WINDHOEK - The 20th Bank of Namibia (BoN) Annual Symposium to be officiated by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Thursday this week will discuss the question whether Namibia is really a middle income country, BoN Deputy Director for Corporate Communications Kazembire Zemburuka said on Friday.
He said this year’s topic is motivated by the disappointing growth record of Namibia since 2016 that has given rise to the notion that Namibia might be in a middle income trap.
“The term ‘middle income’ trap captures a situation where a country is unable to move to higher levels of economic growth and further economic transformation,” he said.
This year’s conference is to be held under the theme: “Escaping the Middle-Income Trap: A perspective from Namibia”.
Kazembire in a media statement said the hosting of the annual symposium has been part of the bank’s calendar since 1998, bringing together experts, international and local policy makers, academics, and relevant stakeholders to engage and make recommendations on various areas of national development in line with aspirations of Vision 2030, and National Development Plans (NDPs).
According to him, GDP growth rates has been on an upward trajectory over a number of years, averaging 3.5 percent between 1990 and 1999, then increasing to 4.3 percent between 2000 and 2009.
During 2010 -2015, he said average growth rate was 5.7 percent, mainly due to an expansionary fiscal policy and construction of large mines.
However, Kazembire said since 2016, real GDP contracted as the temporary stimulus from the construction of mines and public sector infrastructure slowed down and government undertook a significant fiscal consolidation exercise, to reduce public debt and the budget deficit.
“Could this slow growth be due to structural challenges or is the country in a middle-income trap,” he questioned, adding that the envisage symposium will provide platform to understand the notion of middle-income trap with reference to Namibia and to device strategies and policy options to exit such trap and become and industrialised state in line with Vision 2030.
He said as a precursor to the symposium, the BoN will also co-host a public lecture in collaboration with Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) on the topic “If industrialisation has become hard endeavor, what can today’s developing countries do to progress fast?”
He said the public lecture will be addressed by Dr Jesus Felipe, one of the speaker of the speakers of the symposium on Wednesday at Nust.
2019-09-16 08:04:10 | 2 months ago