Namibia recognizes colonial past weight on its today’s state of affairs and vows to implement heavy state management changes

President Hage Geingob of Namibia gestures during an interview with Reuters in central London, Britain December 1, 2016. Photo : REUTERS

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Inequalities in Namibia remain high relative to aggregate income, and the country should build a fair society to solve the ills, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said Wednesday.

Absolute poverty has declined from 41 percent in the 1990s to 17.4 percent by 2015/16, and the Gini coefficient is at 0.56 compared to 0.7 in the 1990s, Schlettwein said when tabling the National Budget for 2019/20 Financial Year.

“Our society and the structure of our economy are a product of past political economy, shaped by apartheid and colonialism,” he said. “The outcome is that Namibia is still second most unequal society in the world.”

The only way to become a prosperous nation is to heal these scars, “for this reason, we have chosen to build a fair and equitable society where socio-economic opportunities are available to all Namibians,” he said.

“We must therefore upgrade and deploy policy permutations that will reform the structure of our economy to achieve eroding inequality and eradicate extreme poverty during lifetime,” said the minster.

Namibia’s natural mineral riches and small population have made it an upper-middle-income country, according to the World Bank in 2018.

Nevertheless, challenges to poverty reduction linger, including slowing economic growth, adverse weather patterns, high inequality, and high unemployment, the institution added.

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