Wealth Solutions & Wealth Planning
Namibia Residence by Investment — An African Gem for Global Investors
Amanda Smit of Henley & Partners
May 9, 2023
Affluent individuals and families are always on the lookout for new places to do business, invest, or even live in. A country that holds immense appeal but might not yet be on investors’ radars is Namibia, where it is now possible to gain residence by investment into an attractive real estate-linked project — Africa’s second investment migration option after Mauritius.
Strong wealth growth forecast for the decade
Located at the southwest of Africa, Namibia is a large country of 825,615 km2 with just 2.5 million inhabitants, making it the third most sparsely populated country in the world after Greenland and Mongolia. It became independent in 1990, having previously been a mandate of neighboring South Africa and, prior to that, a colony of Germany. As such, English, German, and Afrikaans are among the many languages spoken. The capital city, Windhoek, has a population of over 450,000 and is the country’s cultural, economic, social, and political hub, and the headquarters of almost every national educational and cultural institution, business, and governmental body.
As Henley & Partners’ Africa Wealth Report 2023 reveals, Namibia is expected to be one of Africa’s fastest growing markets going forward, with high-net-worth individual (those with wealth of USD 1 million or more) growth of over 60% forecast for the next decade (until 2032). According to the report, Namibia holds USD 26 billion in total investable wealth, and the average wealth of a resident of Namibia (wealth per capita) is USD 10,050, ranking as the third highest in Africa after Mauritius and South Africa. The nation is home to around 2,100 high-net-worth individuals and three centi-millionaires (with wealth of USD 100 million or more).
Ludwigsdorf in Windhoek is the suburb with the highest number of resident millionaires, followed by Klein Windhoek (also in Windhoek), Vogelstrand in Swakopmund, Langstrand in Walvis Bay, and Dolphin Beach (also in Walvis Bay).
Namibia Residence by Investment — A new African home in three months
To gain a work permit and residence rights in Namibia, investors can acquire real estate through a company in the modern and sophisticated President’s Links Estate in Walvis Bay, the ‘Bay of Whales’. President’s Links Estate is an eco-friendly residential and golf estate, located at the edge of the Dorob National Park in Walvis Bay. The minimum investment is USD 365,000, or USD 300,000 for retirees or those over 60 years old for the purchase of retirement units. The processing time from submission of the application to approval is just three months, after which investors have the right to live, work, and study in Namibia and puts them on a pathway to being eligible to apply for permanent residence after seven years.
Presidents Links Estate has a limited offering of 725 units, with fewer than 600 available to investors younger than 60 years old (not recognized as retirees in Namibia) to qualify for the work permit. Applications are done in line with existing laws and regulations as applied by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security, can be submitted easily through an online portal, and must include completed application forms accompanied by the appropriate fees and supporting documents.
A safe, secure environment
One of Africa’s most stable democracies, Namibia’s longstanding peace and stability have led to one of the most developed economies in the region, with agriculture, mining, and tourism all playing significant roles. Namibia is a member state of the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Customs Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the UN. It enjoys particularly good relations with South Africa, and the South African rand is legal tender.
Namibia is a safe place to live and to visit, and many expats choose to live in luxury estates, which benefit from controlled access and a range of other security features. Estate living also offers lifestyle benefits such as communal areas and facilities such as gyms and restaurants, limited traffic, and even roaming wildlife.
High standards of living
Namibia provides an excellent quality of life for expats and visitors alike, not least because of its huge area and small population, which means it is very peaceful and no one is ever far from pristine nature. But for those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, Windhoek provides all the modern amenities anyone could wish for.
The country has a sizeable private healthcare sector, with 844 private health facilities and a bed-to-population ratio equivalent to that of higher income countries such as New Zealand and Norway.
In terms of education, the country offers over 100 private schools, including international schools and Afrikaans, British, and German schools, among others.
A business-friendly environment
Major industries include mining (copper, diamonds, gold, uranium, and zinc), eco-tourism (hunting and safari lodges), farming, fishing, and manufacturing. Namibia is looking to position itself as a modern developing country by expanding its manufacturing industry and exporting more goods while preserving its most valuable assets — its natural environment and ecological diversity.
The government is actively seeking foreign investment to boost economic growth, combat unemployment, and diversify the economy. It provides many opportunities for international investors seeking to establish a foothold and growth on the African continent, including tax incentives, financing, and a one-stop bureau service for international companies.
Areas of particular focus include technological investment to help prevent climate change, investing more heavily in renewable energies (such as wind power from the Atlantic coastline and solar power), and pioneering private social enterprise centered around health and education. Under the Foreign Investment Act of 1993, foreign investors and Namibian firms are treated equally, while Namibia’s independent judicial system and protection of property and contractual rights make it a good place to do business for foreigners.
