Namibia-based News Media Hate the Country and Its People?

I wished that Namibian news media write more news articles that promote Namibia in a good and positive way. There’s so much, many great things, that happen each day in Namibia, and the beauty of the country is so inviting… and if the Namibian news media would write more about these good things, then you’d see a more great impact in the country’s economy.

In the US, my home in Beverly Hills, California is just about 10 kilometers away from Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in Hollywood. And even Hollywood itself, it’s not that as extravaganza as the US based news media promote it. It’s really a dirty, old looking place but those outside Hollywood would never know until you visit Hollywood to your own surprise how the US media hype up Hollywood.

If the Namibian news media could do more, write and publish more about the good things that happen in Namibia and the beauty of Namibia, then this could really help make a change. Namibia is even to be said the “Garden of Eden”, the birthplace of modern humanity, according to some of the world’s leading research Universities including Oxford University, Stanford University, etc., (just google this) and the Namibia-based news media don’t grab on this to write and exploit to promote Namibia in this sense, as the cradle of life, the birthplace of modern humanity, and this could exploit people from all over the world to come and visit Namibia.

When foreign people come from wherever to visit Namibia, they would spend their money, lots of money, in Namibia, and that’s just great for the Namibian economy.

Namibian news media, please write more stories to promote the country and its people’s efforts, right now you focus more on stories that depress the readers and demote the country, which simply deters more prospect visitors to Namibia.

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Namibia, the Next Best Hub for the Medical Tourism?

The NEXT best thing that could happen to the Namibian economy to benefit the Namibian people is; Medical Tourism.

“Medical Tourism or health tourism is the travel of people to another country for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment in that country.” This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and India, South Africa, Cuba, the US, etc., are some of the world’s leading destinations for medical tourism. (More about Medical Tourism at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_tourism).

Namibia, as one of the most peaceful, stable, fast growing economies, and democratic countries in the world, can benefit tremendously if Namibia could focus and invest in building some of the finest medical centers equipped with the world’s best medical technology and staffed with the world’s best medical personnel (can hire foreign doctors in the mean time, while training Namibians) to offer the best medical treatment at the most affordable offerings.

By doing so, Namibia could attract foreign medical tourists from all across Africa and the world, who would travel to Namibia to seek medical treatment. These medical patients generally spend thousands of dollars in medical treatments, lodging and food as well as shopping. All of which, is direct cash to flow into the Namibian economy, and at the same time, it further creates thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities for the Namibian people.

This post, I hope it can get your attention, to trigger your investment curiosity to invest in setting up the world’s leading medical centers in Namibia, a country on an African continent with a fast growing population of over one billion people. A country which, through Walvisbay, is the Gateway to the world’s largest shopping mall, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), with a population of over 400 million and a GDP of over US$700 billion. A community, the richest trading community in Africa, which holds more than 30% of the world’s richest natural resources.

Namibia as a peaceful, most stable, democratic country, with one of the fast growing economies, ranked by Forbes and Bloomberg as the #1 top emerging economy in Africa, and ranked by The New York Times as one of the top ten best destinations in the world in 2014, it’s a hub for fishing, mining, tourism, shopping, and entertainment with its vast Namib desert, the world’s best and oldest desert, which is unlike anything else, where this desert meets the Atlantic Ocean, thrusting the world’s most incredible natural beauty.

Namibia is a great place for your medical tourism investment, the country has some of the best favorable conditions and institutions conducive for entrepreneurship and business environment.

When thinking about medical tourism, think about Namibia. Namibia is open for business. It’s your gateway to SADC, the world’s largest shopping mall.

Visit and contact us at Groot Group to learn more about how to invest in Namibia.

Where are the Black-owned Engineering Firms for Industrial Ecosystems Development in Namibia?

We’re just coming from our intense technical planning for both @Groot Steel and @Tses Glass, with our Local Project Management team, and I feel really sad; I’m so sad that, as we put in so many hours developing these projects each day, hoping that in the end, we’re helping to economically empower those who have been left out by the wave of lucrative opportunities in Namibia, it’s very sad that in our technical team of engineers, many local partner companies involved, that there’s no single black-owned or operated firm offering technical expertise for these projects, and only white-owned. And this is so sad. It’s just too sad, that money paying for these technical services is flowing from one already-wealthy hand to more other already wealthy hands.

