Oil and Gas puts Namibia on the brink of economic boom


Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes !Gawaxab has indicated that the recent oil and gas discoveries off the coast of Namibia hold the transformative potential to double the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and substantially increase its economic output.

central bank’s governor predicted amid a period where exploration activities have already marked a positive influence on the economy, contributing an estimated growth of 0.4 percent annually between 2021 and 2023.

!Gawaxab said that as exploration ventures intensify, these contributions are anticipated to soar, ushering in a new era of prosperity for Namibia.

He emphasized the potential for currency appreciation as a direct benefit from the exploration success, which, while encouraging imports, might pose challenges for other export sectors by reducing their competitiveness.

Drawing parallels with other oil-rich nations, !Gawaxab emphasized the importance of learning from their experiences to ensure Namibia’s path towards sustainable development is well-charted.

He acknowledged that while the country is in the nascent stages of developing its oil and gas sector, significant strides have been made in laying the groundwork for future success.

He added that this includes acquiring crucial skills and knowledge from global counterparts and establishing robust legal frameworks.

“With prudent management and a steadfast commitment to transparency and good governance, Namibia is poised to rank among the top 15 oil producers in Africa by 2035,” he said.

He added that this optimistic projection is contingent upon the nation’s ability to navigate away from the pitfalls of corruption and resource mismanagement.

In a gesture of homage, !Gawaxab dedicated the central bank’s recent Transparency Award to the late President Dr Hage Geingob, celebrating the strides made in monetary policy communication and public engagement.

He said that this honour reflects the values of transparency and accountability that were hallmarks of Geingob’s presidency and contributed to fostering trust and effective governance within the country.

The central bank’s governor revealed his optimism for Namibia’s economic future while declaring a dividend of N$511.5 million for the past financial year, marking a near N$100 million increase over the previous year’s distribution.

He said that this dividend, coupled with an 11.9 percent increase in international reserves, signifies robust financial health and a solid foundation for future economic endeavours.

“Despite facing a challenging global economic climate, Namibia’s financial sector has remained resilient, supported by the central bank’s strategic monetary policies aimed at stabilizing the currency and bolstering domestic economic activity,” he said.

He pointed out that despite this, the nation witnessed a slight deceleration in economic growth, recording a 4.2 percent increase in 2023 down from 5.3 percent in 2022.

The dividends were handed over to Deputy Finance Minister Maureen Hinda-Mbuende as a pledge towards sustainable economic development and a brighter future for all Namibians.

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