Namibians third richest in Africa despite Covid

07 June 2021 | Local News



Despite a struggling economy and the impact of Covid-19, Namibia is still ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in Africa per capita.

Namibians remain the third wealthiest individuals on the continent with average assets of N$118 971 per person.

However, the wealth per capita in Namibia has decreased from 2019 when it was on average N$143 385 per person. At that time, Namibia was also ranked third with regards to wealth per capita.

In 2015, the wealth per person in Namibia was N$132 600.

This is according to the 2021 Afrasia Bank’s Africa Wealth Report, which said

a country's per capita wealth includes all individuals working or living in that country, including expats.

However, the report seemed to be skewed when taking into account the high level of inequality in Namibia.

Second most unequal society

Rated as a high middle-income country, Namibia entered the pandemic with one of the highest inequalities in the world, ranked the second most unequal society in the world, with a Gini co-efficiency index of 0.567.

With an estimated 18% of Namibians living in abject poverty, the extreme poverty line stands at N$293 per household per month.

According to the wealth report, Mauritians (N$431 763 per capita) are the wealthiest individuals in Africa, followed by South Africans (N$139 544 per capita).

The report also measured the total wealth of African countries and, in this case, Namibia was ranked 13th.

The report said total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country. It includes all their assets such as property, cash, equities and business interests, less any liabilities. Government funds were excluded.

Safety’s role

Namibia's total wealth amounts to US$22 billion, while it has 1 600 high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and 60 multimillionaires.

In comparison, in South Africa there are 1 930 multimillionaires, 36 500 HNWIs and five billionaires.

The report noted that Namibia's wealth has decreased by 5% from 2010 to 2020, adding that the country is one of the safest in Africa.

“Notably, safety is one of the key drivers of wealth growth in a country,” it said. “The safety levels in a country and the efficiency of the local police are probably the most critical factors in encouraging long-term wealth growth. Based on our latest safety index, the safest countries in Africa are Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia.”

Windhoek was ranked as one of the major cities when total wealth is taken into account, with US$10 billion in total wealth. This excluded government funds.

Windhoek was 18th among African cities where the super-rich live, with 900 HNWIs and 40 multimillionaires.

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