The Economy of Namibia

The Economy of Namibia

Namibian Economy

Economy - overview: The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 8% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia is the fourth-largest exporter of nonfuel minerals in Africa, the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium, and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population while about half of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years food shortages are a major problem in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, hides one of the world's most unequal income distributions. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Increased payments from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) put Namibia's budget into surplus in 2007 for the first time since independence, but SACU payments will decline after 2008 as part of a new revenue sharing formula. Increased fish production and mining of zinc, copper, uranium, and silver spurred growth in 2003-07, but growth in recent years was undercut by poor fish catches and high costs for metal inputs.


GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2008 est.) 4.1% (2007 est.) 7.1% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 10.4% industry: 36.2% services: 53.4% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.5% highest 10%: 64.5% (2003)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 70.7 (2003)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 667,000 (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 47% industry: 20% services: 33% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 5% (2008 est.)

Budget: revenues: $2.668 billion expenditures: $2.896 billion (2008 est.)

Industries: meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)

Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 1.606 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 3.194 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 40 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 1.948 billion kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (2006 est.)

Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 19,840 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 17,750 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products: millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish

Exports: $2.98 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins

Exports - partners:

Imports: $3.56 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Debt - external: $1.151 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar - 7.75 (2008 est.), 7.18 (2007), 6.7649 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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