It’s sad that it seems like more black people in Namibia or rather Africa at large, tend to rather more focus on short term goals instead of investing their time and energy in long term visions, such as; projects like these are all for long terms; ranging from 2 to 5 years of just technical planning prior to getting any capital return from them, but black people don’t seem to be interested in that, they seem to be more interested only in such as shebeen business, where you plan and build it today, and tomorrow you’re getting your small change back.

But if it’s like this, then how can an economy can actually develop and prosper? Setting up and building cuca-shops, kapanas, mini-markets, retail stores, lodges, guesthouses, shebeens, shopping malls, etc are not the way to develop an economy. All of these are services which offer no real value; no value-added, no nothing except that you set them up fast just to close them down even fastest if things don’t go as expected possibly due to the severe competition (crowded market), and that these types of service businesses don’t offer sustainable good paying jobs, to the point that the workers themselves who work in these places can actually afford to buy from these services where they themselves work.

Manufacturing jobs offer the best economic value for the workers to support their families, communities, and the country. Setting up manufacturing factories such as steel mills, glass factories, power plants, and other infrastructure projects generally serve as the backbones of economies in the world, everywhere.

Setting up barbershops and street corner shebeens etc offer nothing, not even in the short term, but add more misery (governments must offer more social welfare programs) and poverty to the economy (poorly paid people don’t pay adequate tax to support offered governments’ social welfare programs).

I feel sad that, in a country like Namibia which is in Africa, that only more white companies are involved in offering technical expertise and planning which involves millions of dollars for their services.

Oh, my people, my Africans, when can we move away from the short-sighted goals and look at the furthest years to come; such as planning for the next 25-50 years from now? How can we really make Africa become economically successful, and make it no more politically focused and oriented? A politically focused and oriented Africa will keep seeing more people living in dire poverty, more families living in misery, more people dying, more governments looking for international donors’ bailout, more people living not according to their dreams and wishes but because of rather purposely designed social circumstances.

It’s just sad, too sad.

Developing Rural Namibia: How to Develop an Economic Depressed Rural Area Into a Thriving Economic Urban Center?

I realize that most city, town and village councils in Namibia may not really know how to actually attract and keep industrial businesses in their areas.

Rather, they tend to wait on the central government to direct them and basically mouth-feed them by attracting and getting investment on their behalf for their areas. And this is not how it works, hence most cities, towns and villages in urban and rural Namibia are facing high economic hardship and pressure for their municipalities and residents.

I have written about this before, on how a town or village can help attract an investment to its area; and in short, here is how it may happen;

Let’s say for example, Oikokola in Omusati Region wants to attract BMW in Germany to come and setup a manufacturing factory in Oikokola. Because the Oikokola village council knows exactly the massive socio-economic benefits rippling throughout the country just by having one BMW manufacturing plant in their area; that’s – one BMW Manufacturing Plant, let’s say employing more than 1500 people, can help effect a massive economic ecosystem in the same area; because out of that 1500 employees, there could be more than 7500 indirect employees.

How’s that? Based on my “Job Multiplier Effect Model”, which is based on my economic differentiation and derivative formulation, that’s per each “one” direct employee, “five” more indirect employment opportunities are created. So, just by having more than 9,000+ employees (1500+7500) in Oikokola; don’t forget that possibly per each employee could have 3 additional family members in his or her household, and that makes Oikokola to have more than 27,000 new residents, as a result of just one BMW Manufacturing Plant, that nearly makes Oikokola to become a major town with great and profitable socio-economic benefits that would ripple throughout the entire economy of the country.

Because the Oikokola town council has done its economic analysis on having such a Manufacturing Plant in its area, it serves best to have the Oikokola Village Council to select a team of delegates among its staff, and send them to BMW in Germany.

When they get there, they would have already prepared two first class-return flights for two BMW Executives, from Germany to Namibia, then they would also have prepared a first-class ground transportation to and from Windhoek to Oikokola, with first class hotel accommodation as well as lodging (food).

