WINDHOEK, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Namibia's economy received a significant boost from foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows worth 13.2 billion Namibian dollars (about 717 million U.S. dollars), equivalent to 7.2 percent of the country's GDP, during the first nine months of 2022, President Hage Geingob said Thursday during the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The majority of these financial inflows were driven by equity injections for exploration activities following offshore oil discoveries, Geingob said, adding that the oil discoveries have increased the prospects for Namibia's energy sector, creating opportunities for further growth in the coming years.
"This surge in FDI marks the highest year-on-year growth since 2015, indicating growing investor confidence in Namibia's economy. These green shoots of economic recovery are undeniable and show that the country is moving towards a positive growth trajectory," he said.
Geingob predicted that FDI inflows are likely to continue in 2023 as investors take note of the offshore oil discoveries and the commencement of the green hydrogen project feasibility study, which will cost 2.5 billion Namibian dollars.
Geingob stated that there is still a need to foster broadly-based economic growth across all sectors of the economy, noting that his government plans to expedite the implementation of supportive supply-side policies to reduce constraints to economic activities and facilitate the ease of doing business.
He underscored that financial exclusion remains a challenge in rural areas, the informal sector, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In response, the Bank of Namibia, the central bank, is currently coordinating the development of a new Financial Sector Transformation Strategy to achieve a higher degree of financial inclusion. ■