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Economy of Namibia

The Namibian economy has a modern market sector, which produces most of the country's wealth, and a traditional subsistence sector. Although the majority of the population engages in subsistence agriculture and herding, Namibia has more than 200,000skilled workers, as well as a small, well-trained professional and managerial class.

Namibia is a higher middle income country with an estimated annual GDP per capita of US$5,828 but has extreme inequalities in income distribution and standard of living. It leads the list of countries by income inequality with a Gini coefficient of 70.7 (CIA) and 74.3 (UN), respectively.

The country's sophisticated formal economy is based on capital-intensive industry and farming. However, Namibia's economy is heavily dependent on the earnings generated from primary commodity exports in a few vital sectors, including minerals, especially diamonds, livestock, and fish. Furthermore, the Namibian economy remains integrated with the economy of South Africa, as the bulk of Namibia's imports originate there.

Sectors

Namibia is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Taxes and royalties from mining account for 25% of its revenue. The bulk of the revenue is created by diamond mining, which made up 7.2% of the 9.5% that mining contributes to Namibia's GDP in 2011. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia is a large exporter of uranium and over the years the mining industry has seen a decline in the international commodity prices such a suranium, which has led to the reason behind several uranium projects being abandoned. The mining industry in Namibia is supposedly going to reach US1.79bn by the year 2018.

Mining and energy

Diamond production totalled 1.5 million carats (300 kg) in 2000, generating nearly $500 million in export earnings. Other important mineral resources are uranium, copper, lead, and zinc. The country also is a source of gold, silver, tin, vanadium, semiprecious gemstones, tantalite, phosphate, sulphur, and salt.

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.

Agriculture

About half of the population depends on agriculture (largely subsistence agriculture) for its livelihood, but Namibia must still import some of its food. Although per capita GDP is five times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorest countries, the majority of Namibia's people live in rural areas and exist on a subsistence way of life. One of the fastest growing areas of economic development in Namibia is the growth of wildlife conservancies.

Fishing

The clean, cold South Atlantic waters off the coast of Namibia are home to some of the richest fishing grounds in the world, with the potential for sustainable yields of 1.5 millionmetric tonnes per year. Commercial fishing and fish processing is the fastest-growing sector of the Namibian economy in terms of employment, export earnings, and contribution to GDP.

Manufacturing and infrastructure

In 2000, Namibia's manufacturing sector contributed about 20% of GDP. Namibian manufacturing is inhibited by a small domestic market, dependence on imported goods, limited supply of local capital, widely dispersed population, small skilled labour force and high relative wage rates, and subsidised competition from South Africa.

Tourism

Tourism is a major contributor (14.5%) to Namibia's GDP, creating tens of thousands of jobs (18.2% of all employment) directly or indirectly and servicing over a million tourists per annum. The country is among the prime destinations in Africa and is known for ecotourism which features Namibia's extensive wildlife.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Namibia"

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