Overview

  • Political stability and sound economic management have helped anchor economic growth and poverty reduction in Namibia. Growth has not been accompanied by job creation, however, and extreme social and economic inequities inherited from apartheid persist despite generous spending on social programs. The country is also vulnerable to short- and long-term environmental shocks as all major sources of growth depend heavily on Namibia’s fragile ecosystem.

    Namibia has enjoyed a sustained period of strong growth. Between 2011 and 2015, the economy grew at an average annual rate of 5.6% per annum. Growth was driven by massive investment in extractive projects, strong export prices, rapid private credit growth, and a program of deficit-financed fiscal stimulus.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017

  • Over the longer-term, Namibia faces important challenges in diversifying the economy and broadening economic opportunities. The economy remains heavily dependent on mining, while limited demand for unskilled labor leads to concentration of labor in unproductive subsistence agriculture. Policy priorities for a more inclusive economy include: i) improving access to and quality of secondary, tertiary, and vocational education; and ii) addressing labor market rigidities.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017

  • Development Challenges

    Relatively strong economic growth has not been sufficient to deal with poverty, inequality, and unemployment. Using the national poverty line of N$377.96, the poor Namibian comprised 28.7% in 2009/10, following a 9.0 percentage point fall from 37.7% in 2003/04. The reduction was driven by gains in in rural areas. Using the international poverty lines, 16.9% of the population lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2015 compared to 21.3% in 2010. In 2015, 39.0% lived below the $3.10 per day poverty line, compared to 44.3% in 2010. Namibia remains one of the most unequal countries in the world, with a Gini coefficient of 0.597 in 2010.

    The demand for electricity has been growing rapidly, pushed by urbanization and the mining sector. Long-term agreements to purchase electricity at favorable rates are expiring and there has been no significant, new capacity since independence. Wholesale electricity prices have risen by double-digit rates in each of the past several years.

    All major production sectors—mining, tourism, livestock and meat production, and fisheries—are vulnerable to external economic and ecological shocks. Foreign demand in each industry is cyclical, seasonal, or unpredictable, with downstream effects for employment, income, and government revenue. All face risks from climate change and/or other countries’ policies to address climate change.  

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017

  • The World Bank Group (WBG)

    Namibia became a member of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) in 1990.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017



LENDING

Namibia: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


PHOTO GALLERY

More Photos Arrow

In Depth

Image

Ebola: The Road to Recovery

The World Bank Group’s emergency response to the Ebola crisis helped to stop the spread of infections and improve public health systems ...

Image

International Development Association (IDA) in Africa

IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, contributes nearly 50% of its funds to 39 African countries.

Image

World Bank Africa Multimedia

Watch, listen and click through the latest videos, podcasts and slideshows highlighting the World Bank’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Image

World Bank Live

Tune in for the 2016 Spring Meetings April 12 – 17, and join the conversation!

Image

Doing Business in Namibia

The Doing Business Project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement. See where Namibia ranks on the "...

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
+27-12-742-3100

In South Africa:
Zandi Ratshitanga
Sr. Communications Officer
+27-12-742-3107
442 Rodericks Street, Lynnwood Road
Tshwane 0081
zratshitanga@worldbank.org
In Washington:
Ivan Velev
Country Program Coordinator
+1-202-473-0814
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
ivelev@worldbank.org