Namibia needs to prioritize vaccination across the country to salvage the economy that has been hard-hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the central bank governor has said.

Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab highlighted this during an discussion Thursday on pressing economic matters facing the coastal Erongo region and the country at large.

“Correcting the negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy will take time. However, mining and agriculture have started showing signs of recovery, while the tourism sector is still awaiting the return of international tourists,” he said.

Gawaxab said the vaccination policy is an economic policy, and that for the economy to recover, Namibia needs successful vaccination, investments, and stability of the financial sector.

“For Namibia’s economy to revive on a long-term basis, import substitution, export promotion, and investments should all be considered as feasible policy choices, and pursued aggressively,” he said.

Gawaxab said Namibia’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 8 percent in 2021, eliminating jobs and hobbling businesses while also putting pressure on government debt.

“The country cannot afford another hard lockdown since it would jeopardize more jobs and businesses,” he said, urging citizens to get vaccinated.

Namibia on Thursday recorded the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases cases since the pandemic broke out in the country last year. Enditem

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