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Posts by Maihapa Ndjavera:
The Namibian economy is likely to witness only pockets of growth in certain industries such as mining, agriculture, and manufacturing during 2021. However, overall domestic consumer environment coupled with the hospitality industry could remain strained over the medium-term. Eagle FM radiostation owner John Walenga has urged listeners to opt for digital broadcasting after the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) last week confirmed the popular station was only authorised to broadcast in the geographic area of Okahandja. In its quest to promote entrepreneurship, StartUp Namibia recently hosted its first pitch event, pitch-on-point (PoP), which is a platform that lets starting businesses access the StartUp Namibia Slingshot Fund. Namaloe Vera, a local manufacturer of natural aloe products, has rebranded its product line. Owner Risto Ashikoto said the rebranding is part of an overall strategy as Namaloe Vera continues to make inroads into local markets and retails countrywide. Namibia’s total merchandise trade with the rest of the world weakened by 19.7% from a level of N$20 billion in November 2020 to the current value of N$16 billion, while deteriorating by 0.5% from its level of N$16.1 billion recorded in December 2019. Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi this weekend blamed the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic for the worsening fate of the airline industry. The private sector is urged to make use of the support provided through government policies. Dwindling sales in a recessionary environment, which was exacerbated by Covid-19, has forced Namibia’s longest-serving retailer, Wecke and Voigts, to close two of its stores. The Cabinet’s decision to voluntarily liquidate Air Namibia has led to a massive nationwide demonstration, with at least two union umbrella bodies staging protest marches. In January, the annual inflation rate increased to 2.7% from 2.1% recorded in the corresponding period in 2020, while the monthly inflation rate increased to 0.9%, compared to 0% the previous month. Over the past year, digital payment instruments such as electronic wallet payments and funds transfers have increased substantially in volume and value. About 1504 gigawatt-hour (GWh) was generated and dispatched from the Ruacana power station, according to the 2020 report from NamPower, which is the highest in over 10 years. After a massive nationwide demonstration last week against the voluntary liquidation of Air Namibia, a group of pilots from the Namibia Airline Pilots Association (Napa) bemoaned the decision to close down the national flag carrier, saying they feel let down by the country’s leaders. The Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) revenue grew by 73% to N$250 million, while costs after the successful establishment of the authority escalated by 15% to N$236 million for the 2019/20 financial year. Although business and politics can never be separated, as one influences the other, political interference in business operations has historically resulted in the downfall of many companies. The Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) hosted a 2021 economic outlook on Wednesday where analysts believe investments are a promising option for domestic economic growth. For the SADC Protocol on Industry to come into force, at least two-thirds or 11 members states have to ratify it. In this regard, Namibia will demonstrate considerable leadership in being amongst the first countries to ratify the protocol. In 2020, Namibia, recorded a decline in the values of both imports and exports, which resulted in a deficit amounting to N$19.6 billion, narrowing from its 2019 level of N$20 billion. The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) has accused labour minister Utoni Nujoma of discriminating against them after the umbrella worker’s union was left out of the ministerial committee on the national minimum wage. Local economic analysts believe the reduction and proper implementation of policies should be revisited if Namibia eyes for any growth in the future.