The Namibian government has introduced a ban on public officials travelling overseas because it does not have money. This is the latest in a string of austerity measures taken by the southwestern African nation's government in order to cut down on expenditure.

President Hage Geingob has issued an order that cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and officials cannot go on any official trip abroad at least until the end of February due to a severe budget crisis.

"This directive is specifically in the interest of curtailing public expenditure," said the presidential statement.

"The president has led by example on containing his own travel expenditure by only undertaking absolutely critical outbound travel, and with smaller delegations since assuming office almost three years ago," added the statement.

Geingob has stopped using his presidential jet and instead takes commercial flights both for his personal and official visits.

The Namibian economy, which relies heavily on export of items such as uranium and diamonds, has taken a bad hit in recent times mainly because of price fluctuation in the global commodity market. Rating agency Moody's downgraded Namibia's status to junk in August 2017.

This is the second time Geingob has introduced a foreign travel ban following a similar move in 2015.

As part of the austerity measures, Namibia is also sending thousands of its troops on forced leave because the defence ministry does not have enough resources to provide them food or pay their electricity bills.