WINDHOEK – Namibia has achieved notable progress since independence in addressing its socio-economic challenges, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said.
She said the proportion of Namibians living below the national poverty line more than halved from 69.3 in 1993/94 to 28.7 percent in 2009/10, and further to 17.4 percent in 2015/16.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila was speaking at the opening of the two-day Bank of Namibia (BoN) 20th annual symposium in Windhoek yesterday, which is being held under the theme: ‘Escaping the middle-income trap: A perspective from Namibia.’
The theme allows Namibia to interrogate how best and far the country has implemented its development agenda in its quest to achieve Vision 2030.
She said measured at the international poverty line of 2011 in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) of U$1.90 per person per day, 14.6 percent of the population were poor in 2018, a fall from 22.6 percent in 2009. However, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said there is need to push for increased growth in the economy to allow it to spur further socio-economic benefits for people.
Evidently, she said, poverty levels are more prevalent in female-headed households, families with low education levels, larger families, children and the elderly, and labourers in subsistence farming.
On his part, BoN governor Iipumbu Shiimi said the country must move away from selling minerals and primary products and produce complex goods to enable it to advance from middle-income status to an advanced economy.
He said there are concerns that Namibia is struggling to advance to advanced economic status and that economic growth is almost non-existent due to the prolonged recession.
Shiimi said irrespective of whether the country is stuck in middle-income status, there are opportunities for it to advance to upper-income status.
“However, this calls for dialogue on how Namibia can attract the private sector both locally and internationally to invest in the production of complex goods for exports… We should also look at advanced economies - how they are doing it [growing their economies],” Shiimi said.
Presenters from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and BoN will provide their perspective on the middle-income trap, as well as international experiences on how to escape it, during the symposium.
The event is being attended by representatives from the commercial banking sector, the private sector, state-owned enterprises, ministries and tertiary institutions. –Additional reporting: Nampa
2019-09-20 08:19:47 | 4 months ago