NAMIBIANS have been hit hard economically by strict measures that were imposed to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and a huge amount of work needs to be done to ensure its full recovery.
The outbreak of the pandemic has been a crisis like no other, with shops and schools shutting down, borders closing, and citizens under some form of lockdown since March.
Senior Business Analyst for the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), Tomas Kalimbo noted that the Namibian economy is bleeding due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
He made these remarks during the consultative meeting with the Oshana Region business community and informal traders held at Oshakati on Tuesday.
Kalimbo further indicated that many people have lost their jobs and source of income, which not only heavily impacted the economy but left the country in a recession.
The DBN is thus offering payment holidays for the tourism sector of about N$33.8 million and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of N$35 million.
Kalimbo stated that DBN was availed N$500 million by the government as part of the Covid-19 relief funding to the business community.
The DBN will also play a critical role in administering a Credit Guarantee Scheme funding for SMEs at FNB after the government availed 60% collateral on viable projects.
Speaking at the same occasion, Deputy Executive Director for International Trade Developments, Ndiitah Nghipondoka-Robiati, said more money is being taken out of the country rather than being invested inside.
Nghipondoka-Robiati indicated that in 2019, close to N$110 billion of goods were imported into the country, compared to N$93 billion of goods exported out of the country.
“We are taking more out of the country and bringing less in the country,” she said.
According to the Namibia Statistic Bulletin, Namibia’s total merchandise trade in August alone reached the level of N$14.6 billion, which is 11.5% and 0.5% lower than the N$16.5 billion recorded in July 2020 and N$14.7 billion recorded in August 2019.
The country recorded a trade deficit of N$1.9 billion compared to a deficit of N$3.4 billion recorded in July 2020 and N$2.9 billion recorded in August 2019.