Namibia: Central Bank to Host 20th Annual Symposium

The Bank of Namibia will host its 20th Annual Symposium on Thursday, 19 September at the Safari Hotel and Conference Centre, under the theme: 'Escaping the Middle- Income Trap: A perspective from Namibia, officiated Prime Minister Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

According to the Deputy Director of Corporate Communications at the central bank, Kazembire Zemburuka this year's theme is motivated by the disappointing growth record of Namibia since 2016 that has given rise to the notion that Namibia might be in a middle-income trap. Zemburuka explained that the term 'middle income trap' captures a situation where a country is unable to move to higher levels of economic growth and further economic transformation.

Zemburuka noted that GDP growth rates had been on an upward trajectory over a number of years, averaging 3.5% between 1990 and 1999, then increasing to 4.3% between 2000 and 2009, adding during 2010 - 2015, average growth rate was 5.7%, mainly due to an expansionary fiscal policy and the construction of large mines.

"However, since 2016, real GDP contracted as the temporary stimulus from the construction of mines and public sector infrastructure slowed down and government undertook a significant fiscal consolidation exercise, to reduce public debt and the budget deficit. Could this slow growth be due to structural challenges or is the country in a middle-income trap?" he asked.

It is envisaged that the Symposium will provide a platform to understand the notion of middle-income trap with reference to Namibia and to devise strategies and policy options to exit such a trap and become an industrialised state in line with Vision 2030.

As a precursor to the Symposium, the Bank of Namibia will also co-host a public lecture in collaboration with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) on the topic: 'If industrialisation has become a hard endeavour, what can today's developing countries do to progress fast?' The public lecture will be addressed by Dr Jesus Felipe, one of the speakers of the Symposium, on Wednesday, 18 September, at NUST, Auditorium 1, at 18h00.

Hosting of the annual symposium has been part of the Bank's calendar since 1998, from where the Symposium has solidified its position as a vital platform that promotes policy dialogue supportive of sustainable economic development in Namibia.

Hosting of the annual symposium has been part of the Bank's calendar since 1998, from where the Symposium has solidified its position as a vital platform that promotes policy dialogue supportive of sustainable economic development in Namibia.

Meanwhile, the Symposium will be live-streamed on the Bank of Namibia website and links will be shared on our Facebook and twitter platforms.

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