President Dr Hage Geingob's remarks at the assenting of Bills ceremony
The Right Honourable Saara-Kuugongelwa Amadhila - Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia;
Honourable Immanuel Ngatjizeko - Minister of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development;
Mr. Paulus Noa - Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission;
Honourable Frans Kapofi - Minister of Presidential Affairs;
Officials of the Government of the Republic of Namibia;
Members of the Media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad that you could honour this important occasion by your presence here today. This is a day where we are about to witness the apotheosis of several years of hard work by our Government, aimed at improving transparency and service delivery in our country, and ultimately enhancing our regional and international competitiveness, with the aim of propelling Namibia towards the target of prosperity as captured by our National Development Plans, Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan. I salute all those hardworking officials and our Members of Parliament, who have dedicated their time and knowledge in ensuring that this moment comes to fruition.
On April 21, 2015, while delivering my first State of the Nation Address, I stated that Namibia is a rules-based Nation and it is therefore crucial that we must capacitate and allow our institutions such the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Namibian Police and our Courts to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption without fear or favor. Today it gives me great pleasure to announce that we are delivering on that promise.
Through the Anti-Corruption Amendment Act, we are empowering this institution, one of the bedrocks of our Governance Architecture, to implement its mandate with greater effectiveness and scope.
Let me now take this opportunity to elucidate on the three Bills which will be assented into Acts, namely the:
- Anti-Corruption Amendment Act;
- Namibia Investment Promotion Act; and
- Business and Intellectual Property Authority Act.
In terms of the Anti-Corruption Amendment Act, two amendments were made to the Act to substitute the naming convention of the Director to Director General and the Deputy Director to Deputy Director General respectively as well as providing for the appointment of a Permanent Secretary for the Commission. As you may be aware, the title of Director General is the title given to the highest executive officer within a government institution. Therefore this change is aimed at giving the leadership of the ACC greater executing powers which will allow them to carry out their mandates more effectively.
Furthermore, by introducing the position of Permanent Secretary at the ACC, the Director General and the Deputy Director General will not have to be seized with too many administrative matters anymore. There will now be an accounting officer to deal with matters of an administrative nature, allowing them to concentrate on their immediate responsibilities.
The second Act is the long awaited Namibia Investment Promotion Act is now a reality. It is also a sentimental moment for me, since I recall the extensive ground work that took place during my tenure as Minister of Trade and Industry. This Act provides amongst other things for the following:
- The promotion of sustainable economic development and growth through mobilization and attraction of foreign and domestic investment to enhance economic development, reduce unemployment, accelerate growth and diversify the economy;
- Reservation of certain economic sectors and business activities to certain categories of investors; and
- To provide for dispute resolution mechanisms involving investment.
The objectives of the Act are to:
1. Provide a clear and transparent framework for investment;
2. Provide for an efficient dispute resolution mechanism in the event of a dispute arising over investment;
3. Provide for inter-ministerial coordination in regulatory provisions, incentives and support mechanisms for investments;
4. Promote sustainable economic development and growth through the mobilization and attraction of both domestic and foreign investments.
In line with our efforts to improve performance across all sectors, the new Act will introduce the concept of Performance Agreements if deemed appropriate where the Minister may sign a Performance Agreement with an investor.
The Act will also give the Minister of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development the option, in the interest of national security and public interest, to reserve certain sectors for certain categories of investors or for the State or Namibians.
The third Act is the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) Act, which seeks to establish the BIPA, which amongst other things will be the focal point for registration of business and industrial property and for the administration and protection of business and intellectual property. Furthermore, the Act also establishes the BIPA Board to oversee the operations of BIPA.
All these three Acts are very important to the successful implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. The last two Acts in particular are very relevant to our Competitiveness agenda. They provide clarity to investors about the investment environment as well as facilitating a One- Stop-Shop approach to investment.
We look forward to more streamlined processes and procedures to ease the regulatory burden of doing business in Namibia.
Today we are making another statement of our intent to progress the development of our Namibian House to higher heights. We are putting our plans to build a better future for our citizens into effect. Let this moment signify our Government's policy of "forward ever, backward never."
Once, again, let me thank our hardworking and dedicated officials, members of Parliament, academia and Private Sector, who have contributed tremendously to realizing this moment. It is on your behalf, as well as the behalf of this entire country, that I now lift my pen to sign these three bills into acts. Let us pave the way forward for an industrious, corruption free and prosperous Namibia.
God bless the Republic of Namibia.
I thank you.