Local economist Mally Likukela said government should focus on first stabilising the domestic economy to put in place mechanisms that will increase resilience for it to withstand both internal and external shocks.
“When we bring in recovery strategies after stabilisation, the economy will be able to respond. Positive numbers that Namibia is recording is a concern and the impact has been quite devastating, and to revive it calls for collective efforts from both the government and private sector,” noted Likukela.
He made these remarks this week
at the Covid Communications
Center, adding that bringing employment initiatives to an already sick economy will be a waste of money, as there are no clear projections on how much the economy will suffer.
Likukela further believes government should come clean by notifying the nation that worse is still to come, considering Namibia’s history, and that it will take a bit of time to recover, considering its deficiencies.
“A prepared nation is better – even to help fight the pandemic, and there is a need to tell them the truth. They will find other means to remain sustainable when we face more uncertain periods like this,” warned the economist.
Namibia has experienced massive job losses in key sectors of the economy like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
Furthermore, Likukela alluded that alcohol is the key sector to this economy, and the government should consider it when making regulations.
“If the government is to put harsh restrictions to it, it mostly speaks loudly to job losses in hotels, restaurants, and entertainment centers. We should think of saving the little jobs we have, and there is no space for the economy to think of creating new jobs while battling the pandemic,” he said.
According to Namibia Statistics Agency, the total amount of alcoholic beverages produced in May 2021 was 155 354 hectolitres, compared to 176 524 hectolitres produced in April 2021, while the total amount
of non-alcoholic beverages
produced in May 2021 was 40 007 hectolitres, compared to 81 144 hectolitres produced in April 2021. The low volume production
recorded in non-alcoholic
beverages is attributed to sufficient stock at hand from the previous production runs.
Meanwhile, during the same discussion at the Covid Communications Centre, unionist Ujama Kaahangoro said the government needs to go back to the drawing board to find initiatives that will save lives socially.
He further noted that hope for sectors to recover and secure lost jobs remains elusive.
“There is no hope that the industries will recover sooner and secure employment due to the pace of the pandemic”.