The annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 140 countries was released and Namibia rose by three places on the Global Competitiveness rankings for 2015-16, up from 88th to 85th with a score of 3.99.
The World Economic Forum said the report findings as well as the global rankings of competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, Global Competitive scores are calculated by drawing together country-level data covering 12 categories.
IPPR Executive Director, Graham Hopwood said that, “the marginal improvement, while welcome, still leaves Namibia a long way from its target of being the most competitive country in Southern Africa by 2017. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is the World Economic Forum’s Partner Institute in Namibia.”
According to NDP4’s desired outcome, by the year 2017 Namibia should be the most competitive economy in the SADC region as judged by the World Economic Forum (WEF). In the
2015-16 rankings, the country came fourth as the most competitive country in SADC after Mauritius (46th), South Africa (49th) and Botswana (71st).
This would mean having to move up the rankings by almost 40 places in two years to overtake Mauritius’s current position.
Namibia scored well for its macroeconomic environment but is rated poorly for the quality of its higher education, technological readiness, innovation and market size. An inadequately educated workforce followed by access to financing and poor work ethic in the labour force are listed in the report as the most problematic factors for doing business.
Meanwhile, sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow close to 5%, but competitiveness and productivity remain low. According to the rankings report this is something countries in the region will have to work on, especially as they face volatile commodity prices, closer scrutiny from international investors and population growth.
Mauritius remains the region’s most competitive economy (46th), closely followed by South Africa (49th) and Rwanda (58th). Côte d’Ivoire (91st) and Ethiopia (109th) excel as this year’s largest improver in the region overall.
“The fourth industrial revolution is facilitating the rise of completely new industries and economic models and the rapid decline of others. To remain competitive in this new economic landscape will require greater emphasis than ever before on key drivers of productivity, such as talent and innovation,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
The pillars of that collectively make up a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness; institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.
First place in the GCI rankings, for the seventh consecutive year, goes to Switzerland. Its strong performance in all 12 pillars of the index explains its remarkable resilience throughout the crisis and subsequent shocks. Singapore remains in 2nd place and the United States 3rd. Germany improves by one place to 4th and the Netherlands returns to the 5th place it held three years ago.