POSITIVE NEIGHBOURLY NEWS
THE BEST NEWS about Namibia is that we hear so little about our neighbouring country. That means that there are no wars – foreign or civil – and that the both the economic and political situations are free of major crises.
Those issues, sadly, are what mostly attract the world’s media in Africa.
Sure, Namibia is certainly not without some extremely serious problems.
Vitally, HIV/Aids affects about 25% of its population and unemployment is running at around 35%.
But there are also strong pluses. Real economic progress continues to be steadily seen. Also, for all the political imperfections – among them, a dangerously high level of corruption, according to Transparency International – there’s a basic working democracy.
The quasi-independent Namibian newspaper reported last month: “The outlook for the economy in 2007 and 2008 looks positive, despite the expected global slowdown. Martin Mwinga, portfolio manager for RMB Asset Management, Namibia, says inflation will remain favourable.
“He forecasts economic growth in GDP of about 4% in 2007, slightly up on 2006. That’s expected to rise to 4,5% in 2008. Mwinga predicts inflation this year at an average 6,5%, easing to 5,8% next year.”
The economics department of Standard Bank comments: “It’s evident that significant progress has been made to improve prospects for the country’s people.”