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By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

Out of 10 008 countries, Namibia buys goods from, only 13 of those are in Africa.

Another trend picked is that if it were not for consistent fish export to DRC and Zambia and copper import from the same two countries, Namibia trade in Africa would be mostly limited to SACU members.

The Villager analysed the country trade patterns for this year, August and July show, as produced by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).

Namibia and other African states have rectified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to remove various trade barriers, including trade tariffs.

The main objective is to increase intra-trade among each other. The agreement was theoretically operationalised early this year while the member state ironed out other issues.

Using Namibia trade trends for the two months- the country barely goes beyond SACU to sell its goods or buy.

Statistics show that if it was not for exporting fish to DRC and Zambia and Dundee buying copper from the two- Namibia intra-trade beyond SACU would be minimal.

Using trading partner countries for imports, exports, and re-export if DRC and Zambia are removed (fish and copper), Namibia trade beyond SACU is less than N$100 million.

Another significant pattern observed for the two months is that despite low diversification overall, the value of import and export to and from Africa for Namibia is higher than that of other continents.

However, it is just concentrated around South Africa, Botswana, DRC, and Zambia.

By the end of August 2021, exports to Africa was valued at N$2,8 billion, while Namibia bought goods valued at N$6,6 billion from mostly the four countries.

While in July, Namibia sold goods worth N$1,9 billion to Africa and bought N$5,1 billion of goods.

The NSA divided the country trading partners into blocks; SACU: Southern Africa Customs Union (), BRICs Brazil, Russia, India and China; COMESA: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa; European Union.

SACU and EU rule as the largest export destination for Namibia’s goods during the two months (July and August).

The BRICs and SADC-Non-SACU (mostly DRC and Zambia) groups followed, and COMESA was the smallest trading block Namibia trade with.

For the two months, the SACU market remained the largest source of imports for Namibia, accounting for more than 40,8% of all goods bought.

Things changed a bit due to Namibia high import of copper and its concentrate; COMESA took over the second position, followed by SADC excluding SACU.

The BRIC and the EU concluded the top five list.

The African states are yet to practically take advantage of their rectification- with many states and regional blocks busy drafting their AfCFTA strategy and submitting their tariff concessions. Email:

Julia Heita

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