General Overview

Namibia is a country in south western Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the left, South Africa to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north and Botswana to the east.

The country measures 825,418 sq. km and has a population of 2.44 million people. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990. The county’s GDP is US $ 13,43 billion. Namibia is on the 75th quartile on political stability/absence of violence indicator. The country has a stable micro-economic environment, characterised by a moderate economic growth, averaging 4.2% since independence. The inflation rate has been in the region of 3.7% over the past 12 months. The unemployment rate of around 30 % and the poverty headcount ratio of US $ 1,25 per day remain major economic challenges.

The year 2014 has seen the country pursuing an expansionary fiscal policy, characterised by an ambitious multi-million dollar mass housing project, a N$ 3 billion port expansion project, and large investments in mining projects like Husab Mine (uranium) and the Otjikoto B2B Gold.

The country’s economy is heavily reliant on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 8% of the national GDP, but provides for more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gems. Namibia is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa, the world’s fifth largest producer of uranium, and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver and tungsten. The mining sector employs about 3% of the population while about half of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years, food shortages are a major problem in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, hides one of the world’s most unequal income distribution nations, as evidenced by the Gini co-efficient of 59.7.

The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian Dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African Rand. Namibia receives 30% to 40% of its Governmental revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Volatility in the size of Namibia’s annual SACU allotment complicates budget planning