Namibia's Upper Middle Income Classification 'A Disadvantage'

President Hage Geingob (file photo).
29 September 2020

The World Bank's classification of Namibia as an upper middle-income country places the country at a disadvantage, president Hage Geingob has said.

Geingob said this during the United Nations meeting on financing for sustainable development today. The meeting was held virtually.

"Namibia's classification as an upper middle income country presents challenges with regards to mobilising resources to finance our development goals," he said.

"The World Bank formula, which divides our GDP [gross domestic profit] by our small population, thereby deriving a high per capita income, places us at a disadvantage as this classification fails to account for historic injustices that have resulted in highly skewed income distribution," Geingob remarked.

The president said countries with a unique situation such as Namibia's should be allowed access to assistance that is proportionate to their needs.

"We look forward to working closely in designing and refining the menu of options to meet the needs of Namibia and other emerging economies facing similar challenges," he said.

Regarding financing for development, Geingob said Namibia aimed to develop innovative financial tools such as green, blue and transition bonds, and international carbon credits.

Green bonds are a debt instrument designed to raise funds for environmental projects, while blue bonds finance projects related to ocean conservation.

Carbon credit refers to a particular certificate which permits companies to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.

"We support debt for climate swaps and endeavour to create conditions for African research and development to allow locally relevant innovation to flourish," Geingob said.

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