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Namibia records first positive growth rate in a year.

Namibia records first positive growth rate in a year

Windhoek-Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has improved by 1.6 percent, the latest financial statistics released by the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) here on Thursday shows.

The NSA said, this is the first time Namibia recorded a positive growth after reaching a decline of 11.6 percent recorded in the same quarter of 2020.

NSA Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said the domestic economy moved into the positive trajectory for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2019.

 “The tertiary industries pulled the economy out of four successive quarters of negative growths. The much anticipated growth in the economy was observed across all sectors except for the ‘Agriculture and forestry’, ‘Mining and quarrying’, Manufacturing, ‘Water and electricity’, Construction and Financial Services sectors, “he said.

Shimuafeni said the improved performance of the economy is stemming from a low base brought by crushed economic activities in the corresponding quarter of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its combating regulations set by governments across the globe.

He said the strong performance was observed in the Hotels and restaurants sector which increased by 34.3 percent in real value added during the period under review relative to a huge decline of 50.0 percent registered in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

“The strong performance is attributed to the relaxation in some of the measures that were put in place to fight the

COVID-19 pandemic specifically the relaxation of travel restrictions in the quarter under review as the country COVID-19 Vaccination initiative gains momentum, “he said

The growth trajectory comes at a time when Namibia has ramped up efforts to broaden the country’s economy through steering value addition, promoting proliferation of local goods on the market and attracting necessary skills in an effort to improve output and stimulate growth.

Namibian Minister of Finance Ipumbu Shiimi, recently underscored the need for diversified economy in dealing with a myriad of challenges brought about by COVID-19 as well as opening up avenues for local entrepreneurs to harness available opportunities.

Shiimi said they are pushing towards economic diversification to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the future through identifying Namibian goods that are good enough to compete for market space locally, regionally as well as in the continent.

He said the aim was to make a dent on a rather high import bill that is dominated by consumables. Namibia imports the bulk of its consumables including basic food items from South Africa since independence. Shiimi said the Namibian Government has done thorough research to find ways of diversifying their economy which has been struggling since the advent of Covid-19.

“It is important that we keep in mind that we have for a long time been relying on exportation of raw minerals. However, at some point the minerals in our country will run out, hence we have deliberately moved towards diversity,” Shiimi said.

He said Namibia is also taking a cue from other thriving countries that have managed to diversify the structure of their economies.

“We are currently one of the largest producers of meat in the world but we should not end on producing raw products and send them out in their raw form. What we need now is to find ways to create value for our meat.” he said.

According to Shiimi Namibia has identified over 97 products produced in Namibia that can be value added and would go a long way in improving the Namibian economy.

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