Husab and Ramatex as Foreign Direct Investments in Post-Independence Namibia
Neoliberal “wine in new bottles”?
Keywords:Husab, Ramatex, Foreign Direct Investment, neoliberal, Namibia
AbstractIn their rhetoric and agitation for freedom and independence, liberation movements envisioned a new economic order for the majority of their people that will thwart inequality and economic exclusion occasioned by colonialism and apartheid. The South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) – Namibia’s then leading liberation movement – promised economic opportunities for Namibians and was on record proposing a leftist economic order as opposed to capitalism. Most analyses of the postcolonial economic order in Namibia testify to the fact that these promises were not kept. Instead, Namibia followed a neoliberal and an outward-looking economic development path that prioritised the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment. This text analyses the content and character of neoliberalism in postcolonial Namibia by conducting a comparative analysis of two case studies of Foreign Direct Investment – Ramatex Textiles Namibia and Husab Uranium Mine. Using a qualitative research method, the text finds that in both cases, state and foreign elite convergence ensured a neoliberal environment characterised by general deregulation, exploitation of labour and relaxation of laws all in favour of foreign capital at the expense of the local population. The text argues that the continuation of a neoliberal approach to economic policy will deepen inequality in Namibia. Instead, it is proposed that Namibia must follow the path of a developmental state as is the case in Botswana, Tanzania and Mauritius.
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How to Cite
Amupanda, J. S. ., & Marenga, R. . (2020). Husab and Ramatex as Foreign Direct Investments in Post-Independence Namibia : Neoliberal “wine in new bottles”?. Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 9(1&2), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.32642/.v9i1&2.1521