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Namibia third wealthiest in Africa per capita

2022-04-28  Maihapa Ndjavera

Namibia third wealthiest in Africa per capita

Mauritius is the wealthiest country per capita in the region, followed by South Africa and Namibia. 

The average per person’s wealth in Mauritius stands at US$34 500, followed by South Africa at US$10 970 and Namibia at US$9 320.

This was stated in the recently released 2022 Africa Wealth Report. 

Per capita wealth is a measure of the amount of money earned per person in a nation or geographic region. 

The report provides a comprehensive review of the wealth sector in Africa, including trends among high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), the luxury market and the wealth management sector on the continent. It states the tide is swinging in the direction of smaller emerging economies: “The delta in new wealth creation has been strongest in countries such as Mauritius and Rwanda. Key drivers of this trend are the recognition by these economies that they can attract substantial capital if they have the right regulatory framework. This regulatory regime includes preferential terms for capital gains tax and inheritance tax, as well as an environment that allows for ease of doing business”. 

Furthermore, the total wealth held in Africa has fallen by 7% over the past decade (2011 to 2021). 

Performance was constrained by poor returns in the three largest African markets, namely South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria. 

Angola also performed poorly. 

It stated that Mauritius was the fastest growing market in Africa during the review period (in percentage growth terms), followed by Rwanda. 

Ethiopia came in third place. 

Also, wealth in Ethiopia grew rapidly until 2019 but has struggled over the past two years (2020 and 2021). 

Meanwhile, although some gains have been made in fighting income inequality in Namibia, the 11-member Business Rescue Task Force (BRTF) recently stated a lot of work remains to be done in this regard.

The task force stated the impact of the pandemic has been particularly damaging to the previously disadvantaged population, and the poverty rate hit an all-time low in 2019 due to recurring drought, falling commodity prices and curtailed government spending. 

As a result, income inequality continues on an upward trend in Namibia.

As is the case with many countries in Africa, the BRTF said Namibia’s income inequality is rooted in the economic structure in which a few high-income sectors generate significant wealth, but only for a small number of people. 

These statements came as the task force presented the final report to President Hage Geingob this month, with recommendations and amendments to legislation to save businesses from financial distress.

Commenting on the ranking, local economist Omu Kakujaha-Matundu said government should indeed be concerned about the high levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment. 

“Government should address apartheid colonial legacy, and the inequality and poverty perpetuated by the adoption of a neo-liberal capitalist system by the independent Namibia,” said Kakujaha-Matundu. 


2022-04-28  Maihapa Ndjavera

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