Namibia Logistics Association

2021/02 Coronavirus and the World Economy

Coronavirus and the World Economy

The coronavirus has arrived in the most remote place of the World and 213 countries and territories are affected. Namibia has currently 30 753 cases and 293 deaths. South Africa have currently 1 337 926 cases. The latest cases and deaths are the following:

Table 1: Coronavirus cases – 03 January to 18 January 2021

Region/CountryCases03 JanCases18 Jan
China87 11788 336
Europe19 867 28622 531 724
Africa2 777 5963 237 290
North America21 505 51825 205 353
Rest of the World40 864 89144 612 373
Total85 102 40895 675 076


Since the beginning of December most new cases were in Northern America and Europe. The Rest of the World was still 52.4% in the beginning of December and the share has declined to 46.6%. There is a second wave in Europe currently with subsequent restrictions announced. The US remains on top of the list with reported 24.5 million cases and 408 620 deaths. Only 3.4% of the reported cases and 3.9% of the deaths are on the African continent. China reported the past week one new death, the first reported new deaths since May. There is a question mark behind the reliability of the reported data.  

Table 2: Coronavirus deaths – 03 January to 18 January 2021

Region/CountryDeaths03 JanDeaths18 Jan
China4 6344 635
Europe472 906537 782
Africa66 48178 749
North America[1]374 458425 404
Rest of the World927 281997 023
Total1 845 7602 043 593


[1] North America is Canada and the US

The African continent reported 3 237 290 cases and 78 749 deaths. There are only 1 570 682 cases reported in the SADC region and 41 149 deaths. South Africa is dominating SADC with 85.2% of the cases and 90.2% of the number of deaths. South Africa also dominates the African continent with 41.3% of the cases and 47.1% of the deaths. Many African countries are underreporting and some countries are not reporting any new cases and deaths, like Tanzania since May.

 Table 3: Coronavirus cases and deaths in the SADC region – 03 January- 18 Jan 2021

SADC countryCases03 JanCases18 JanDeaths03 JanDeaths18 Jan
South Africa1 088 8891 337 92629 17537 105
Zambia21 58238 207394559
Namibia25 11630 753215293
Mozambique18 96827 446168249
Zimbabwe14 49127 203377713
DRC17 99821 060595634
Angola17 60818 875407436
Madagascar17 76718 301262273
Botswana14 80517 3654271
Eswatini9 71112 944227376
Malawi6 71212 470192314
Lesotho3 2066 3716593
Total1 258 1871 570 68232 15041 149


Belgium is on top of the list with the number of deaths per population and Andorra has the most cases. 

Table 4: Worst affected countries according to deaths and cases

CountryDeaths/1M pop.Total cases/1M pop.
Belgium1 759 
Slovenia1 542 
Italy1 366 
Czechia1 348 
USA1 227 
Andorra1 177117 453
Montenegro 88 843
Czechia 83 196
Luxembourg 77 417
USA 73 758
South Africa62122 405
Germany56824 493
Namibia11411 985

Source: Compiled from Worldometers data

Although Belgium as a country has the most deaths per one million of the population, there are some individual American states that have a much worse death rate.

Table 5: High death rate states in the USA compared with other countries

State or countryDeaths/1 Million per pop. 
New Jersey2307
New York2116
Rhode Island1893

 Source: Worldometers

The trend in the Namibian reported number of cases of Covid-19 experienced a third wave in the beginning of December and it seems that a turning point was reached at the end of December. This is visible from the 3 day moving average with a slightly declining trend. 

Graph 1: The Namibian Covid-19 cases

With an estimated world population of 7.8 billion in 2020, the total number of 95.7 million cases is 1.2% of the world population and the number of deaths is 0.026%. 

The World economy has no momentum and the monthly decrease of 0.8% in the Baltic Dry Index (The Baltic Dry Index provides a benchmark for the price of moving major raw materials by sea) is one indicator.  

Table 6: % change in USD- selected international commodity prices

Winners for Namibia  
Losers for Namibia  
Energy: Brent oil8.05%6.20%

 Source: Trading economics. 18 January 2021 

The commodity prices relevant to Namibia reached a turning point in June and they have reached a plateau at the end of December. Oil prices increased in the past months by 8.05%. The exchange rate has weakened in the past months and the N$ is currently trading 15.26 to the US Dollar and 18.43 to the Euro. 

The domestic economy

Namibia received extraordinary rains in the past three weeks and most dams are full. Rain in Namibia lifts the spirits and people become positive about the prospects of 2021. This momentum must be kept going and therefore it will be opportune to improve the investment climate for domestic and foreign investors.

Preliminary national accounts for 2019 indicate that fixed investment remains in a declining trend since 2014.

Graph 2: Real Investment at constant prices

Source: Bank of Namibia

The preliminary national accounts for 2020 will be only published in May this year and if one wants to restart the economy and create much needed jobs again, the business climate is very important.

Graph 3: Gross fixed capital formation by ownership

Source: Bank of Namibia

The drop in private sector investment since 2015 is a concern and much needed new jobs can only be created if tourism returns to normal and the investor climate improved. The privatization of some SOE’s could provide the impetus for investor sentiment. What about an investor conference later this year? 

Compiled by: Rainer Ritter                   

18  January 2021