Economy of Namibia

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Namibia > Map Economy History

Economy - overview: The economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 20% of GDP. Namibia is the fourth-largest exporter of nonfuel minerals in Africa and the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia also produces large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. Half of the population depends on agriculture (largely subsistence agriculture) for its livelihood. Namibia must import some of its food. Although per capita GDP is four times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorer countries, the majority of Namibia's people live in pronounced poverty because of large-scale unemployment, the great inequality of income distribution, and the large amount of wealth going to foreigners. The Namibian economy has close links to South Africa. GDP growth in 2000 was led by gains in the diamond and fish sectors. Agreement has been reached on the privatization of several more enterprises in coming years, which should stimulate long-run foreign investment. Growth in 2001 could be 5.5% provided the world economy remains stable.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $7.6 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,300 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  12%
industry:  25%
services:  63% (1999 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.1% (2000)
Labor force: 500,000
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 47%, industry 20%, services 33% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 30% to 40%, including underemployment (1997 est.)
Budget:
revenues:  $883 million
expenditures:  $950 million (1998)
Industries: meat packing, fish processing, dairy products; mining (diamond, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
Industrial production growth rate: 10% (1994)
Electricity - production: 1.198 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 2%
hydro: 98%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 1.948 billion kWh (1999)
note: imports electricity from South Africa
Agriculture - products: millet, sorghum, peanuts; livestock; fish
Exports: $1.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, processed fish, karakul skins
Exports - partners: UK 43%, South Africa 26%, Spain 14%, France 8%, Japan (1998 est.)
Imports: $1.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners: South Africa 81%, US 4%, Germany 2% (1997 est.)
Debt - external: $217 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $127 million (1998)
Currency: Namibian dollar (NAD); South African rand (ZAR)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Namibia > Map Economy History