Progress toward establishing a National Single Window moved forward after an inter-ministerial workshop in Namibia held Feb. 27, 2017. Attended by senior public and private sector stakeholders, the event was a critical step in moving Namibia closer to implementing its National Single Window for Trade. The primary objective was to determine how to structure the operating authority for NSW in Namibia, with participants deliberating over fully Government funded options and the many possibilities offered through a Public Private Partnership.
A National Single Window "was chosen from several alternatives as the best way to realize Namibia’s vision to become one of the best in speed, efficiency and low cost of trading across borders," the Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Namibia, John Kowalski, said in his remarks. "The reasons are simple: Trade is key to economic prosperity. Easier and more trade means easier and more economic prosperity."
The keynote speaker was Hon. Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Minister of Trade, Industry and SME Development, the National Single Window project champion. Discussions included contributions from several ministers and deputy ministers, and executive officers from Namibia’s major trade and industry associations.
The single window technology facilitates the exchange of trade-relevant information between traders and government agencies, as well as among government agencies, for obtaining permits and licenses, certificates and necessary approvals. This reduces the time it takes to clear goods and reduces the costs of doing business.
Many countries have already successfully implemented a National Single Window; when Ghana introduced their platform, customs revenue increased by 50% in the first year while, simultaneously, the time and cost of exporting shrank by 65%.
Hon. Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Minister of Trade, Industry and SME Development (seated right) at the National Single Window inter-ministerial workshop, Feb. 27, 2017, in Windhoek.