The Namibian economy will recover gradually by 2.6 per cent during 2021, Bank of Namibia (BoN) Governor Johannes !Gawaxab said at an economic outlook discussion held in Windhoek on Thursday.
In his address to the chairpersons of boards of directors and CEOs of private sector companies that mobilize investments and savings in Namibia, !Gawaxab said the economic recovery is predicated by the opening of the global economy after the lockdowns and restrictions on travel experienced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In this regard, demand for Namibia’s exports, especially minerals, is expected to start picking up gradually in 2021 as major economies are projected to make full recoveries, which bodes well for the recovery of the domestic economy. While growth is expected to pick up, the forecasted levels fall far short of the boom observed in years prior to 2016 and will therefore not be adequate to fulfil developmental aspirations and make a dent on unemployment, poverty and inequality,’ he said.
Enumerating the challenge of reviving the economy, !Gawaxab stated that the current weak growth being witnessed in the domestic economy is clearly reflected in four critical elements of the national income identity. These are consumption spending by households which is constrained because of souring unemployment as a result of COVID-19, government spending which is equally constrained due to limited fiscal space and net exports which are severely affected by global demand and low commodity prices. In addition, the governor said, the most critical element that can be relied upon at this critical moment to help grow the Namibian economy is investments – both domestic and foreign direct investments.
“Concerted effort both from the public and private sector is therefore needed to unlock the country’s investment potential,” !Gawaxab added.
Rounding up the discussions, !Gawaxab said for economic recovery, the Namibian economy needs confidence, investments and COVID-19 vaccination to return to normality.