BoN to host 21st annual symposium on Monday

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) will host its 21st Annual Symposium on Monday under the theme ‘Positioning Namibia to reap the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)’.

In a media statement, the bank said since 1998, it has been at the forefront of promoting policy dialogue supportive of sustainable economic development.

“The symposium brings together experts, international and local policymakers, academics and relevant stakeholders to engage and make recommendations on various areas pertaining to the Namibian economy,” the statement said.

It added that overall, the main objectives of the AfCFTA are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of businesspersons and investments, thus paving the way for accelerating deeper integration.

“Namibia’s limitations are mainly the supply-side constraints. The country has a narrow manufacturing base, which calls for further exploitation. Namibia could therefore mitigate these limitations by expanding its economy through an export driven economic strategy,” BoN said.

The symposium will also assess the challenges and opportunities offered by the AfCFTA. More specifically, the symposium aims to unpack challenges, namely, limited manufacturing activity, infrastructure constraints as well as tariff and non-tariff barriers that, amongst others, hinder trade between Namibia and the rest of Africa.

“The symposium will also analyse low-hanging fruits that Namibia should exploit to benefit from AfCFTA. This will entail identifying key export products that could potentially benefit from the AfCFTA market and how to leverage the country’s manufacturing sector’s capacity to exploit the larger market. Examining how Namibian companies may become part of the regional and continental value chains would also be part of the discussions,” it stated.

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, will deliver the keynote address at the event.

Source: Namibia Press Agency