Namibia/Economy

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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 should improve in 2000-01, because of 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.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $7.1 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,300 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 12%
industry: 30%
services: 58% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.5% (1999)

Labor force: 500,000

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 47%, industry 25%, services 28% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% to 40%, including underemployment (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $883 million
expenditures: $950 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (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: 1.81 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 56 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 890 million kWh (1999)
note: imports electricity from South Africa

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

Exports: $1.4 billion (f.o.b., 1999 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: $1.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

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

Imports - partners: South Africa 84%, Germany, US, Japan (1995 est.)

Debt - external: $159 million (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $127 million (1998)

Currency: 1 Namibian dollar (N$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Namibian dollars (N$) per US$1 - 6.12439 (January 2000), 6.10948 (1999), 5.52828 (1998), 4.60796 (1997), 4.29935 (1996), 3.62709 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March