A local economist believes Namibia’s mineral exports, which currently dominates the country’s export figures, is of little socioeconomic value when it comes to real productive diversification and value addition that ultimately creates much-needed jobs. This is the view of Omu Kakujaha-Matundu who firmly believes that a diversified basket of exports is what will boost economic growth, rather than relying on few minerals for processing elsewhere. As such, Namibia’s mining sector contributes roughly 10% to Gross Domestic Product.
However, the country’s export bill for the month of July 2021 amounted to N$4.8 billion, down by 49.4% from June 2021 while the import bill stood at N$7.9 billion, down by 23.1% from June 2021. These figures indicate a current trade deficit of N$3.2 billion.
This is according to the Namibia Trade Statistics Bulletin for July 2021 released last week by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) that shows the widening trade deficit from N$902 million in June 2021 was due to a decline in exports of mineral products (copper, precious stones-diamonds) and fish.
“Namibia should walk the talk. The ministry of trade should push harder with its Growth-At-Home strategy, support local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and as such retain the income earned within the country. That is what will create quality jobs and make real a difference in citizens lives rather than quoting mineral export figures which do not belong to Namibians,” Kakujaha-Matundu explained.
Meanwhile, the latest statistics show the manufacturing industry was the largest exporting industry in the period under review. The industry accounted for N$3.6 billion worth of goods exported, representing 76.2% of total exports.
However, exports of goods from this industry declined by N$1.5 billion from N$5.1 billion in June 2021.
“Although the mining and quarrying industry came in the second place, exporting goods worth N$794 million, it recorded the largest decline of N$3.2 billion from N$4 billion registered in June 2021,” reads the NSA report. -email@example.com