A monthly wrap-up of News Worth Knowing


Namibia passport ranks 67th best globally

Namibia’s passport has been ranked 67 out of 199 countries including 227 travel destinations rated globally in the latest Henley Passport Index.

The ranking gives Namibia a score of 79 and visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 79 destinations around the world for Namibian travellers.

Neighbouring South Africa is ranked 53rd with a score of 106, while Botswana is ranked 63rd with access to 87 countries, on par with Bahrain and Jamaica.

Zambia is ranked 75th with access to 71 destinations, along with Indonesia, and Zimbabwe is ranked 79th with access to 66 countries, alongside Armenia and the Cape Verde Islands.

Angola and Cameroon are ranked 92nd with a score of 51.

The ranking, published by London-based immigration consultancy Henley & Partners, uses data from the International Air Transport Association to rank 199 passports’ access to 227 travel destinations without a prior visa.

The top-ranking Japanese passport offers visa-free access to 193 destinations (85% of the world) that collectively account for 98% of the global economy.

Singapore and South Korea are in second place with a score of 192, followed by Germany and Spain at 190.

Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg are in fourth place with a score of 189, and Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden are in fifth place with a score of 188.

Meanwhile, the five countries with the weakest visa scores are Yemen ranked 105th with a score of 30, Pakistan 106th (32), Syria 107th (30), Iraq at 108th and a score of 29.

Afghanistan passport is at the bottom of the ranking, providing visa-free access to only 12% of the world and less than 1% of global economic output, at 109th position and a score of 27.

Currently, citizens of more than 50 countries can enter Namibia for up to 90 days without a tourist visa or for almost any other purpose except employment.

The cost of private education in Namibia: A hefty price for quality results

The decision to enroll a child in a private school can be a difficult one, especially when considering the cost. With reports of a decline in the performance of Grade 11 and 12 learners in public schools during the 2022 academic year, many parents are considering private education as an alternative.

The Brief conducted research to determine the current cost of private education in Namibia. Our findings reveal that while private schools promise a high-quality education and excellent results, they come with a high price tag.

On average, the lowest priced private schools in the country cost parents N$42,000 per annum per child, with some schools charging as much as N$145,000 per year. For non-Namibian parents or those who do not pay taxes in the country, the cost is even higher, with a minimum of N$66,000 per annum, and some schools charging over N$300,000 per year.

According to our survey of school fees for 2023, Windhoek International School emerged as the highest priced private school in the country. A child enrolled in Early Level 1-3 can expect to pay N$66,700 per year, while the standard rate for Levels 1 and 2 is N$79,800 and N$181,100 for Early Level 3. The fees continue to escalate as the child progresses through the grades, with parents paying N$81,000 for Grades 1 to 5, N$87,000 for Grade 6 and 7, N$98,000 for Grade 8, and so on.

The school’s Grade 9-10 is levied at N$265,000 for its standard rate, and N$305,000 for Grade 11-12.

St Paul’s College also emerged with a high school fee structure, with Namibian taxpayers paying N$70,368 per annum for pre to Grade 6, N$76,968 for Grade 7 and N$83,568 for Grades 8-9. The fees increase for learners in Grades 10 and 11, with the highest being for Grade 12 at N$90,684 per annum.

Non-Namibian students at St Paul’s College are expected to pay N$122,328 for Grade 1-6, N$151,476 for Grade 10-11, and N$157,908 for Grade 12.

For parents not paying taxes in Namibia or who do not provide their Namibian Tax Identification Number on the fee form, the costs are even higher. For example, a total of N$122,238 will be paid for learners in pre-grade to 6, and N$133,884 for pupils in Grade 7. The tuition continues to increase as the grades progress, with parents paying N$145,428 for Grades 8-9 and N$157,908 for Grade 12.

St George’s Diocesan School fees range from N$43,260 to N$128,544 per annum, with Grade 1-4 expected to fork out N$62,800 per year, N$80,340 for Grade 10-12, and N$128,544 for non-Namibians.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Curro-owned Windhoek Gymnasium emerged as the least expensive private school in the country, charging an annual school fee of N$44,400 for Pre-primary, N$66,420 for Primary School and N$81,600 per annum for high school, with no variation between Namibian and non-Namibian learners.

However, it is worth noting that private education in South Africa is also costly, with some schools charging as much as R300,000 per year for boarding and tuition. Hilton College in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands is currently the most expensive school in South Africa, with annual fees at R369,920 for 2023.

While the cost of private education in Namibia and South Africa remains high, parents whose children attend public schools and benefit from free universal education in Namibia have raised concerns about shortages and shortcomings in the system, with some claiming they are required to purchase stationeries that can cost over N$2,000 per child. In addition, they also criticised the new curriculum, stating that it was rushed and not properly consulted and resourced.

The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) has secured the majority of the 2023 Norway quota, according to allocations made by the Meat Board of Namibia.

Meatco secures bulk of 2023 Norway beef quota.

Meatco has been allotted 1200 tonnes, while BeefCor has been allocated 400 tonnes of the total 1600 tonnes available.

 “I can confirm the allocation of 1200 tonnes for Meatco and 400 tonnes for BeefCo,” Goliath Tujendapi, Executive for Trade and Marketing at the Meat Board of Namibia told The Brief.

Insiders say that the allocations stem from Meatco’s application for 1200 tonnes and BeefCo’s application for 1000 tonnes. In the previous year, the companies had secured the same allocation, which was part of a joint quota of 3200 tonnes allocated by Norway to Namibia and Botswana.

Meatco has been a consistent supplier of the quota over the years, delivering over 10,400 tonnes of beef as part of the Norway quota between 2013 and 2020. In some cases, Meatco has even taken up quota initially allocated to other parties, after they failed to fulfill their allocation.

 In addition to exporting beef to Norway, Namibia also exports to the United States and China, making it the first African country to do so. For the US market, Meatco will be exporting boneless raw beef products such as primal cuts and beef trimmings, as well as chuck and blades.

The company expects the market to have a potential of approximately 5,700 tonnes per year when fully operational.

Research firm Simonis Storm expects increased livestock marketing activities to support growth in the country’s agriculture industry. The Bank of Namibia forecasts a 3.8% growth rate for the agricultural sector, with a 4.5% growth rate forecasted for livestock farming in 2022.