Dialogue with the Economic Advisor to the President on the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP)
11 November 2020
Namibia is facing economic challenges, which are growing along with the negative impacts of Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Namibian Government and civil society organizations are optimistic and working together to tackle the economic problems in the country. Last week on 11th November, representatives of UN agencies in Namibia, led by the Resident Coordinator Mr. Sen Pang, had an online meeting with Mr. James Mnyupe, Economic Advisor to the President on the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).
Mr. Mnyupe explained their priorities for planning the ERP, noting that Namibia has limited public sector space, therefore the private sector should be encouraged and supported by the government to create new jobs and be the engine of economic development in Namibia. It is not a possible task for the government or state offices alone, but there needs to be a cooperation between public and private sectors. He emphasized that there is a need for improvement in registration of businesses within informal sector in Namibia.
A question was proposed on how the government is planning to ease registration processes, which are quite difficult in the country and result in growth of informal sector. Mr. Mnyupe responded that the Namibian government is planning to offer special benefits for people to register their businesses, the ERP will encompass the creation of an electronic database to track registration processes with ease. The highlight of the meeting was that the context of informal economy proposes one of the biggest challenges in Namibia’s economic growth.
Participants also stressed the need to improve sustainable and green economic activities in Namibia. Even though high costs in production seem to be problematic, new development projects are in progress to increase the capacity for energy production, which includes exporting possibilities.
The UN underscored the importance of continued support to strengthen coordination towards the implementation of sustainable economic development projects with tangible and quantifiable benefits. Emphasis was given to the tourism sector as one of the industries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan more resource will be injected into the tourism sector as a significant driver of economic growth and social development in the country.
The potentials of the Economic Recovery Plan are not limited to a political term of the incumbent administrators.