Namibia's government will continue to build and diversify its economy around its mineral reserves. Priorities include expanding the manufacturing sector, land reform, agricultural development in the populous north, and improved education and health opportunities. Transfer of Walvis Bay and 12 offshore islands to Namibia has returned to Namibia its deep-water port and 20% of its offshore rights.
The five-year development program started in 1994 set an annual growth rate target of 5%, highlighting government budget cuts and foreign investment and trade. As of 2002, gross domestic product (GDP) growth since the mid-1990s had averaged 3.5% a year. Unemployment remained high, at around 35% of the labor force, and economic growth was not substantial enough to significantly reduce poverty. The 2001–02 budget aimed to limit the ratio of government debt to GDP to no more than 25%.