IMF sees Namibia growing in 2020 after three-year contraction

Namibia’s economy will return to growth in 2020 after contracting for three straight years, but a failure to implement structural reforms could keep the southwest African nation stuck in a low-growth trap, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The economy of the world's largest marine-diamond producer has been hit by a regional drought and a slump in South Africa, its bigger neighbour that it tracks closely and to whose currency the Namibian dollar is pegged. Gross domestic product will contract by 0.2% this year, before expanding at 1.6% in 2020, the Washington-based lender said in an emailed statement following an article 4 consultation in the country.

However, "absent structural reforms, growth is expected to converge to a long-term level of about 3%, which is too low to deliver meaningful improvements in per capita income and reduce unemployment," the IMF said.

These steps include lowering regulatory compliance costs for businesses, reducing electricity and transportation costs by reforming the state-owned companies that operate in these sectors, and containing public-sector salary dynamics by avoiding regulations that hamper domestic competition.

The IMF’s forecast for this year is more upbeat than that of the Bank of Namibia, which has said it sees a 1.7% contraction this year. 

ZAR/USD
17.04
(-0.38)
ZAR/GBP
21.81
(-0.11)
ZAR/EUR
19.90
(-0.12)
ZAR/AUD
12.03
(-0.12)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-1.12)
Gold
1860.65
(+0.03)
Silver
22.87
(+0.11)
Platinum
844.51
(+0.50)
Brent Crude
42.23
(-0.12)
Palladium
2207.00
(+0.59)
All Share
53587.11
(-1.22)
Top 40
49547.74
(-1.16)
Financial 15
9401.28
(-1.95)
Industrial 25
72949.70
(-1.72)
Resource 10
53453.42
(-0.10)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 1368 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
73% - 8860 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
16% - 1959 votes
Vote