The inaugural Index measures entrepreneurial environments around the world and assesses each of its 85 countries against a set of criteria that spans policy, infrastructure, education, entrepreneurial environment and finance. It is based on research conducted by Mara Foundation and strategic insight company Opinium.
According to the Index, of the African nations Namibia has the highest ranking (42nd), followed by Rwanda (43rd) then Botswana in 44th place with South Africa in 46th position.
The Index measures markets according to specific pillars, including policy, infrastructure, education, entrepreneurial environment and finance.
Namibia's ICT track record has reportedly strengthened its appeal among investors, according to feedback from the Namibia International Investment Conference held recently in Windhoek.
At the 2016 leg of the Conference the country's Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Tjekero Tweya cited some of the progress in his presentation of ICT as a foundation for Namibia's economic prosperity. In early November the African ICT Alliance hosted its 4th Summit in Namibia, in conjunction with the ICT Professionals' Association of Namibia (ICT-PAN) under the auspices of the Minister of ICT, Namibia. The Summit gave rise to the 'Windhoek Declaration' which outlines several industry intentions and objectives covering significant issues impacting on ICT, including support for startups, the ability to leverage IoT (Internet of Things) and the establishment of a visa-free regime for business-to-business.
'The ICT sector of Namibia is still small but rapidly growing. The last decade a series of legislative processes aimed at promoting ICT in Namibia were put in place such as, Namibian Communication Act, 2009, ICT policy 2009, Telecommunications Policy, Broadcasting Act 1990, Postal policy, and New Licensing framework and the DTT policy. In today's era ICTs are also used as a planning tool that directly influence areas upon which a country can build its economy. The sectors of ICT can, without a doubt generate significant growth and wealth in their own right."
Ashish J Thakkar, Founder, Mara Group & Mara Foundation said: "Through the work of Mara Group over the past 20 years, I have come to recognise the immense contribution that entrepreneurs make to economies and societies around the world – particularly in relation to job creation. In recent years, however, it has become more and more apparent that governments and the private sector are simply not doing enough to support entrepreneurs in their endeavours. With the creation of this Index, we hope to provide some solid policy recommendations that will help guide discussions and improve entrepreneurial environments globally."