Upper middle income classification continues to disadvantage Namibia

During a telephonic conversation with the Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, Namibian President Hage Geingob has raised pressing issues of “Upper Middle-Income Countries” as Namibia find themselves in and which requires urgent re-examination.

Geingob further reiterated to Trudeau during the call that Namibia has maintained that while the concept of upper-middle-income countries is valid, the application, which takes the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and divides it by our small population, thus deriving a high per capita income, is a flawed formula that requires urgent reconsideration.

“This “upper middle income” classification continues to disadvantage Namibia’s ability to access soft loans, while countries regarded as less developed are eligible to receive grant funding,” said Geingob.

The President of the Republic of Namibia went on to say, that he is of the view that measures such as the United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) Human Development Index provides a more accurate assessment of development per capita.

He added that the contextual criteria-based reclassification will help developing countries like Namibia to effectively redress historical structural imbalances.

“We believe that poverty should not be managed, but must be eradicated, through effective tools such as economic empowerment and employment creation,” said Geingob.

According to the Namibia Statistics Agency, unemployment remains high at 33 per cent in 2018, while youth unemployment increased to 46.1 per cent during the same period.

The status quo is not sustainable and the emphasis falls on stimulating job-generating economic growth.

The NSA also reported that the Namibian economy created 48,857 jobs between 2016 and 2018, however, the Geingob said, recurring drought spells and declining consumer spending negatively reversed these gains regrettably.

Investment promotion has been central to this Government’s economic development agenda, he said.

There was tapering off in investments from 2016, following completion of major capital projects in the mining and construction sectors. To mitigate declining investments, Government aggressively pursued regional and international investment roadshows.

The 2016 International Invest in Namibia Conference secured 34 investment projects with a total value of N. dollars 2.65 billion Namibian Dollars.

The 2019 Economic Growth Summit, convened under the auspices of the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy, mobilized 14 billion Namibian Dollars in investment and financial commitments, added Geingob.

Source: Namibia Press Agency