I have always believed that inclusivity spells harmony but exclusivity spells conflict. Excluding one country from the opportunity to develop will not provide lasting peace. Therefore, let us hold hands in the pursuit of eradicating poverty and reducing inequality as this is the most crucial, and urgent, challenge of our time.
Unfortunately, the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to set back our fight against poverty by a decade. However, the scale of economic stimulus packages unleashed as a response to this crisis, presents a once in a generation opportunity to forge new pathways of inclusive development and the creation of new industries that Africa's uniquely young population so desperately needs. Namibia's population is small, but the country is huge and endowed with natural resources. We hold world class potential for renewable energy through solar and wind, preconditions for 'green' hydrogen production.
However, Namibia faces ongoing impediments to realizing its developmental aspirations. Namibia's classification as an Upper Middle-Income Country, presents challenges with regards to mobilizing resources to finance our development goals. The World Bank formula, which divides our GDP by our small population thereby deriving a high per capita income, places us at a disadvantage as this classification fails to account for historic injustices that have resulted in a highly skewed income distribution. It is therefore pertinent that countries with a unique situation, such as ours should have access to assistance commensurate with our needs.
As a way to facilitate the needed evolution of our economic structure, Namibia aims to develop a suite of innovative financial tools, including green, blue, transition bonds and international carbon credits. We support debt for climate swaps and endeavor to create conditions for African research and development to allow locally relevant innovation to flourish.
We look forward to working closely in designing and refining the menu of options to meet the needs of Namibia, and other emerging economies facing similar challenges.
I thank you!