Bank of Namibia


Find out more about BoN Engages Karas Region.

BoN Engages Karas Region
04 April 2024 | Media Release
The Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Mr. Johannes !Gawaxab embarked on a stakeholder engagement in Lüderitz, //Karas Region to highlight key opportunities presented by the recent oil and gas discoveries as well as green hydrogen developments.  With its rich oil and gas industry, the region holds significant potential for growth and development. The rigorous engagement reflected on key sectors and industries that can serve as catalysts for economic diversification and expansion. The stakeholder engagement, which started on the 3rd of April 2024 and will end on the 4th of April 2024, included a public lecture by the Governor, titled "Positioning Namibia’s Oil & Gas Endowments: Avoiding the Dutch Disease". 

The Governor started his message by explaining the ‘Dutch Disease’, a paradox that countries with an abundance of natural resources (like fossil fuels and certain minerals) tend to have less economic growth, less democracy and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. He cautioned that despite the oil and gas discoveries, growth is not guaranteed, due to the volatility of commodity prices, and that if the country did not have a long-term goal and vision for the future, it might fall into a Dutch Disease
He underscored the critical importance of the country adopting strategies to foster and maximize economic growth. By drawing on various case studies, he highlighted the disparity between oil-producing nations that haven't leveraged their oil discoveries for significant development and those that have successfully utilised their oil wealth to escape the resource curse. Successful examples involved implementing stringent anti-corruption measures and effective resource revenue management, ensuring the benefits extend to future generations. "The oil doesn't belong to us alone; it's also the inheritance of future generations," he remarked. He also emphasised the importance of economic diversification, cautioning against an overreliance on oil and gas revenue due to the volatility of commodity prices.
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