Geingob on SADC economic outlook

01 May 2017 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 01 MAY (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has challenged both Namibian and Zimbabwean businesspersons to get ready to capitalise on opportunities that will come with an improved global economy and good rainfalls in southern Africa.
In a statement he delivered at the opening of the 58th Edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo on Friday and availed to Nampa, Geingob told his audience that the International Monetary Fund had recently revised the global growth forecast from 3.1 last year to 3.5 this year.
He said proof of recovery could also be seen in the rebound of commodity prices, adding that this and the good rainfalls in the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region have improved the region’s economic outlook.
Geingob said the Namibian economy was recovering and presented many investment opportunities.
Quoting figures from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), he described the low levels of trade between Namibia and Zimbabwe, which stood at only 24 million US dollars in 2016 of the total trade of about 13.1 billion US dollars, as a “huge opportunity for growth going forward”.
Geingob commended Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for advocating Africa’s industrialisation when he took over the SADC chair.
He said it was under Mugabe’s chairmanship that within a record period of time, the SADC Industrialisation Policy and Implementation Framework were adopted in 2015.
“We must work hard to ensure that this important roadmap does not collect dust on the shelves but is implemented with a sense of urgency.”
Geingob also spoke about the need to address the rising youth unemployment through industrialisation and the manufacturing sectors.
He emphasised the need for unity, saying no individual country could successfully industrialise on its own.
He gave the example of Namibia, which he said has a small population and lacks economies of scale to produce competitively.
Namibia must therefore embrace regional trade that would help the country compete globally.