Africa > Southern Africa > Namibia > Namibia Will Not Benefit From Brazil's Debt Write-Off

Namibia: Namibia Will Not Benefit From Brazil's Debt Write-Off

2013/06/03

BRAZIL'S decision to cancel out U$900million (about N$7,2 billion) of deficit owed by African nations will not benefit Namibia.

The move by Brazil is part of its plan to boost ties with the continent and about 12 nations are set to benefit from the decision. The unit division at the Ministry of Finance yesterday confirmed that Namibia does not have a loan or credit arrangement with Brazil.

However, Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila lauded Brazil's decision of relieving the debts of African nations as it would give governments an opportunity to fund developmental projects.

She told The Namibian yesterday that she thinks the deficit cancellation was a noble idea and will help African nations concentrate on vital developmental projects to reach their millennium development goals. 

Asked whether Namibia would have qualified if it owed Brazil, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the classification of Namibia as a middle gain country does not make it easy for it to benefit from such things.

Part the 12 nations whose debts were pardoned was Congo (Brazzaville) with the highest of US$352 million deficit cancelled. Tanzania's US$237 million deficit was the second major.

Brazil's Presidential spokesman Thomas Traumann told reporters at the African Union celebrations to mark 50 years of the continental bloc, attended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff that “the idea of having Africa as a appropriate relationship for Brazil is strategic for the country's foreign policy”.

Traumann said the move was part of Brazil's efforts to boost economic ties with Africa, home to some of the world's fastest growing economies.

Namibia is rated as a middle-gain country by a lot of international institutions such as the World Bank, but has one of the world's highest gain disparities.

The classification of Namibia as a middle gain country has attracted criticism from Namibian political leaders such as Prime Minister Hage Geingob.

Geingob admitted formerly this year that though the country has a relatively high gross domestic product, the riches of the country are entrenched in the hands of about only 10 % of the people.

The announcement of the deficit relief to African news coincides with a speech that was given by Thomas Sankara, the former President of Burkina Faso who 25 years ago encouraged African leaders to collectively decide not to pay the debts saying “deficit is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa”.

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