Uanguta wants economy to avert ‘natural resource curse’

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Ebson Uanguta, said that Namibia needs to avert the natural resources curse that has befallen many oil-producing economies that did not set appropriate public policies and didn’t sufficiently prepare their public services to weather the storms associated with being an oil-producing economy.

The BoN deputy governor said this during the 2023 Africa Public Service Day Commemoration on Tuesday in Katima Mulilo, where they celebrated the role of public service servants in the country as they are an undisputable gateway and engine of a country’s pathway towards development.

Uanguta addressed three fundamental issues, namely the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the economic developments on the horizon for Namibia, and their implications for the quality of public services.

“The Zambezi Region is a significant trading point for Namibia as it is connected to four neighbouring countries and hosts two key border posts, namely the Wenela and Ngoma border posts. Consequently, this region is the integral gateway connecting Namibia to Africa and will be critical as we forge ahead not only to maximise the benefits available to Namibia through the AfCFTA but broadly pursue deeper regional integration,” Uanguta stated.

He added that the trade between Namibia and Zambia facilitated through the Trans-Caprivi route has grown substantially, with Namibian imports increasing from 1 per cent in 2014 to about 24 per cent in 2019.

“AfCFTA represents a significant opportunity that we should not let pass by. This trade agreement strives to eliminate or, at the very least, reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers among the 55 African countries. As such, it allows Namibia to access Africa’s market of approximately 1.2 billion people,” he stated.

This, Uanguta said, will not just give the Namibian private sector a chance to thrive, increase domestic economic activity, reduce poverty and inequality, and create jobs, but also face challenges such as meeting diverse demands and quality requirements.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency