The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply deteriorated Namibia’s short-term macroeconomic outlook, giving rise to urgent balance of payments (BOP) and fiscal financing needs. After an initial outbreak peaked in August, a second wave hit in late 2020. Containment measures have negatively impacted domestic consumption and economic activity, weighing on tax revenues collection. Furthermore, worsening global conditions have hindered mining production and exports, tourism receipts, and investment inflows. The economy is expected to have sharply contracted by 7.2 percent in 2020, and the recovery is set to remain subdued in 2021.
Mindaugas Leika, Hector Perez-Saiz, Ms. Olga Ilinichna Stankova, and Torsten Wezel
The paper finds that supervisory stress tests are conducted in more than half of sub-Saharan African countries, particularly in western and southern Africa, and that the number of individual stress tests has grown exponentially since the early 2010s. By contrast, few central banks publish assessments of macro-financial linkages; the focus leans more toward discussing trends and weaknesses within the financial sector than on outside risks that may negatively affect its performance.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Namibia discusses that with the temporary stimuli now ended, the economy is rebalancing while the government is implementing a significant fiscal consolidation. A likely slow recovery, the need for further fiscal adjustment to bring public debt to a sustainable path, persistent inequalities and structural impediments to growth, point to a challenging outlook. Immediate measures are needed to deliver the authorities’ fiscal adjustment plans and bring public debt to a sustainable path. Policies should combine spending reductions and revenue increases that support long-term growth. Better targeting of cash transfers would protect the poor. Structural reforms are urgently needed to strengthen productivity and external competitiveness and boost long-term growth. Reforms should streamline business regulations, contain public sector wage dynamics, and reduce costs of key production inputs. Over time, it is important to remove non-tariff barriers to exports, foster the adoption of new technologies, and address shortages of skilled workers.
This Technical Assistance report discusses measures proposed to assess and manage fiscal risks from state-owned entities and public-private partnerships in Namibia. Fiscal risks from public entities (PEs) materialize when funding requirements are higher than expected or revenues shortfalls occur. The government’s strategy for managing PE related fiscal risks should be informed by the likelihood of PE experiencing difficulties and, in such an event, the magnitude of the potential impact on the government. A two-step methodology was proposed for assessing the likelihood of fiscal risks materializing from PE. The authorities are also considering legislative amendments to strengthen the institutional arrangements for supervising PE.