Paper

Microeconomy in Rural Namibia

Facilitating economic development in rural areas through microfinance
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This paper examines efforts to aid economic development in the rural areas of Namibia and alleviate financial exclusion.

Namibia’s economy is strongly linked to mining commodities. The central government, in cooperation with foreign aid, has made some effort to diversify the economy, stimulating activities linked to agriculture, tourism and small commerce in the rural areas situated in the very poor northern regions. Microfinance programs supported by local or foreign NGOs and by foreign bank cooperatives have been particularly active in Northern Namibia. These efforts have not yet produced visible results and level of financial exclusion remains high.

The paper states that more needs to be done at the financial level to create a sustainable economic environment in the rural areas associated to agriculture to bring wealth and reduce poverty. MFIs could support farmers producing indigenous agricultural products with high margin values, thereby encouraging biodiversity. This would help them develop triple bottom line strategies essential for Africa'’s economic development.