Sen Pang, the outgoing United Nations (UN) resident coordinator, believes that for Namibia to become self-sustainable, it should stop exporting raw materials.
Pang told The Namibian at State House that the country will benefit if it adds value domestically and exports finished products. He said instead of exporting raw materials, having them further processed to sell either as semi-finished or finished products would greatly benefit the country.
UN Diplomat Advises Namibia To Increase Export Of Finished Products
He said this would help with over-reliance on Namibia's imports. He continued, "It would be good to increase self-dependency and reduce dependency on imports. Namibia has a very productive labor force and rich natural resources."
Pang's comments came a few weeks after Namibia and the European Union (EU) finalized their deal to export more unprocessed critical raw materials amid its energy crisis.
The suggestion of the UN resident coordinator joins the call of experts who want the government to export more refined goods instead of raw materials.
The latest trade show that most of the goods exported in August this year were mainly uranium, non-monetary gold, precious stones (diamonds), and petroleum oils. The total value of the exports stood at N$7.2 billion.
Pang said the UN has started working on the 'Buy Local, Grow Namibia' campaign to train Namibians. He said, "We are training young people with professional skills and knowledge to be better equipped and prepared when they enter society."
The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade coined the 'Buy Local, Grow Namibia' campaign to stimulate local goods and services consumption, creating awareness of the importance of consuming locally manufactured goods and services and educating consumers about the social and economic advantages that local businesses bring to a community.
Pang said. Moreover, they have challenges mobilizing resources due to the country's upper-middle income status. "But we have been trying to overcome the challenge over the past years. As a result, we have made visible achievements despite this challenge."
He said Namibia should be proud of its middle-income status because it proves that the country has progressed since independence. However, he said there is the question of the gap between the poor and rich and those living under the poverty line.