Working in Windhoek?

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Working in Windhoek

As a middle income country with a growing economy, Namibia is a popular destination for expats looking for work in Africa. Though the country suffers from high unemployment, some sectors like mining and tourism are growing quickly, providing opportunities for investment and employment for Namibians and expats alike.

Local Economy

As the largest city in Namibia, Windhoek is home to the headquarters of almost all national enterprises. As such, it is the main hub for employment in the country. 

Major industries in Windhoek include finance and business services, tourism, transport and communication and utilities. The city is also a center for retail companies and is home to the country’s  national university as well as various other institutions of learning. 

Mining is a significant industry in Namibia, and though mines are located outside of the city, many mining companies have their main offices in Windhoek and house their employees in the city. 

Job Hunting in Windhoek

As the unemployment rate in Windhoek is relatively high, it is advisable for expats to secure a job before moving to the city. The cost of living in Windhoek is high compared to annual income and those without employment may struggle to meet their essential outgoings. 

There are several online resources for expatriates looking for work in Windhoek and this is generally the easiest way to begin a job hunt in the city. As many national and international corporations have their headquarters in the city, expats may also find it useful to contact relevant companies directly to find out about job vacancies. Both national and regional newspapers also advertise job vacancies.

Work Permits for Windhoek

Expats intending to work in Windhoek will need to apply for a work permit before they arrive in the country. Permits can be obtained from the Namibian Embassy in the expatriate’s country of origin and online services are also available. 

The specific requirements a prospective expat will need to meet will depend on their country of origin, their profession and whether or not they plan to be employed or self-employed when living in Namibia. 

If an expatriate already has a job offer in place, they will need to prove they have the required skills for the job and the employer will need to prove that they were unable to find a suitable candidate for the job in Namibia. Expats that intend to be self-employed in Namibia will need to apply for an Investor Permit before moving to Windhoek. 

Specific work permits are available for employment that is expected to last less than six months and for expatriates looking to invest in the country. To ensure foreign workers apply for the correct visa, they should check the details of their employment and talk to their Namibian Embassy or Consulate before arriving in the country.

Francis White

"Having all this information and a built-in network of expats before moving to Windhoek reassured me to have made the right decision."

Amelie Barreau

"The active network of expats in Windhoek provided me with instant friends and connections."

Global Expat Guide