Agriculture, ICT, health drives growth

The Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) recorded improved performances in the agriculture and forestry, Information and communication technology (ICT) and health sectors, according to the Producer Precise Index report.

The improved growth rates of 47.2 percent were recorded for agriculture and forestry, 11.0 percent for ICT, and 6.0 percent for the health sector, compared to the previous quarter in 2019.

‘The ICT sector’s growth results from increased activities in the usage of data as demand surged up for data and calls as workers switch from working from offices to homes, NSA pointed out.

This was further exacerbated by demand from higher institutions switching from face-to-face teaching to online learning. Acceleration in the health sector is owed to the easing of fiscal consolidation policy in the health sector, coupled with the emergence of the pandemic that saw increased activities resulting in the employment of more health workers to assist in containing the disease, NSA emphasised.

The real Gross Domestic Product contracted by 11.1 percent during the period under review, compared to a decline of 3.6 percent in the same quarter of 2019.

Drivers

The deeper reduction in the domestic economy was observed across all sectors of the economy, except for the agriculture and forestry, ICT and health. The poor performance of the economy was mainly due to the impact of measures that were put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, NSA says.

The agriculture and forestry sector surged to 47.2 percent in real value added during the second quarter of 2020, relative to a steeper contraction of 31.8 percent registered during the same quarter of 2019, NSA added.

The main driver for the improved performance stems from an increase in activities of the crop farming sub-sector, which posted a massive growth of 296.7 percent in real value added compared to decline of 61.0 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2019. The positive performance in the sector is attributed to the number of minutes used that increased during the period under review, the report further indicates. – Nampa