An attractive tax system
Namibia operates a source-based tax system, which means that foreign residents are generally only taxed on the income they generate in the country. What is more, tax rates are relatively competitive compared with many other emerging markets. The top rate of income tax in the country is a modest 37%, but perhaps most notably there are no capital gains, estate, gift, inheritance, or net wealth/worth taxes.
To attract inward investment, the government has made major improvements to its tax system in recent years. This led to Namibia being taken off the European Union's list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions in 2018.
Namibia’s network of roads has been ranked first in Africa for five consecutive years and includes the Trans-Kalahari Highway, which links the port of Walvis Bay on the Atlantic coast to Botswana and South Africa, and the Trans-Caprivi Highway, which links Namibia to neighboring Botswana and Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zimbabwe.
The country also has good air links, with regular flights between Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek and Frankfurt in Germany, and direct flights to sub-Saharan cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, Gaborone in Botswana, Harare in Zimbabwe, Luanda in Angola, and Lusaka in Zambia. Several private charter companies offer regional flights.
Namibia was one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve full internet connectivity, making communication easy. 4G is available across 85% of the country, and the regulator commenced its auction process for 5G-capable spectrum in February 2023. Namibia also has one of the most modern postal infrastructures in Africa.
Natural beauty and wide-open spaces
One of the biggest drawcards for visiting or living in Namibia is its astounding natural beauty. Possibly best known for its two deserts — the Kalahari and the Namib, the world’s oldest — Namibia’s vast expanse offers something for everyone, including fertile wetlands, grassy plains, and breathtaking mountains. It is also home to the Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa, and Dune 7, the seventh-biggest sand dune in the world. Another notable feature is the Skeleton Coast, characterized by thick sea fogs that make it a favorite subject of wildlife documentary makers from around the world. Meanwhile, the Caprivi Strip, the thin stretch of land at the far north of Namibia that juts out 450 km eastwards, is a safari-lover’s paradise.
As the first African country to enshrine environmental protection in its constitution, Namibia is a safe home to some of Africa’s most iconic species, including elephant, flamingo, hyena, lion, ostrich, and zebra. It also houses the world’s largest populations of black rhino, cape fur seal, and cheetah. Protection of the environment is reinforced by the government, and rural communities have the right to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies.
This legislature is possible because of the low population density, which allows for more wild open spaces and wildlife, giving nature the opportunity to thrive, which improves the quality of life for locals. It also boosts eco-tourism opportunities, resulting in reduced dependence on other countries for trade and resources and less competition for land within the country.
A lucrative investment destination
Namibia presents a distinctive and appealing prospect for foreign investors, as it boasts a thriving economy and a dedication to sustainable progress — a combination that positions the country to achieve lasting success.
If you wish to learn more about residence by investment in Namibia or any other investment migration program, please reach out to Henley & Partners. As the pioneering firm and the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment, we are best placed to successfully serve international clients and partners interested in acquiring alternative residence and citizenship options.
President’s Links Estate – Home from Home
The President’s Links Estate is a new development in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Built around a signature golf course, the safe, welcoming, eco-friendly estate has many drawcards.
- Sophisticated, elegant homes include pre-installed cable TV and fibreoptic Wi-Fi
- High-quality public open spaces, including pet-friendly parks
- Top-end leisure facilities, including a sport and golf academy
- A wide range of recreational activities, including an a bowling alley, children’s play areas, putt-putt, running and cycling tracks, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and an urban gym
- Premium commercial amenities, including residents-only restaurants and coffee shops
- One of three golf courses in the world built in a dune setting
- A limited offering of 725 units, with fewer than 600 available to investors younger than 60 years old
Safety and security
- Discreet security, with no walls visible from inside the estate
- Access to the residential area restricted to residents only
- Hi-tech camera surveillance
- 24-hour private patrolling
- Water conscious irrigation using non-drinking water
- Energy conservation methods such as natural ventilation
- A portion of each investment into The Presidents Links Estate will be invested in the Living Desert Fund, which will enable community development initiatives, ensuring community sustainability
- President’s Links Estate offers the opportunity to invest in the business ecosystem, which includes:
- Branded, furnished rental homes operated by an international hotel group
- A state-of-the-art, 50-bed day hospital, ICU facility, and chemotherapy and rehabilitation center for cancer patients and long-term recovery patients
- A hotel and casino operated by an international hotel group
- A diverse retail section
- Support in relocating your businesses to Walvis Bay
Managing Partner, South Africa at Henley & Partners
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