The Information and Communication sector registered a growth of 17.6 percent in real economic value while most other sectors of the economy declined as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

This was revealed by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) in the report released yesterday detailing the performance of the economy during the first quarter of this year.

The growth in the ICT sector was attributed to the demand for data services and internet connectivity by people searching for and sharing news and information related to the Covid-19 and its vaccines.

This means that companies which provide telecommunication services and internet connectivity such at MTC, Telecom Namibia and Paratus are continuing to make money on the back of Covid-19 while companies in other sectors are finding it difficult to hold their heads above the water as a result of the Covid-19 regulations and health restictions.

The increase in Covid-19 cases reported over the period under review, resulted in high demand for health workers, resulting in improved performance for the health sector too, registering a 12.8 percent growth in value added.

The ‘electricity and water’ sectors posted positive performance of 7.7 percent in real value added following good rainfalls during the period under review.

The poor performance that was registered in the quarter under review was observed across all the major sectors of the economy. Leading the pack, was the construction sector that dropped by 23.9 percent, followed by the manufacturing sector registering a contraction of 22.3 percent, in real value added.

“The following sectors all posted declines: mining and quarrying (- 19.0%), financial services activities (-13.8%), ‘hotels and restaurants’ (-12.0%), ‘transport and storage’ (-8.7%) and wholesale and retail sector (-8.2%),” NSA Statician-General Mr Alex Shimuafeni said.

Shimuafeni revealed that the domestic economy continued to contract since the first quarter of 2020, recording a contraction of 6.5 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared to a decline of 2.5 percent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

The Real GDP for the quarter stood at N$31.9 billion compared to N$34.2 billion in the First Quarter of 2020. This is a decline by N$2.2 billion in Real GDP.

In the photo: A combo-image of the three top Namibian telecompanies.