Namibia’s economy grows by N$5,3 billion

… Analysts say this does not address inequality

Namibia’s economy grew by N$5,3 billion in the first three months of this year.

This represents an average economic growth rate of 4,7 % in real terms.

Some economic analysts, however, say this does not translate to addressing the underlying issues of economic exclusion, inequality, poverty and unemployment within the country. These economic growth figures are contained in the first quarter of the latest gross domestic product (GDP) quarterly report released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).

The statistics bureau says the total value of goods and services produced within Namibia during the first three months of the year was N$59,1 billion.

This is an increase of N$5,3 billion compared to the first quarter of 2023, indicating an increase in economic activity.

Teresia Kaulihowa


Economics professor Teresia Kaulihowa says although the country has demonstrated resilience amid a volatile global environment, it lacks an inclusive economy.

This is because the majority of the growth is driven by natural resource activities, particularly mining and quarrying.

“However, economic growth alone is not a remedy for addressing the underlying issues of economic exclusion, inequality, poverty and unemployment within the country,” Kaulihowa says.

She says there is a need for the government to plan how to share wealth more equally.

“These challenges highlight the necessity for a pragmatic government strategy to redistribute wealth and ensure inclusive development.”

Economist Josef Sheehama says the figures presented do not reflect Namibia’s standard of living.

He says Namibians should experience the benefits of economic growth in their daily lives and not just on paper.

Sheehama says the country needs more equitable economies that serve the interests of all of its citizens rather than just the rich and powerful in order to reduce the alarming wealth gap in the country.


The economy grew by 4,7% in the first quarter of 2024.

This is a slower growth rate compared to the first quarter of 2023 (5,3%).

This marks 12 consecutive quarters of positive real GDP growth.

The growth rate indicates the pace of expansion.

Even though the economy is still growing, it’s doing so at a slightly slower rate compared to the previous year.

While the agriculture and forestry sector saw some positive growth, there was a decline in mining and fishing, compared to the first quarter in 2023.

This sector was driven by livestock farming, which grew at 3,2%, down from 5,1% due to lower livestock sales.

The fishing industry also experienced slower growth.

“The fishing and fish processing sector grew by 2,2% – significantly lower than the 10,7% in 2023,” the report highlights.

Namibia’s mining sector, a key contributor to GDP, also showed a slowdown.

The diamond mining subsector, a major contributor, grew at 8,9%, which is slower than the 25,7% surge in the first quarter of 2023.

However, the uranium subsector had a decline of 11,8 %, compared to 27,4% recorded at the same time in 2023.

The financial sector also saw some growth as the banking sector grew by 9,4%.

This is mainly attributed to an increase in total deposits across all sectors.

A part of the insurance industry grew by 2,4% as people paid more for insurance policies.

“The insurance subsector posted a growth of 2,4% due to an increase in gross premiums written,” the report says.

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