When they get to BMW in Germany, they would hold their meeting with the BMW executives; obviously they should have already made arrangement to meet with those executives responsible for international business development at BMW prior to going there. A the meeting, after their brief introductory summary, then they simply inform the BMW executives that, they have everything prepared; first class flight to and back from Namibia, ground transportation, food etc., so that they simply board the flight and come to Namibia.

Now, since everything is already prepared, and BMW or their executives don’t have to incur any expenses; they would be gladly interested in taking the trip; most executives would regard the trip as a vacation and would love it.

Obviously, it would not be on the same day; the village council would want to have an ample time before the BMW executives arrive in Namibia. So the village council should first go back to Oikokola and inform their local officials and residents that on that specific date, there would be special guests from BMW in Germany to come and visit the area for a possible investment project, that could help create jobs for the residents and improve economic condition of the area.

Then when that date comes; everyone should be ready to welcome the guests; with well-organized joyous celebrations, food, and orchestrated dances, and everything, so that the first thing that those BMW executives would see, would be happy faces of people excited to see them and welcome them. That by itself would likely make the BMW executives very excited just the fact that the locals are excited to see them.

Then the village council after they have officially welcomed them, then they take them to a meeting conference and make a presentation on what their area has to offer, in terms of available land, economic incentives, labor, and capital that would be of great benefit to BMW to have a manufacturing plant set up in the Oikokola area. In the presentation, it should include everything else; such as tax benefits that would entice BMW to come to Oikokola to setup a manufacturing plant.

After the presentation, then the village council should take the executives on a special tour for the area; show them around the area, and then take them to the land that the village council has allocated for the BMW Manufacturing Plant.

At that land site; the village council should entice the executives with eloquent talk and discussion and try to close the deal with them without being forceful, to have BMW setup a manufacturing plant there. Because of how everything are organized, BMW could possibly agree to set up a Manufacturing Plant there for the BMW automobiles, car parts, engines, or perhaps recommend their partners to do so. This is how town, village or city councils should do, to try to attract investment projects to their areas.

However, it only works best if the Council members actually know what to do; what investment is suitable for their area, as each area has its own comparative advantages; where to start, who to contact and how to actually do it to get the needed appointment with the company, anywhere in the world. And it doesn’t have to be BMW, it can be any company in the world, depends on what your area has to offer.

This is where we at Groot Group come in – we know how to do this; from conducting economic analysis for any area, and we are very connected globally to most of the world’s largest companies. Hence it has great benefits to work with us in order to help develop your village, town or city by bringing investment and industrial projects to your area that would forever help transform your area; for your residents, for the sake of the overall country’s economic growth. Because as an elected council member, you have responsibilities to your constituents; hence get up and do something real tangible to help grow your area – overall, you’re interested in getting re-elected or be appointed to a high post some day.

The above is just an example on how you may possibly attract investment projects to your area; however in reality – for the sake of Oikokola, a rural area in Omusati Region, we at Groot Group and SDS Group, have a team arriving from India for our Sitentu Food Processing Plant development in Oikokola and Nkurenkuru.

And given that Oikokola is currently just a rural area with basically nothing except the current residents and no nothing else; watch as we transform it from its current status to a major urban center within the next 5 years.

Our planned Sitentu Food Processing Plant in Oikokola (likewise Nkurenkuru) will employ 3,000+ workers at each location, with indirect employees of more than 7,500. Those workers will need proper housing for their stay, they will need retail stores for their everyday shopping need, Oshakati is too far for them, they will need clinics, barbershops, etc., basically they will need all the basic infrastructure as required for their well-being and better living, and obviously, we will depend on entrepreneurs to set up those businesses and services for the future workers of Oikokola and likewise, Nkurenkuru.

Why Oikokola and Nkurenkuru? We are targeting both the rural Namibian and rural Angolan informal farmers to benefit from their hard farm labor. This is the economic transformation vision of our Company; creating powerful economic linkages between rural and urban centers.

Smart working and planning, with the support of the local, regional and central government can have great positive economic impacts for an improved living condition of the people in the economy (country).

I want and hope to make Namibia as a spring platform for economic transformation for the whole of Africa. It’s time for Africa to improve her economy to benefit her people. Political economy is long dead, the future is rapid industrialization based on the Groot Group Economic Ecosystem Model.

Email me at simon@grootgroup.com with questions on how we can help you get the most investment project for your area.

