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Economy well managed but concern over lack of jobs

Most Namibians think that the economy has been well managed over the years, but at the same time, they think that the government has failed in creating enough jobs and narrowing income gaps, according to data released from the Round 6 Afrobarometer survey of 2014. Successive Afrobarometer surveys have shown that Namibians think that the Namibian economy is managed well (62% in 2012, 60 percent in 2008, and 76 percent in 2006).
How do we account for the fact that recent figures from 2014 show that slightly over 65 percent of Namibians positively evaluate how the economy is managed, while 68 percent think that the realm of job creation is handled badly? Job creation is far and away the “most important problem” identified by Namibian respondents in Round 6. It could well be that with low inflation, manageable public debt and robust fiscal discipline; most Namibians think that the economy is in good hands. Therefore, the consistently positive appraisal of how the Namibian economy is managed speaks to macroeconomics, while hiding what respondents characterise as the ‘real’ state of the economy. If what we mean by ‘managing the economy well’ relates to economic growth, then the consistently positive evaluation of how the Namibian economy is managed provides an inaccurate perception of everyday economic life for respondents.

Key findings
• Six in ten (60%) Namibians think that the country’s economy is managed well.
• Almost seven in ten (70%) Namibians think that the government has failed to create enough jobs.
• About eight in ten (80%) Namibians think that the government has failed to arrest the persistent unequal income gaps, which are among the worst in the world.

Afrobarometer is an African-led, non-partisan research project that has measured countries’ social, political, and economic atmosphere since 1999. In its sixth survey round (2014-15), it is covering 35 countries. Afrobarometer is funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the World Bank.
The Afrobarometer team in Namibia, led by the Institute for Public Policy Research and Survey Warehouse, interviewed adult Namibians in August and September 2014. A sample of this size yields results with a margin of error of +/-3% at a 95% confidence level. Previous surveys have been conducted in Namibia in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, and 2012.

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Election Watch is a project of the Institute for Public Policy Research in Windhoek, Namibia. Election Watch is funded by the European Union and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.