Namibia: Launch of the African Economic Outlook 2009
The 2009 African Economic Outlook (AEO) was launched in Windhoek, Namibia on Friday, 24 July 2009. The seminar was hosted by the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU), which is one of the nine research institutes across Africa collaborating with the AfDB, OECD Development Centre, and UNECA in the elaboration of the annual report.
The ceremony was opened by the Permanent Secretary for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mr. Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana, who represented the Hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mr. Joel Kaapanda. Mr. Ua-Ndjarakana highly welcomed the focus of the 2009 AEO edition on Innovation and ICTs, reiterating the Namibian Government’s unwavering commitment to promoting ICTs, as displayed in the recent approval of a new national regulatory framework and communications law.
Dr. Elizabeth Pape, from the European Commisssion, paid tribute to the high quality of the 2009 AEO report, noting that the thematic chapter contains the best study available on ICT in the region, which should motivate “the onset for an E-Africa.”
The seminar was moderated by the Director of NEPRU, Dr. Fanuel Tjingaete, and presentations of key findings from the report were made by staff from AfDB Development Research Department and OECD Development Centre. The Country Note for Namibia produced by NEPRU took stock of the sharp contraction in diamond production in 2009, contributing to job losses and a GDP contraction in the first quarter of -5.8%. Nevertheless, Namibia can exploit its strengths to overcome the adverse effects of the crisis, including macroeconomic stability, open trade regime, adequate tax and foreign currency regulations, property rights, and good transport infrastructure.