I’m a Neuroeconomist and Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder of Groot Group at www.grootgroup.com; as well as Managing-Director and Co-Founder of Tses Glass (Pty) Ltd, as well as Co-Founder and Project Director of Otavi Steel (Pty) Ltd, and Sitentu Power Plant (Pty) Ltd. I’m a Nominee of the Prestigious 2012 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.

Bank of Namibia’s Lowering the Repo Rate – What Does It Mean for You?

The Bank of Namibia, the central bank of Namibia, last week announced that it has reduced the repo rate to 5.5%, which is now at the lowest level since independence in 1990 while the prime lending rate is now at its lowest level since May 1974 when interest rates stood at 9%. (Economist.com.na).

But will this help you? The repo rate is the rate of interest that commercial banks such as Standard Bank, FNB, Nedbank, and Bank Windhoek charge each other; for example; if Standard Bank is possibly temporarily short of cash, it may apply for a loan from FNB or perhaps from BoN at that repo rate which it must pay it back at most within 24 hours.

Now, since the repo rate is lower, that means these commercial banks should charge lower interest rates on your new loan application. This is done basically that BoN is trying to encourage loan lending in the economy; to help increase cash flow and hence spending in the economy, and this could help increase or boost economic activities, hence economic growth on the macro level.

But does this work in Namibia? Perhaps not; with the unemployment rate in Namibia I’ve estimated it to currently be at 54%, that means more than half of the Namibian people are unable to apply and be qualified for personal loans. And those who are currently employed still may not be able to apply and get qualified for personal bank loans as desired due to; either that their salary and wages are lower or simply that most Namibians’ personal credit history reports have accumulated to an high adverse ratings that for most to apply and get qualified for personal loans at the four mentioned commercial banks in Namibia may not be possible.

So how does the lowering of the repo rate help the economy? Well, may be not much, but it’s better than nothing.

And just because the repo rate is lower, this may not mean that these four commercial banks will actually lower their interest rates on your personal loan need; as their ultimate goal is profit making and not charity, and due to a possible lower demand (persons applying and get qualified for personal loans) vs the limited supply of commercial banks available in Namibia, these banks may not even succumb to lowering the current interest rate on your next personal loan application.

In short; the current lowering of the BoN’s repo rate may simply mean peanuts to most of the Namibian people.

Are There Any Smart People Left in Africa?

More and more US entrepreneurs are launching companies for mining in space. Apart from the much recently publicized, Planetary Resources Inc., which aims to mine an Asteroid circling near the Sun, Moon Express Inc., is another one of many US companies that seek to mine certain rare minerals on the Moon and it expects to land on the moon by 2013.

Here is the case; some of the serial entrepreneurs in developed countries have almost exploited and exhausted most, if not all, the ideas to turn them into profitable companies, and now are starting to focus on space mining and exploration.

But what are the entrepreneurs in Africa doing? Sleeping, drinking themselves to death, or just loathing around?

Africa countries have some of the most educated people, just like in other developed countries. But some of the factors that may brain drain Africa is that most of these foreign educated Africans never return to their home countries in Africa, they end up staying where they have studied and work for the companies in those countries.

But a few who return to their home countries in Africa, they walk around; bragging and boasting around because of their papers (degrees) and academic achievements, then they get jobs in governments and simply become useless. Because in their job posts, they are not expected to meet any certain quotas or milestones, and mostly after work every day, they go out to drink themselves out. Then the next day they go to work, with a much hangover, and that makes them even more less productive. But at the end of each month, they receive their generous paychecks whether they have done any work or not.

All in all, they rarely do anything impactful to come up with real innovations that could help transform their economies and raise up their communities’ standard of living.

If I am wrong, please tell me even just 5 innovations that were developed in Africa.

Nearly everything that we use today in our homes and at work, from automobiles, planes, electricity, etc., were invented in countries outside Africa; mostly in the US.

My question is this; are there any smart people living in Africa? Are there any entrepreneurs in Africa?

There’s a silly and perhaps racial saying; all the smart people who were born in Africa have left Africa, and only the dumb ones are still living in Africa. Is this true?

So what is really the issue that hinters a rapid economic development and growth in Africa?

