The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has projected growth in the manufacturing sector to slow down in 2020 and 2021. This is mainly due to being compared to a high base from 2019 that the central bank predicts will result in the sector to grow by 0.9% and 1.3% in 2020 and 2021, respectively. This is a moderation from 2.8% estimated for 2019. These figures were released by BoN as part of its economic outlook for February.
BoN notes that growth for 2019 was boosted by increased production of cement and beverages, as well as the processing of minerals and meat.
“Growth for the secondary industries is projected to improve in 2020, following a disappointing growth trend during the preceding four years. Secondary industries are projected to expand by 1.6% during 2020, largely supported by projected recoveries in electricity and water, and in the construction sector,” read the central bank report.
The central bank report added in Sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth is still projected to increase in 2020 and 2021, albeit slightly lower than the October 2019 forecast.
“Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to strengthen to 3.5% in both 2020 and 2021 from 3.3% in 2019. The outlook is 0.1% point lower compared to the October 2019 WEO for 2020,” quantified the bank.
Namibia’s long-term development goal is to be “a prosperous and industrialised country, developed by human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability” by 2030. The manufacturing sector plays a strategic role in economic goals, and it is a component of the industry that presents greater opportunities for sustained growth, employment, and income inequality and poverty reduction. With a slow projection in growth, it seems that most of these developments are yet to be met.
Manufacturing activities in Namibia are concentrated in the subsectors of meat processing, fish processing, other food and beverages, and mineral beneficiation.
Manufacturing has been identified as an economic priority in the National Development Plan and the “Growth at Home” strategy with “Promotion of local value addition” being the most important feature in the strategy. Namibia’s Industrial Policy aims at improving export competitiveness, increasing domestic production and creating an enabling environment for industries.
The Namibian government has also signed various preferential free trade agreements with several countries, including the SADC region. The country, therefore, has the potential of engaging in the production of other manufactured products that are currently not being produced, as this allows for potentially larger market access for locally produced products.
2020-03-09 07:25:16 | 3 months ago