Namibian President Hage Geingob to be sworn in today today for his second and final term

Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko, AFP Today marks 30 years since Namibian independence and the beginning of a difficult final term for

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Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko, AFP

Today marks 30 years since Namibian independence and the beginning of a difficult final term for Namibian President Hage Geingob.

After a tough reelection campaign, Geingob saw his margin of victory drop from 87% in 2015 to 57% and his ruling Swapo party lose their two-thirds parliamentary majority. Now, they face dual crises: a national emergency from the global COVID-19 pandemic and an economy in its third year of a deep recession. Namibia faces an uncertain future as the country closes schools and cancels mass public gatherings to contain the virus.

GDP had been expected to grow this year due to increased mineral production alongside the end of drought conditions. Geingob was likely to use his victory to stabilise public debt, renegotiate debt terms with the IMF and diversify the economy out of mining while using domestic resource production to adjust the balance of payments.

With the spread of COVID-19, all of these expectations are in flux. With the significant chance that a global downturn will flow through to Namibia, it’s possible that the country will fail to exit its recession. Geingob will then have to face a country that is increasingly sceptical of him and his abilities to manage its future.

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