By Maggy Thomas UNITED NATIONS, 30 SEP (NAMPA) -
President Hage Geingob said on Thursday that to classify countries based solely on their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) does not reflect justice and fairness.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Geingob cautioned international financial institutions about the classification of countries based on income alone.
He said the current approach developed by international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and subsequently adopted by the United Nations to classify countries based solely on GDP, should be done away with.
This approach - which simply divides GDP by population - completely ignores inequalities in the distribution of wealth and opportunities, and comes with adverse effects for social mobility and progress, the Head of State said.
Namibia has been one of the casualties of this approach, as it has been wrongly classified as a so-called upper middle-income country without taking into account that due to Apartheid, the economic wealth of the country remained in the hands of the minority white population, leaving black people on the fringes of the economy, he explained.
"Instead of the international community assisting us in fighting the second phase of the struggle, we feel as if we have been left to fend for ourselves since the above-mentioned classification effectively denies Namibia access to grants and concessional loans to support our development agenda," he said.
In what was his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Geingob said the distribution of wealth is one of modern day's most widely discussed and controversial issues. However, he said, the distribution of wealth is too important of an issue to be left to economists at the international financial institutions alone.
"It is for this reason that Namibia continuous to caution about the arbitrary classification of countries based on income alone," he said.