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Inequality forces Namibia to low human development level on HDI

Inequality forces Namibia to low human development level on HDI

The President, H.E. Dr Hage Geingob launched war on poverty and currently the country has effected one of the fastest reductions in poverty rates on the continent but despite those efforts, the country still faces some of the highest levels of inequality in Africa and globally.

This statement was made earlier this week by the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP representative in Namibia, Kiki Gbeho at the official launch of the Global Human Development Report 2016.

According to Gbeho, Namibia is considered a medium human development country with a Human Development Index (HDI) value of 0.640 and ranks 125 out of 188 countries.

“However, when this value is discounted for inequality there ia a loss of 35% in its HDI and Namibia falls to the low human development category,” she added.

At the event Namibia’s Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said two important areas need further work in order to advance human development in Namibia.

“Firstly, as we begin to implement the fifth National Development Plan, a greater focus on a coherent and multi-stakeholder engagement is vital. Such an approach should inform local, sub-national and national level implementation to ensure that policies and programmes do not leave out anybody and that development is strongly people-centric,” she said.

Furthermore she said that as a nation the country, must ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental dimensions of advancing human development.

“Namibia has a Gender Inequality Index (GI value) of 0.474, ranking it 108 out of 159 countries in the 2015 index1. In comparison, Botswana and South Africa are ranked at 95 and 90 respectively on this,” she said.

According to the Prime Minister it is necessary to redouble the efforts to eliminate violence against women, affording them good health care, and empowering them for better labour force participation.

This week’s Global Human Development Report is the latest in a series of UNDP flagship publications issued since 1990. The theme of this year’s report, “Human Development for Everyone” stresses the importance of ‘people as the real wealth of the nations’.

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Musa Carter

Musa Carter is a long-standing freelance contributor to the editorial team and also an active reporter. He gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation and research. For the digital Economist, he promotes targeted content through various social networking sites such as the Economist facebook page (/Nameconomist/) and Twitter.