WINDHOEK: Namibia’s health and education indicators are worrisome, and the country can do more to harness new technologies to improve its productivity levels.
The World Economic Forum WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012/13 that was issued on Wednesday said the country continued its downward trend and fell nine places this year to the 92nd position.
“With regard to weaknesses, as in much of the region, Namibia’s health and education indicators are worrisome. The country is ranked a low 120th on the health sub-pillar, with high infant mortality and low life expectancy – the result, in large part, of the high rates of communicable diseases. On the educational side, enrollment rates remain low and the quality of the educational system remains poor, ranked 127th. In addition, Namibia could do more to harness new technologies to improve its productivity levels; it currently shows low penetration rates of new technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet,” it stressed.
Namibia ranked 83rd in the 2011/12 report.
The country continues to benefit from a relatively well functioning institutional environment 52ndwith well-protected property rights, an independent judiciary, and reasonably strong public trust in politicians, according to the report.
The country’s transport infrastructure is also good by regional standards, ranking 59th.
The report states that Namibia’s financial markets, ranked 47th, are developed by international standards and buttressed by solid confidence in financial institutions ranked 23rd), although the overall assessment has weakened for three years in a row.
Switzerland tops the overall rankings, with Singapore in second, and Finland in third position. They are followed by Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan in the top 10.
South Africa remains the most competitive economy in sub-Saharan Africa with a score of 52, followed by Mauritius 54thand Botswana 79threspectively.