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Author: Daniel Steinmann

Third quarter in a row of GDP decline confirms deep recession

The Statistician General, Mr Alex Shimuafeni, had the unpleasant task on Thursday to inform the nation that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has again contracted for the third calendar quarter of 2017, making it the third consecutive quarter of negative growth. The economy is now beyond any doubt in a prolonged recession. The construction sector was again the biggest contributor to the decline in GDP, contracting by another massive 36.9% compared to the third quarter of 2016, when it has already fallen off a cliff compared to 2015. Other third quarter disappointers are Wholesale and Retail (-4.4%), Water and Electricity...

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Do we need the IMF to tell us productivity sucks?

There is absolutely no intention on the government’s radar to reduce the civil service. That much was clear at the Ministry of Finance’s last press conference of the year to report on the End of Mission of the Article IV Consultations with the IMF team. This meeting will probably go down in the annals as the non-event of the year. While a fairly large press crowd gathered before the start of the conference, there was not much urgency on the part of the ministry. It seemed more important to make sure every dignitary, and there were many, had a...

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Updated Namlex register brings structure to complex legal thicket

Namlex, the comprehensive register of all Namibian laws, maintained and updated by the Legal Assistance Centre, has now evolved into three distinct databases. The 2017 Namlex Update was launched this week together with a completely new register, the Namlex Appendix 2017, and an updated register of all law annotations. Describing the Namlex history, the Director of the Legal Assistance Centre, Toni Hancox, said “Understanding what laws are in force in Namibia is particularly complicated because of the nation’s complex political and legal history.” The idea for Namlex came from the late Anton Lubowski. After his death, the work was...

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Two modest loans can become the trailblazer for a torrent of investment capital

There is a significant debate in international investment circles regarding the capital that Africa needs for its development over the next fifty years. By now most informed people should be aware of the mind-boggling figures thrown around for infrastructure project. These estimates run into the hundred of billions of hard currency for an indefinite period, or some US$100 billion per annum for at least the next ten years. The investment debate concerns how much of that cash can be raised in Africa. That is a very good question because nobody knows. The estimated infrastructure capital requirements are mostly based...

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From the Congo to Walvis Bay can work only if corruption at border posts is completely eradicated

A trade route is only as strong as its statutory framework. Given the history of disruptive actions by Zambian authorities and the immense obstacles vehicles encounter at Zambian border posts, a recent three-country meeting in Ndola critically looked at the commitments required from each country to improve the current dysfunctional state of the Ndola Lubumbashi Development Corridor Reminding his colleagues about the reasons for intra-regional trade facilitation, the Chief Executive of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Mr Johny Smith urged member states to adhere to implementation of the Action Plan for the Walvis Bay Ndola Lubumbashi Development Corridor. Mr...

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Economic Commission meetings look at bankable projects and transboundary model law

An infrastructure conference scheduled for Swakopmund next week follows in the wake of an Economic Transformation discussion in November in Walvis Bay. Both meetings have been organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, an indication of the growing importance of Namibia’s coastal economy for other countries in the southern African subregion. For the upcoming infrastructure meeting, although none of the six proposed projects are located in Namibia, the discussions are seen as a testing ground to test the marketability of specific infrastructure projects. Scheduled from 10 to 14 December in Swakopmund, the 2017 Programme for Infrastructure Development...

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Acceleration in private sector credit is nearing stall speed

The not-insignificant increase in mortgage credit extended by the commercial banks was not sufficient to have an impact on the overall new credit mix. While annual mortgage credit for October 2017 increase by 0.7 percentage points compared to September, growth in total private sector credit still decelerated by another 0.2 percentage points. In September 2017, annual growth in private sector credit only measured 5.4% compared to September last year. This figure reflects the very subdued demand for new credit from both the corporate sector and private households. For October, the same measurement came down further, registering a dismal 5.2%...

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