Africa Mining: Namibia’s economy to grow faster in 2017 as mining bounces back

ICVL - coal-770x433Namibia’s economy will grow at 1.6 percent this year and by double that in 2018 as the mining sector emerges from years of contraction and the impact of recent severe drought eases, the finance minister said on Thursday.

“Growth will be led by recovery in the primary industries, particularly mining and agriculture,” Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said in a mid-year budget speech in parliament.

Schlettwein warned that poor regional growth, particularly in neighbouring South Africa, remained a major risk.

In August, Moody’s cut the southern African nation’s sovereign credit rating to Ba1, or junk, from Baa3 citing a negative growth outlook and large fiscal deficits.

At the time Schlettwein rejected the downgrade as premature and speculative.

(Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia).

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