Guest Contributor | Jan 17, 2023 | 0
!Gawaxab meets Erongo business community to discuss pertinent economic issues facing the region.
The Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Johannes !Gawaxab this week met with the regional leadership and the business of the Erongo Region to discuss and exchange views on pressing economic matters facing the region.
!Gawaxab said the region has secured its place as a pillar of the economy due to its different operations in mining, the blue economy, logistics, services, and tourism.
In terms of the country’s economic challenges, which were exacerbated by the Covid-19 epidemic, the Governor reminded stakeholders that Namibians, along with the rest of the world, have been through unprecedented and tough circumstances since the outbreak of the pandemic. As a result, Namibia’s GDP shrank by 8% in 2021, eliminating jobs and hobbling businesses while also putting pressure on the government debt. The Governor highlighted that the country cannot afford another hard lockdown since it would jeopardise more jobs and businesses.
“While I share the plight of those demanding salary increases, my view and advise is that perhaps it is not the appropriate time to demand such as many corporates and the government are under severe Covid -19 induced financial strain. What we need to pre-occupy ourselves with is to salvage the economy by prioritising vaccination across the country,” !Gawaxab said.
The Governor stated that correcting the negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy will take time. However, the Governor was quick to point out that activity in mining and agriculture have started showing signs of recovery, while the tourism sector is still awaiting the return of international tourists.
Furthermore, the Governor reminded stakeholders that “vaccination policy is economic policy. As such, for the economy to recover, we need successful vaccination, investments and stability of the financial sector.”
!Gawaxab further emphasised that for Namibia’s economy to revive on a long-term basis, import substitution, export promotion and investments should all be considered as feasible policy choices, and pursued aggressively.
Neville Andre, Regional Governor of Erongo, appreciated the high-level engagement with the central bank’s leadership, while guests took advantage of the chance to engage the Governor on steps to build and restore the economy.