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Experts to discuss, analyse and provide post-COVID-19 pandemic strategies on economic recovery

Experts to discuss, analyse and provide post-COVID-19 pandemic strategies on economic recovery

The Bank of Namibia will host a half-day seminar on mapping Namibia’s Post-Covid Economic Recovery on Tuesday, 22 February at the Safari Hotel.

The seminar brings together policymakers, business leaders, experts, professionals from local and international organisations, and academic institutions to discuss and make recommendations on a range of issues that are relevant to the country’s development agenda and aspirations.

According to the central bank in a statement, the seminar aims to provide a high-level analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, as well as to examine the unique challenges faced by various sectors and businesses, as well as to layout strategies to address these challenges in enhancing economic recovery.

The seminar will further outline specific evidence-based solutions for reviving the economy in the short to medium term and a panel discussion will conclude the seminar, to develop a consensus position on reviving the economy as well as long-term economic development strategies for Namibia.

Prof. Ricardo Hausmann, a guest speaker, will advance and explore macroeconomic interventions as it shapes their economic recovery agenda. He will base his recommendations on his influential work diversified to over 30 countries, primarily on growth strategies and diversification agendas at the national and sub-national levels.

Prof. Hausmann is the Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School and the founder and director of Harvard’s Growth Lab. He was also Chair of the IMF-World Bank Development Committee and Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank from 1994 to 2000, where he established a Research Department.

Dr Emma Haiyambo, the Director for Research and Financial Sector Development, and Chief Economist at the Bank will provide an analysis of Namibia’s economy since the introduction of Covid-19 while tracking high-frequency indicators that zero in on sectors with the potential to grow the economy and create jobs.

Salomo Hei, a well-known independent economist, is scheduled to present on growth recovery and policy options. He will reflect on how Namibia can navigate the policy environment by recasting priorities and addressing long-standing barriers.

Hei is an experienced economist with over 15 years of experience, 8 of which have been at an executive level. He is proficient in various economic and financial strategies across various organizations in Namibia. He serves on several boards to provide strategic direction to those institutions’ operations.

Finally, Mr Rowland Brown, the founding chairperson of the Economic Association of Namibia, will share his knowledge of Namibian policy, financial intermediation, and research. Mr Brown will discuss how Namibia has shaped its road to recovery, including near misses and successes, as well as lessons for a successful and long-term recovery.

Meanwhile, the presentations will be followed by a panel discussion that will reframe Namibia’s economic agenda, reimagine the post-Covid-19 economic trajectory, and align perspectives and stakeholder interests.

Johannes !Gawaxab, Governor of the Bank, has emphasised the importance of this seminar as follows: “While acknowledging initiatives and plans under the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance for economic diversification, as well as the Harambee Prosperity Plan II, consensus must be found on what constitutes a viable economic recovery agenda for Namibia while mobilising policymakers, civil society and the private sector on the singular goal of restoring job- creating growth. This seminar provides an opportunity for us to connect our ideals as we pursue our recovery in the interest of the Namibian people’s prosperity.”

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