afrol News, 21 February - Economic growth is still at healthy levels in Namibia, the latest statistical figures for the country show. Growth defies high energy prices and the slow development in neighbouring South Africa.
According to the latest evaluation of the Namibian economy, presented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday, the Southern African country still is on a healthy course. Namibia has fully recovered from the great hit suffered under the financial crisis, experiencing negative growth in 2009.
Since then, developments have been very positive in Namibia, the IMF data show, with GDP growth rates even reaching 6.6 percent in 2010. After the record year, annual growth has been between 4 and 5 percent of GDP. And for 2013, the IMF and Namibian authorities expect a healthy growth of 4.3 percent.
Namibia therefore has done relatively well, in particular compared to other countries in the Southern Africa region, which has had lower growth rates than other African regions. Since 2009, Namibia also has been a good investment location.
According to the IMF analysis, investors can keep flocking to Namibia. Both the budgetary situation and the national finance market are well under control, and the country has a modest foreign debt rate, only corresponding to 28.8 percent of GDP. The Fund only sees risks in Namibia's dependency on the mining sector and on the Southern African customs union, whose revenues are very instable.
In particular diamond harvesting has been given Namibia, a vast country with a small population, large export revenues. According to the IMF, most of the growth in export revenues experienced in Namibia during the last years is due to rising diamond prices on the world market, not to a growth in export volumes.
But industry sources say that diamond production also has increased during the last years, with new production sites steadily being found, in particular at sea.
Since 2011, maritime harvesting of diamonds has a greater volume than the traditional land-based diamond mines. According to diamond giant De Beers, which also is a big actor in Namibia, the country has "the largest known maritime diamond resources in the world, estimated to more than 80 million karat and to represent more than 90 percent of the country's diamond resources."
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