Nearly 1,500 jobs were cut in 190 Namibian companies during the first half of 2021, the Namibian Ministry of Labor and Industry announced on Monday.
The majority of these jobs have been lost due to the economic difficulties experienced by the country during the last two quarters, causing the suspension of activities in some companies or their total closure, said the acting director-general of the ministry, Lydia Indombo.
The Namibian economy has been severely affected by the covid-19 health crisis, following the drop in exports of mining products as well as the effects of the confinement imposed to stem the spread of the pandemic.
Ms Indombo also stressed that the sectors most affected by job losses are mining and fishing (490), retail (375), manufacturing and agriculture (278), and the hotel industry (103).
“These continued job losses reflect an economy in crisis,” warned economic expert Herbert Jauch, saying that “the country’s overall economic decline marked by a drop in local consumer spending is reflected in the large number of layoffs. identified in the retail and manufacturing sectors”.
He added that “so far, the government has not been able to come up with a coherent strategy to fight unemployment, and mere declarations of intent, coupled with calls for foreign investment, will not suffice”.
He concluded that well-thought-out structural changes are urgently needed to turn the Namibian economy around and help save jobs.
In July, Namibia, a country in southern Africa, went through a devastating third wave of covid-19 infections. It has so far recorded more than 121,000 infections and nearly 3,200 deaths.