• October 22nd, 2020

Economists warn corruption is pulling Namibia backwards

Maihapa Ndjavera

The thorny subject of corporate corruption is pulling Namibia backwards; hence, it needs to be prioritised and addressed without fear or favour, warned Lameck Odada, an economics lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). 
Odada said entities entrusted with duties to investigate and prosecute corrupt individuals need financial support from the government and the support of the entire Namibian nation in reporting corruption. “Until corruption is fully uprooted, Namibia will continue to fall behind, compared to other countries.”

In support, Omu Kakujaha-Matundu, an economics lecturer at the University of Namibia (Unam) said it is tough for people to talk about development and moving forward while the country languished in a recession even before the adverse impacts of Covid-19. 
In outlining the impact of Covid-19 on the Namibian economy, Odada said the pandemic resulted in immediate shocks to livelihoods and caused severe disruptions to value chains, industries and government revenue – and this will continue for a foreseeable future. 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the global economy will contract sharply by as much as 3% in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, while the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimates that the GDP growth in Africa will decline from 9% to 3% in 2020. Also, the Bank of Namibia estimates that Namibia’s GDP will shrink by 7% in 2020 and these economic contractions are already being experienced by individuals, families and businesses.

Economists also cautioned that because job creation was already a major problem in Namibia – even before Covid-19 – accelerated retrenchments will even be more catastrophic post-Covid-19, given the effects of the pandemic. 
To counteract the joblessness scourge, economists propose that government prioritise the establishment of a job creation scheme to tackle the high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth. Odada said a job creation scheme should support industries that swiftly absorb employment and industries, such as construction, should use labour-intensive methods while emphasising skills development. 

He added that not everyone is on the same page when it comes to a specific route to follow for building a fast-growing, more resilient and more inclusive economy. Odada, therefore, reiterated that government should play a bigger role in the economy to restore the faith of the private sector. 

Meanwhile, analysts noted that while some private sector businesses have come to the party since lockdown started in March, more can still be done through the public, private partnerships (PPP). 
“The PPP should encompass a policy framework of investment in key productive sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism and other services. This should include the expansion of the country’s productive sectors accelerated through increased international trade, especially with other African countries,” Odada added.  – mndjavera@nepc.com.na

Staff Reporter
2020-07-27 09:23:34 | 2 months ago

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