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BoN positive about Namibian growth prospects

OSHAKATI, 13 SEP (NAMPA) - The Namibian economy is showing signs of modest recovery and could perform better this year than the 1.1 per cent growth recorded in 2016.
This is according to Bank of Namibia (BoN) Governor, Ipumbu Shiimi,who was speaking during an Annual Diplomatic Stakeholders’ Engagement held on Tuesday in Windhoek.
According to Shiimi, there were more improvements this year compared to 2016 as commodity prices had improved lately and the drought that impacted the agricultural sector for the past three years, had settled.
“In the Economic Outlook released in July, the Bank projected growth to average 2.1 percent in 2017 and 3.8 percent in 2018, largely due to improved growth in the agriculture, mining and electricity and water sectors,” he stated.
However, although commodity prices have been on the recovering trend during the first half of 2017, compared to same period in 2016, prices of uranium were still on the lower side during the first half of 2017, which was due to a global oversupply and high inventories, Shiimi said.
He said this had dampened the cause for optimism given the reliance of the Namibian economy on the extractive industry.
Shiimi said for Namibia to realise high growth it needed to address structural issues in the economy, as this will entail a diversification from the mining sector to other sectors that will build the productive capacity of the economy.
“This needs to happen while at the same time staying the course in terms of the ongoing Government fiscal consolidation.”
The governor said Namibia had already identified a number of sectors, including turning the country into a logistics hub, re-organising the agricultural sector to create more jobs, among others.

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