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!Gawaxab warns against the ‘Dutch Disease,’ amid oil discoveries

!Gawaxab warns against the ‘Dutch Disease,’ amid oil discoveries

The Bank of Namibia governor, Johannes !Gawaxab has warned the nation about the economic pitfall known as ‘Dutch Disease’, a phenomenon where nations with abundant natural resources experience economic stagnation.

!Gawaxab highlighted this during a two-day stakeholder engagement held in Luderitz from Wednesday to Thursday. The engagement was aimed at tackling the economic ramifications of recent oil and gas discoveries as well as green hydrogen.

“With its rich oil and gas industry, the Karas Region holds significant potential for growth and development,” he said.

!Gawaxab cautioned that despite the oil and gas discoveries, growth is not guaranteed, due to the volatility of commodity prices, and that if the country did not have a long-term goal and vision for the future, it might fall into a Dutch Disease.

He underscored the critical importance of the country adopting strategies to foster and maximize economic growth.

“By unraveling and promoting economic growth opportunities, investing in infrastructure development, advancing the manufacturing sector, access to financial services, and fostering innovation and skill development, the region can unlock its full potential and pave the way for sustained economic development,” he said.

!Gawaxab meanwhile highlighted the region’s potential for growth as well as the importance of enhancing the tourism and hospitality sector, along with its educational institutions and healthcare facilities, to accommodate the anticipated increase in population.

“Through the joint efforts of the local community and businesses, Luderitz is on the cusp of transforming into a bustling hub of economic and energy activity, thereby boosting prosperity and improving the living standards of its inhabitants,” he concluded.


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