In your local headlines this week, The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security announced that the border posts of Katima Mulilo, Noordoewer, Ariamsvlei, and the Walvis Bay Harbor will be open for entry via road. Meanwhile, FlyWestair’s schedule will start on Monday, 2 November. Initially, there will be two scheduled flights per week designed to connect with various international airlines through Johannesburg. FlyWestair Chief Executive Officer Henri van Schalkwyk said that the airline will also restart its direct flights to Cape Town from Windhoek, Hosea Kutako International. These flights will commence on Friday, 23 October, and will consist of two flights per week, every Monday and Friday.
In other news, the Namibian economy recorded the largest contraction on record during 2020, with the economy contracting by 11.1 percent year-on-year, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, FirstRand Namibia economist Ruusa Nandago said. Nandago in a media statement on Wednesday said there was a major disruption to economic activity as all but three sectors declined during this period, with the hotels and restaurant sector being the hardest hit.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said that the government will ensure that the Namibian Police Force identifies suitable candidates to fill the 159 available vacancies at Gender-Based Violence Protection Units as a matter of urgency. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila made the announcement in Parliament on Tuesday while responding to the demands of anti-GBV protestors who submitted a petition to Cabinet last week.
News that also made headlines this week, is that the Namibian Police Force, in a media statement released on Wednesday, said that their members of Scene of Crime Division attached to National Forensic Science Institute, had a breakthrough in the Shannon Wasserfall case, on Friday, October 9, 2020. Staying local, Namibian stars Lioness, Suzy Eises, and Elemotho are teaming up with the international organisations Conservation Music and Earthsong to support Cheetah Conservation Fund in its mission to save the wild Cheetah, of which only 7,000 remain in the wild. And…Multiplatinum South African artist Lira has been announced as the Namibian Tourism Ambassador, as part of FENATA’s Travel Ambassador initiative.
In news from the continent, Political analyst Daniel Silke says the problem for president Cyril Ramaphosa is that he cannot present evidence as yet of a credible state to lead the Economic Recovery Plan as preferred by the ANC. Included in the plan tabled in Parliament yesterday, is the allocation of 100-billion-rand to stimulate jobs and the extension of special Covid-19 grant by a further three months. Silke says the transformation of the state’s role in the economy remains a key potential stumbling block. Meanwhile, elsewhere on the continent, the Nigerian government agreed to meet the demands of #EndSARS protesters, which include halting the use of force against the protesters and the unconditional release of arrested citizens. And, Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s government built up a formidable arsenal of laws to stifle all forms of dissent ahead of this month’s elections, rights group Amnesty International said in a new report on Monday. The report says that authorities have effectively clamped down on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
On the International Front, The United Nations says corruption is criminal, immoral, and the ultimate betrayal of public trust. UN secretary-general, António Guterres, says it is even more damaging in times of crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic. He says the response to the virus is creating new opportunities to exploit weak oversight and inadequate transparency, diverting funds away from people in their hour of greatest need.
And finally … The International Monetary Fund is projecting a deep recession in 2020 with global growth projected to be -4.4% in its latest update to the World Economic Outlook forecast. The IMF says they expect growth to rebound partially in 2021, coming back to 5.2 percent. They foresee that the recovery from this collapse will likely be long and even highly uncertain. Separately, Bank of Namibia Deputy Director of Macro Models and Financial Stability, Dr. Postrick Mushendami said that Namibia’s economy is expected to rebound to a positive growth only by mid-2021