Slow Namibian growth is frustrating.

Almost as a follow up to Market: Africa Mid-East's March 2006 "Country Focus" look at Namibia (11:2), the Governor of the Bank of Namibia (BoN) lunched the publishing of the BoN's 2005 Annual Report with an air of discouragement. "With these fundamentals in place, one expects higher growth," he said. The Governor's remarks were reported by the Windhoek, government-owned newspaper New Era, and were distributed on the Internet by Africa News Dimension (AND), an African news content provider based in Johannesburg.

The fundamentals that the BoN Governor was talking about were current GDP figures along with estimates for fiscal 2006/2007. The Governor said that for fiscal year 2005/2006, GDP growth was 3.2 percent. The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) estimate is for calendar year 2005 is 3.6 percent. And the IMF said calendar 2006 GDP growth should come in at 3.8 percent. The BoN's estimate for fiscal 2006/2007 is 4.0 percent.

Growth of per capita income is one of the more problematical fundamentals. The decade average annual growth in per capita income, which the IMF calculates using purchasing-power-parity (PPP) GDP to make it easier to compare markets, is 2.3 percent. This is just...

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