Namibian Central Bank Governor Warns Against Vaccine Hesitancy
(Bloomberg) -- Namibia’s central bank governor says vaccine hesitancy could prove “disastrous” for the southern African economy.
Hesitancy is slowing the rollout of vaccines against Covid-19 and putting economic growth at risk, Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab said at a public lecture late Friday. The regulator expects Namibia’s economy to expand 1.4% in 2021, before growth accelerates to a forecast 3.4% next year.
“While in other countries people are walking to the vaccines and getting vaccinated and opening the economy, we seem to be walking away from the vaccines,” he said. “We have been praying, asking for the vaccines to come. Now that we have the vaccines, there is so much hesitancy.”
Namibia is counting on a gradual recovery after recording an 8% contraction in the economy in 2020. The hospitality sector was the worst hit, shrinking 31% last year. About 8% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Aggressive vaccine rollout is the only way to bring tourists back and revive the economy,” said Gawaxab.
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