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Land and Livelihoods in Namibia


The Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) has published a great number of articles on issues
of economic importance in Namibia over a number of years. Many of the articles relate to matters
concerned with land and livelihoods, which are issues that feature heavily in our debate and
discourse. This booklet reproduces those articles in a single volume, for ease of consumption and
For many years, the Association has espoused the benefits of focusing on policy interventions
that unshackle the potential of the Namibian people, catalysing this potential towards greater
development, building capacity and wealth, and ultimately breaking the chains of poverty and
inequality that continue to hamper far too many Namibians. Key interventions such as improving
access to ownership of urban land (rather than providing houses); increasing land ownership
opportunities in communal areas; enhancing access to savings mechanisms; stimulating
cash-multipliers in rural societies; and strategic, evidence based, intervention and restitution on
communal and commercial land form but a few of the proposals tabled by the EAN.
Many of these proposals are now being given the consideration that they clearly deserve. The
EAN is proud of its contribution in making these and other proposals, as well as its track record
of sparking discourse and debate to improve the lives of Namibians, however challenging these
debates may be.
In this regard, the EAN regularly takes an independent and objective position on critical and
emotional issues, where such views are founded in research and evidence. However, at the same
time, the Association appreciates the human, often emotional, factors at play in decision making
and public opinion.
This booklet on Land and Livelihoods comes at an important time, as the Namibian economy
shows lacklustre performance at best, and as unemployment, inequality and poverty show undesirable
trends. The contents of this booklet provide extensive insight and recommendations on
policy interventions and options that can help lead Namibia out of these challenging times.

The overview of the booklet is as below:

Rural-urban migration – a blessing in disguise

Urban migration: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Too Poor to Own Land

Namibia’s housing problem is not hard to address

Why do so many Namibians have to live in urban shacks?

Windhoek: A Tale of Two Cities

House prices not just expensive, but unaffordable

Would a Land Value Tax reduce the housing backlog?

Why is Namibia changing rapidly from a rural to an urban society?

Public spaces create business opportunities

How Manhattan solved its housing problem in the 1800s

Housing market moves to buyers’ market

Roads vs Streets: the Economic and Social Cost


The myth of the lazy poor

One small, but big aspect of the Basic Income Grant

The multiplier effect of Basic Income Grants

How about a Basic Nutrition Grant instead?

Is food security more important than cash security?

Perpetuating inequality on a daily basis

Most Namibian families can’t own land!

Not the source, but the level of income matters

How do rural people save and invest traditionally?

What is the purpose of property rights?

The cost of bypasses

Transport services, jobs and motor cycles


Should tenure systems still govern land uses, or vice versa?

Capital or revenue: the use of land by wealthy, urban livestock owners
“We will die communal”

Strip the Emperor’s clothes: the façade of the rural

What is the purpose of livestock in Namibia?

Crop farming on communal land: maximising production or minimising risk?

The Business of Land Grabbing

What is land reform all about, or what could it be?


Please download the booklet here:

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Fuel price hikes – The Namibian

CONSUMERS must brace themselves for another tough month as fuel prices were increased for a fourth consecutive month, with analysts predicting that prices will continue on an upward trajectory for the remainder of 2018 (…)
Economic Association of Namibia research associate Klaus Schade added that the continuation of the depreciation of the Namibia dollar against major currencies as well as oil supply-side uncertainties owing to the ban threatened by the United States administration on Iranian oil from November onwards are likely to exert further upward pressure on domestic fuel prices (…)

Read the full article in The Namibian

Financial analysis of social protection programmes

EAN Research Associate, Klaus Schade, gave a presentation on the financial implications of social protection programmes at the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare workshop on Social Protection in Swakopmund. The presentation is based on a report prepared for the ministry with financial assistance by the OECD. OECD is going to release the report by November 2018.

Financial analysis of social protection programmes

A single African currency: What it would mean for global currencies? New Era

WINDHOEK – There has been speculations in recent years as to the real reason behind the removal of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi with one of the most popular theories being that he was in the process of establishing a single gold-backed currency for Africa called the Gold Dinar. Many conspiracy theorists are of the opinion that Gaddafi’s new plan for Africa would have meant an entirely new banking system for the continent which would have taken economic power away from the current western powerhouses and would have dealt a severe blow to the US Dollar-based monetary system.
However, two local economic analysts seem to have opposing views on the practicality of a single African currency, with one saying such an ambitious plan is not pragmatic while the other feels that a common continental currency has the potential for strong value given the world’s dependency on African commodities.
According to Klaus Schade, a research associate at the Economic Association of Namibia, these conspiracy theories are not credible. To support his view, Schade put the African economy into perspective, noting that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the entire Africa amounted to some US$3.4 trillion in 2016 while the GDP of China, the world’s second largest economy, was more than thrice this figure at US$11.2 trillion…

Read the full New Era article

Upward pressure expected to remain as inflation continues to rise – New Era

WINDHOEK – Continuous upward pressure is expected on inflation, mostly owing to the rising fuel prices, the most recent of which was a 25 cents per litre increase in August, attributed to the adjustment of the fuel tax in August. Although international oil prices have eased slightly, the prevailing sentiment is that the depreciation of the Namibia Dollar will increase the cost of oil in domestic currency which could result in further under-recoveries, meaning the actual costs of fuel are still higher than the pump price.
“If not fully or partly absorbed by the National Energy Fund as in the previous months, under recoveries will lead to fuel price increases. In addition, the municipality has increased bus fares, which will add further pressure on transportation costs,” noted Klaus Schade, Research Associate at the Economic Association of Namibia…

Read the full article in New Era

Balanced policies needed to improve Namibia’s rating – New Era

WINDHOEK – Namibia needs smart policies that balance the need to address the major social challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, coupled with having to remain attractive to domestic and foreign investors, analysts and economists said this week. Such policies require a continuation of the close cooperation between the public and private sectors, which if implemented effectively will eventually boost the country’s international credit rating…
According to the research associate at the Economic Association of Namibia, Klaus Schade, while much emphasis is placed on regular economic statistics, such as quarterly GDP figures and quarterly trade statistics, these statistics have to be complemented by social statistics, such as regular labour force surveys that are currently not even conducted on an annual basis…

Read the full article in New Era

Latest Fitch rating a confirmation for continued consolidation – New Era

WINDHOEK – The latest assessment of the Namibian economy by international ratings agency, Fitch Ratings, on Monday affirmed a sub-investment grade rating of BB+ with a stable outlook. Local economists believe that this assessment is a confirmation for continued fiscal consolidation efforts, which have thus far been slow as government struggles to balance consolidation with adequate economic growth, poverty alleviation and a necessary reduction in income inequality…

Also commenting on the latest assessment, Research Associate at the Economic Association of Namibia, Klaus Schade, said Fitch also considered the high wage bill as well as transfers to public enterprises, which remain major challenges…

Read the full article in New Era

Namibia’s junk status remains The Namibian

THERE is doubt that Namibia would regain a positive investment grading, following Fitch Ratings maintaining the country’s rating at junk status.
Analysts said this is because the economy is still faced with hardships, from both the domestic and global front. In November last year, the ratings agency downgraded the country’s credit rating from BBB- to BB+…

Economic Association of Namibia’s research associate Klaus Schade agreed that the current review maintains the 2017 rating, and thus remains one notch below the investment grade of BBB-. “Earlier in May and July, Fitch affirmed the ratings for the Development Bank of Namibia at BB+ with a stable outlook as well as the rating for NamWater respectively. In general, institutions cannot be rated better than the overall country rating,” he said…

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