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Posts by Maihapa Ndjavera:
The main national-level issue that relates to policymaking and budgetary allocation is the fact that the agricultural sector does not attract enough investment nor has it received adequate government funding. Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi has refuted reports that he influenced the appointment of his former central bank colleague Sam Shivute as substantive chief of the Namibia Revenue Authority (NamRA). The biomass boiler in use by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) is a first for Namibia and is the country’s largest wood boiler. Namibia registered a surplus on the current account during the second quarter of 2020, mainly due to a merchandise trade surplus and an increase in secondary income inflows. Double-digit reductions were recorded in some sectors of the domestic economy for the second quarter of 2020. Hotels and Restaurants recorded the highest decline of 64.2% compared to a growth of 12.3% of the same quarter of 2019. Covid-19 brought many activities in the world to a standstill and had many negative effects on various business operations. The Deputy Director of Policy and Regulations at the Bank of Namibia, Elifas Kamati, cautioned the public that they may lose their assets from financial institutions if they borrow money to partake in the now common illegal financial schemes. Through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade-related facility, the industrial upgrading modernisation plan (IUMP) is expected to inject around N$8 million into Namibia’s informal economy. The generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Namibia recorded deflation of 24% during the second quarter compared to an increase of 2.9% obtained during the same period a year earlier. The Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Lelly Usiku, said the threat of synthetic diamonds has brought about an opportunity in the diamond industry to focus on the traceability of the precious stones to verify diamond origins from the mines to jewellery. More than 183 000 senior citizens receive a monthly social grant, which costs the State some N$3.9 billion annually and constitutes coverage of 96% of those qualified to benefit. Namibian diamonds are of great quality, with the highest average value per carat in the world, Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) general manager of sales and marketing Lelly Usiku said last week during an orientation session. In August 2020, Namibia’s exports stood at N$6.3 billion and imports at N$8.2 billion, subsequently, the country’s trade balance resulted in a deficit of N$1.9 billion. The demand for government bonds slightly rose during the second quarter of 2020 due to relatively attractive returns. About 14 entities in Germany and four outside the European country have objected against the importation of Namibian bushwood for use in power and heat plants in Hamburg. Commentators believe demand for local major exports will likely increase as the country pins its hopes on international trade and world output to recover from a disastrous 2020. Industrialisation minister Lucia Iipumbu has commended local retailers for accommodating local produce on their shelves and thus contributing to the Buy Local, Grow Namibia initiative. Some of the measures governments have put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic include the cutting of repo rates to provide some short-term relief to borrowers. Government should not pin all hopes of an economic reform and recovery on the agriculture as this sector is more exposed to numerous challenges. Minister of Finance, Iipumbu Shiimi last week urged the Agricultural Bank of Namibia at its annual general meeting to offer supportive interest rates to its clients but added that this should be in line with market practices.