Fitch downgrades Namibia's creditworthiness

Fitch downgrades Namibia's creditworthiness
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-Fitch Ratings has downgraded Namibia's credit rating to BB from BB+ with a stable outlook.
"The downgrade of Namibia's ratings reflects the mutually-reinforcing deterioration in economic growth and fiscal metrics. The macroeconomic environment has worsened further and Fitch has lowered its assessment of Namibia's growth potential.
"Subdued economic prospects amid exceptionally elevated inequality and high unemployment will raise significant challenges for the government's plan to stabilise its debt by cutting back spending, particularly on high payroll costs," according to Fitch.
The ratings agency says Namibia will achieve the third-weakest economic performance among all Fitch-rated sovereigns during that period.
In a media statement Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said the Government takes note of Fitch Ratings' action and the areas of improvement raised.
He said Government "reiterates its commitment
to a growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and the package of structural policy reforms to support domestic economic activity, improve business confidence, policy certainty and bring about recovery of the domestic economy and sustainable public debt management.
"Achieving economic growth, which is the necessary condition for the reduction of public debt, revenue generation, the creation of jobs and the reduction of poverty and inequality is by far the most important objective over the short and the long term."
He said Government, in collaboration with the private sector, has already commenced with the implementation of growth enhancing measures.
Schlettwein said, "throughout the years, Namibia has demonstrated its ability and resilience to deal with shocks and also to direct policy actions to addressing socio-economic development needs.
The minister said he remains optimistic that growth prospects will gain traction as the implementation of the adopted measures is scaled-up.