NAMIBIA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a US$129.4 million (ZAR 2.011 billion) loan to finance the Namibia Economic Governance and Competitiveness Support Programme, EGCSP.

That approval builds on the achievements recorded over the past two years. These include a significant reduction in the country’s budget deficit from 8.3% of GDP in 2015/16 to 4.8% in 2018/19; a decrease in the expenditure/GDP ratio from 40.2% in 2015/16 to 34.9% in 2018/19, and a major improvement in foreign reserves which stood at 4.6 months of import cover by end September 2019.

EGCSP aims to support the Namibian government’s fiscal consolidation efforts, strengthening public financial management and public sector efficiency, while laying a solid foundation for industrialization through support to critical business environment reforms.

The programme has helped to provide much-needed liquidity, and enhanced investor confidence in Namibia, said Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Director of the Governance and Public Financial Management Coordination Office told Board Members.

“There have been critical reforms in the areas of public procurement, public-private partnerships, investment facilitation, and small businesses and industrial development,” he said.

Guided by the country’s Vision 2030, the 5th National Development Plan, the Harambee Prosperity Plan and other sector policies and strategies, the government has embarked on wide-ranging public financial management and business environment reforms to address emerging challenges and the results are beginning to show.

Coulibaly said the Bank was satisfied with the government’s progress under the first two phases of the programme, despite the significant economic challenges caused by declining commodity prices, persistent drought and subdued economic activity in Namibia’s main trading partner economies.

The operation is aligned with the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper for Namibia, two of the operational priorities of the Bank Group’s Ten-Year Strategy; and the High 5 priorities, in particular, Industrialize Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.