Namibia needs to stabilize fiscal position to recover from COVID-19 effects: President

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA - MARCH 5, 2018: Namibia's President Hage Geingob during a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images)
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob. (Photo by Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images)

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob on Thursday said there was a need to stabilize the country’s fiscal position to reduce economic scarring caused by the effects of COVID-19.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day cabinet retreat, Geingob said Namibia would administer fiscal and monetary interventions to revive the economy.

“Our economy has plunged into the deepest recession since independence. As we craft a set of interventions with ambitions to induce a recovery, it is imperative to bear in mind that this can only be achieved through a holistic approach,” he said.

He added that it was only once these preliminary steps had been taken to stabilize the country’s fiscal position, that the country can begin to craft and implement a transformative portfolio of policy interventions.

According to the president, Namibia has so far injected 1.3 billion Namibian dollars (85 million U.S. dollars) plus into the health sector accompanied by an 8.1 billion Namibian dollars stimulus package and the 500 million Namibian dollars SME loan scheme to help the economy recover.

Namibia’s economy is forecasted to contract by 7.8 percent in 2020 before recovering to positive growth of 2.1 and 2.7 percent in 2021 and 2022, respectively, the central bank has projected.