Is it perhaps because more Africans become politicians or politicians wannabee instead of engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs (not shebeen owners) who develop real innovations that solve some of today’s intricate problems?

ANC Making a Big Mistake by Expelling Julius Malema

This is a very sensitive issue and I believe the ANC is making a huge mistake if it expels Julius Malema from the ANC Party.

It’s a known fact by nearly everyone that the Youths in Africa are the most vulnerable in terms of employment, skills development, and access to socio-economic programs; and each ruling party anywhere in Africa should embrace at all costs to making sure that the Youths are well cared for. Because if you look at the age median of the political spectrum today in Africa; the majority of the voters are the youths, and I am referring to those who were born after 1990. They don’t know anything first-hand about apartheid or colonization, except what they read in history books and hear mythical stories as told by their parents and friends in the streets.

The youths today don’t care about what happened during the apartheid era or colonization; they only care about their cellphones, laptops, cars, tablet devices, connecting to the Web; in short, they only care about money; and I mean “hard cash” and nothing else. Hence any ruling party that doesn’t cater to providing the youths in their country with the much needed resources to put hard cash in their pockets, then that ruling party is doomed and is risking losing the next or next-to-next general election.

As for the ANC, it needs to realize that Julius Malema, regardless of his hard rhetoric and militant tenor, he’s more influential and more powerful than the ANC itself (consider the Hip-Hop group, Public Enermy, in the 80’s and early 90’s, do you know what happened during that time to the US cities of Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, etc. with their militant song; “Fight the Power”?), meaning that if he gets expelled from the ANC, that he’s more than able and capable of creating his own political party and be able to raise enough funds to easily win the next South African Presidential election.

Now, before you say “no” he can’t do that, then look at South African youths; the majority of them are blacks and are unemployed or underemployed and if Malema can put together a powerful and experienced Advisory Committee to court and guide him, so that he can tone down his militant rhetoric and embrace a more softer but still hard-toned down tenor that directly addresses the issues that the South African Youths are facing daily, then this will coin him and guarantee him to win the next South African Presidential Election.

Now, instead for the ANC to expel him, it should consider offering him and putting him in a “Strategic Position” within the ANC Party that will cater to pulling and attracting the angry South African Youths to the ANC Party, and then try to address their issues collectively. However, if they expel him from the ANC Party, because he has criticized President Jacob Zuma, then they are risking losing the next Presidential Election, because the Youths will likely follow him to whatever party he goes.

And in general, African Presidents need to get used to being ridiculed and criticized; this is democracy. Constituencies must have the rights to air their views on the President’s job performances. Criticism and being ridiculed don’t mean disrespectful, it simply implying an unsatisfactorily sentiments due to the President’s job precipitation.

The world has changed; everything in it has changed; politics and business as usual have changed; it’s not the same old principled theories any more. And every leader anywhere should embrace this change; which is the new age of interacted, and a more connected global economy. Political economy no longer has roots; it’s meaningless. Economic transformation is the next wave for Africa’s industrialization as fueled by the passion for Africans to live like other humans elsewhere in the world.

Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc are dead, even the Soviet Union (USSR) doesn’t exist any more, capitalism has seen its transformation change and chanllenge since The 2008 Great Recession. Now it’s the market-driven-economy which rules and controls this wind of a new change; a world of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, iPhone, and more. These platforms have completely revolutionized how things work and are done today; both in politics, business, entertainment, science, and everything else.

The global information in which we live now is on everyone’s fingertips. We are now more connected, more smarter, more informed, more vocal, and more open. The print news media are no longer relevant. Their relevancy only for confirmation of the reported news.

This new global change needs and must be understood and accepted by African leaders who still practice and focus on the old politics, the politics of old dogs fighting for old bones.

This new change needs to ring clear and loud within every ruling party especially in Africa; that the Youths at all costs “must come first”. Because any country that overlooks or underestimates its youths is directly or indirectly doomed to have political fallout and economic demise. And the ANC must consider reinstating Malema right away and find a common goal to best work and reason with him, if they want to win the next Presidential Election.

If ANC expels Julius Malema today, expect a huge political backlash against the ANC Party.

(I wrote this unbiased opinion as an Analyst, not a politician. I hate politics. And, no I am not a supporter of Julius Malema, I think he’s a joke, but I respect him as a human being).