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NIPDB Initiates Bidding Process to Build Namibia’s Nation Brand

The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) recently issued a Request for Proposals for the appointment of a consultant to develop a national brand and communication strategy.

The NIPDB urges suitably eligible Namibian companies to submit bids for this massive effort, which will shape the country’s future trajectory.

The bidding process, according to Catherine Shipushu, NIPDB Senior Manager for Marketing, Branding, and Communications, is likely to be very competitive, with both local and international companies invited, as the proposal submission deadline is set for 07 September this year.

“As an emerging market, Namibia finds herself frequently competing, either directly or indirectly, with other nations to capture the attention of investors, tourists, and potential trading partners, amongst others. The current perception of Namibia as ‘Africa’s best-kept secret’ is not likely to significantly catalyze an inflow of foreign direct investment or boost tourism, both of which are essential to stimulating economic activity and growth in the country,” she said.

“The NIPDB is acutely aware that nation-branding remains a highly specialised and niche field and recognises the importance of building local capacity,” she added. “Therefore, we have mandated all international bidders to partner with a local company or agency. In practical terms, international bidders must develop a bespoke programme outlining how their respective companies intend to build capacity for Namibians as part of their bid. Bids that fail to meet this provision will not be considered.

“As such, the successful bidder will embark on the extensive process of developing the strategy, which will entail consultations with relevant stakeholders in Namibia. The Nation Brand Working Committee intends to unveil Namibia’s nation brand in March 2024.”

It comes as the Nation Brand Working Committee, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Hon Emma Theofelus, decided to appoint an independent consultant to develop a national brand strategy to enhance the country’s global presence.

She added: “To cut through the ‘noise’ and stand out as a destination of choice, Namibia must forge a national identity that not only strategically differentiates her, but also does so in a credible and relevant manner. Hence, building a national brand is no longer an option or a luxury but a strategic imperative for Namibia’s sustainable economic growth.”

“The long-term strategic vision is to position Namibia as a place to live, visit, and invest in, and developing a sustainable and credible nation brand will strengthen the value proposition and economic incentive for potential investors and tourists to choose Namibia as their preferred investment and travel destination, respectively. Namibia lacks a generally recognized brand and brand strategy, except national symbols like the flag or coat of arms,” according to Shipushu.

The NIPDB serves as the Secretariat of the Nation Brand Working Committee, with the mandate of promoting Namibia as an investment destination.

“Building a national brand is a complex, long-term process that requires proven experience and strategic insights into how national brands behave, issues of country competitiveness, and shifting perceptions, among others. Therefore, appointing the right team or company to help the country craft this strategy is almost as important as the strategy development process itself,” noted Shipushu.

“While the United Arab Emirates (specifically Dubai) is renowned for its luxury and the United States of America for its ‘American Dream,’ our objective is to create a recognizable brand and identity that unites and is endorsed by all Namibians. This pivotal moment for Namibia beckons every Namibian to actively participate in shaping our national brand – a brand that connects with our values, legacy, and national goals, nationally and globally. Namibia is standing at an inflection point, ready to claim her spot amongst the world’s greatest of nations,” she concluded.

Source : Namibia Economist