Namibia’s economy then and now … as country celebrates 28 years of Independence

The local economy has been growing at a considerably good pace with an average rate of 4.48% reaching an all time high of 21% in the third quarter of 2004 ever since the fall of the old apartheid regime.

Data solicited by Capricorn Assert Management shows that overall population growth steadily rose from a mere 1.4 million people to 2.1 million by 2010 with latest figures placing it at 2.6 million.

Levels of the national reserves where considerably low by the time the country got its independence standing at a paltry N$75.58 million and by 2017, the stock had shot up to N$2 394. 06 million, according to statistics provided by Capricorn.

The stock hit an all time high last year by the end of May on account of an inflow of international loans received for budget deficit financing.

From then on, local analysts forecast the reserves to linger within favourable margins buoyed by a stronger rand, continued quarterly settlement of outstanding amounts by Banco Nacional de Angola, and an expected improvement of the trade balance as the mining sector strengthens.


While the exchange rate between the Namibian dollar and the US dollar was in red territory in 1990, improvements by the end of 2017 right into 2018 have been remarkable, hovering around N$11.97/USD.

Sadly, the country has not made good on its attempts to open up the economy to labour exiting universities and that from the unskilled sector.

Namibia had an unemployment rate of 19% by 1991, fast forward to 2017 and 2018, many Namibians were out of jobs with the rate standing at 34%.

This risen levels of unemployment could be on account of the bulging population rate and contractions in important sectors experienced last year.

By 2016, the number of employed people had dropped to 135 800 from 206 000 in 2014 with the percentage of the jobless growing by 6%.

A latest Employment Equity report made headlines in a local daily this week with an estimated 60 000 Namibians having been kicked out of the job market between 2016 and 2017.

The central bank’s repo rate was at a 20.5% high in 1991, statistics reveal this has eased down to 6.75% by 2017.

The repossession rate was cut by 0.25% basis points last year and was realised by the central bank as enough to continue to support growth and maintain the one-to-one link between the Namibia Dollar and the South African Rand.

By 1991, the inflation rate was standing at 13.5% and came down to 6.2% by last year only for 2018 to open at 8.2%.

Latest indications are that this has since eased down and stood at 3.5% by the end of February.

Namibia’s Gross Domestic Growth per capita stood at plus or minus N$2.600 million when the country got its independence and grew to N$64 286 by 2015.

The country’s fiscal balance in 1990 was plus 0.77% of GDP and 17 years later stood at -5.4% of GDP.