Namibia estimates economic growth of 5.6% last year and 4.0% this year, up from projections of 3.5% and 2.9% given in October, its finance minister said on Wednesday.

"The strong growth is anchored by upbeat activities in the natural resources sector, including the residual impact of ongoing petroleum exploration on domestic economic activities and the surge in uranium production following price increases," said Ipumbu Shiimi in a budget speech.

However, he said that the projected economic recovery was not expected to address challenges such as high unemployment, poverty and income inequality, and that diversifying the economy beyond mining remained an urgent policy priority.

(Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Alexander Winning)