High Foreign Direct Investment inflows are expected to continue in 2023 on the back of oil discovery appraisals, coupled with the commencement of the green hydrogen project feasibility study to the tune of N$2.5 billion, the President HE, Dr. Hage Geingob said Thursday.
"This demonstrates growing investor confidence in Namibia," he said when he delivered his 9th State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament with the joint-sitting of both the National Council as well as the National Assembly.
According to Geingob, the country attracted foreign direct investment worth N$13.2 billion or 7.2% of the gross domestic product during the first nine months of 2022, primarily driven by equity injections for exploration activities following the offshore oil discoveries.
"This was the highest year-on-year growth we witnessed since 2015. These financial inflows are running at a record high, with foreign direct investment being the main contributor. Indeed, these green shoots are undeniable," he added.
Nevertheless, Geingob said there is still a need to foster broad-based economic growth across all sectors of the economy.
"The government will continue to expedite implementation of supportive supply-side policies to lessen constraints to economic activities and facilitate the ease of doing business,' he added.
Looking at the domestic economic front, Geingob noted that the economy has demonstrated resilience, registering a better-than-expected growth of 4% last year, with the expectation for further forecasted growth of 3.2% this year.
"The return of the economy to a positive growth trajectory is welcome, as it brings much-needed growth in revenue collections as well as stemming the trend of declining per capita income," he added.
Despite progress made, Geingob meanwhile said financial exclusion remains a challenge in rural areas, the informal sector, and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.
"Therefore, the Bank of Namibia is currently coordinating the development of a new Financial Sector Transformation Strategy to achieve a higher degree of financial inclusion," he said.