

MAY
Windhoek Mining Expo & Conference

JUNE
Windhoek Namibia Tourism Expo
Bank Windhoek & Republikein Motor Show

AUGUST
Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair

SEPTEMBER
Windhoek Agricultural Show

OCTOBER
Tsumeb Copper Festival
Walvis Bay Namport Erongo Business & Tourism Expo
 

Pricing

Because the majority of products are imported from South Africa, most industry prices are derived from South African prices.  The Namibia dollar (N$) is pegged 1:1 to the South African Rand.  Goods and services are priced in Namibia dollars, though South African Rand are accepted as legal tender in Namibia.

A registered company or person is required to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on the supply of most goods and services.  VAT is also payable on the purchase and import of most goods and some services.   Most goods are taxable at the standard rate of 15% although some supplies and imports are subject to the higher rate of 30%.  Local prices of goods and services normally include VAT.

Sales Service/Customer Support

Most major companies and shops provide satisfactory customer support and offer after sales service.  Firms wishing to penetrate the Namibian market will need to consider how to provide after-sales service (either directly or via a partner company).

Local Professional Services

The Namibia Trade Directory (http://namibiatradedirectory.com/)contains contact information for local authorities, parastatal bodies, advertising and news media, business and professional organizations, chamber of commerce, diplomatic missions and non-governmental organizations.

Principal Business Associations

The largest business association in Namibia is the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Namibia has a many other business and professional associations as well, and a list can be found on the Namibia Trade Directory.

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

The Investment Promotion Act reserves the right of the government to impose certain restrictions on foreign investors.  Restrictions can relate to land, natural resource rights, government contracts (tenders), transfer of ownership of investments above a certain size, and sectors reserved for Namibian businesses, as defined by the Minister of Trade, Industrialization, and SME Development.  For example, the government requires local participation before issuing licenses to exploit natural resources and has additional restrictions in the case of certain “strategic minerals”. 

In 2011, the Namibian government declared uranium, diamonds, gold, copper, and rare earth metals to be strategic minerals.  The declaration aimed to make the government and people of Namibia meaningful participants in the mining sector by granting state-owned companies the right to own all new licenses issued for the exploration and mining of strategic minerals.  Such companies are authorized to enter into joint ventures with other parties for exploration and/or development.  Currently, Epangelo is the only such company.  Renewal of existing licenses was not affected.

The Land Reform Act regulates the acquisition of agricultural land by foreign nationals. No foreign national is allowed to acquire agricultural land without the prior consent of the Minister of Land Reform.

New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework and Affirmative Action

The government actively encourages partnerships with historically disadvantaged Namibians.  The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare’s Equity Commission requires all firms to develop an affirmative action plan for management positions and to report annually on its implementation.  The Prime Minister continues to draft the “New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework” law, which aims to create conditions in which the distribution of income becomes far more equitable than it is at present.  After some debate, the draft bill was withdrawn for possible revision and has not been re-introduced to Parliament.  Namibia’s Affirmative Action Act strives to create equal employment opportunities, improve conditions for the historically disadvantaged, and eliminate discrimination.  The commission facilitates training programs, provides technical and other assistance, and offers expert advice, information, and guidance on implementing affirmative action in the workplace.

In certain industries, the government has employed techniques to increase Namibian participation.  In the fishing sector, companies pay lower quota fees if they operate Namibian-flagged vessels that are based in Namibia, with crews that are predominantly Namibian.  The Minister of Mining and Energy has made clear that mining companies must “indicate and show commitment to empowering previously disadvantaged Namibians” in their applications for exploration and mining licenses.