• October 20th, 2020

Business

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On the spot - Embracing change with Llewellyn le Hané

Information and communication technology (ICT) around the world are continuing to evolve at a speed that seems to be increasing exponentially and this evolution is more evident now that many companies have realised, after the Covid-19 lockdowns, that more and more employees can efficiently work from home.

Programme for SME rescue and recovery support

The Namibian private sector, specifically small medium enterprises (SME), is eligible to receive targeted support to cushion the economic impact on business losses by pitching for recovery grant scheme through the German development agency, GIZ.

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Manage your money better

The Bank of Namibia’s latest economic outlook expects the Namibian economy to fall into a deeper contraction during 2020, mainly due to the devastating impact of Covid-19 across all sectors. 

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Buy local, minister urges

Industrialisation minister Lucia Iipumbu has commended local retailers for accommodating local produce on their shelves and thus contributing to the Buy Local, Grow Namibia initiative. 

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Export demand set to pick up

Commentators believe demand for local major exports will likely increase as the country pins its hopes on international trade and world output to recover from a disastrous 2020. 

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Local diamonds a cut above the rest

Namibian diamonds are of great quality, with the highest average value per carat in the world, Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) general manager of sales and marketing Lelly Usiku said last week during an orientation session. 

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Double-digit drop for sectors in Q2

Double-digit reductions were recorded in some sectors of the domestic economy for the second quarter of 2020. Hotels and Restaurants recorded the highest decline of 64.2% compared to a growth of 12.3% of the same quarter of 2019. 

GIPF appoints new investment consultants

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has confirmed the appointment of two new investment consultants. Lane Clark & Peacock LLP will consult on investments, while BFinance UK Limited will consult on the selection/search of asset managers. 

Nedbank Namibia launches IdentityToday

Nedbank Namibia, in collaboration with the Today Group, the homegrown fintech company, which introduced PayToday, has introduced IdentityToday (IDToday), a digital identity management platform that allows for the remote submission of the regulatory proof of identity documents that a prospective client needs to submit before a bank account may be opened for them.

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Consumers must be protected from predatory lending

Research conducted by Usuta Kavari, a Namibian economist currently furthering his studies in the United Kingdom, found that while microlending and payroll deductions improved the institutional environment that engendered financial deepening in Namibia, a need exists to improve compliance standards to ensure that consumers are protected and not put at risk of unscrupulous and predatory lending practices.

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Declining repo rate supports domestic activity

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) have cut the repo rate several times since both countries announced states of emergency, closed borders and locked down schools and businesses to curb the spread of the coronavirus, bringing domestic interest rates to historic low levels. 

EIF awarded for sustainable finance

The Environmental Investment of Namibia (EIF) has been awarded a Sustainable Finance Award by the city of Karlsruhe in Germany for Outstanding Sustainable Project Financing recognising its success in financing Climate-Change Resilient livelihoods. 

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No fracking to be conducted in Namibia – MME

The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has refuted allegations in an article in a local newspaper, stating that fracking will take place in the Okavango Delta, and assured the public that all necessary environmental impact permits for the project are in place.

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GIPF distances itself from erroneous media report

The GIPF has distanced itself from an erroneous news report, which inaccurately reported that the fund, in partnership with the Grootfontein Constituency Office and the Grootfontein Municipality, built a house for a family and committed to paying the water and electricity bills of the owner.  

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Covid-19 closed global doors for diamonds 

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has shattered global demand for luxury goods, including Namibian diamonds. Kennedy Hamutenya, CEO of Namibia Dessert Diamonds (NAMDIA) said in the last quarter of the financial year, in mid-January, the diamond industry was severely impacted by the outbreak of the pandemic.

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FirstRand profit before tax down to N$1.21 billion

The greatest health threat of a generation that has impacted every single economy in the world, the global Covid-19 pandemic, was the main reason that FirstRand Namibia’s profit before tax decreased by almost a quarter (23.7%), from N$1.58 billion in 2019 to N$1.21 billion this year.

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Finance ministry paid out 96% of EIG applicants

The ministry of finance yesterday announced that about 96% of applicants benefited from the emergency income grant (EIG) that government initiated in April to assist the less privileged and vulnerable members of society from the devastating economic impact of Covid-19. 

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Downward spiral in house prices seemingly over

FNB’s second-quarter Residential Property Report states that although property market sentiments may appear to point to a further decline in house prices due to expected distressed sales, the bank nonetheless believes the downward trend has seemingly reached its pinnacle for two reasons.

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Schwenk still wants to sell Namibian interests

Despite the rejection by the Namibian Competition Commission (NACC) of the proposed acquisition of Schwenk Namibia, which owns the majority shares in Ohorongo Cement, by West China Cement, Schwenk International in Germany has confirmed further interest to sell its Namibian subsidiary SCHWENK Namibia (PTY) Ltd.

Informal sector gets help

According to the beneficiaries, lack of proper documentation is one of the barriers for their businesses to benefit from government initiatives during Covid-19 pandemic. 

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N$70 million funding boost for SMEs

The Bank of Namibia has made a financial contribution of N$70 million towards the implementation of the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Financing Strategy, of which N$50 million will go directly toward the capitalisation of the Credit Guarantee Scheme. 

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Ohlthaver & List Group goes international

Namibia’s largest private group, the Ohlthaver & List (O&L), has acquired the majority stake in Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH, which is a German-based renewable energy project development focusing on engineering, procurement, construction, investment and asset management

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Affected vendors advised to approach authority

Informal vendors still awaiting word on the open markets that were closed because they did not meet the new Covid-19 health requirements, as stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, have been advised to approach the City of Windhoek for the way forward

Urgent need for national construction council - CIF

The Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF) considers the establishment of a national construction council a most critical and crucial step towards maintaining and further developing the local construction sector. While similar legislation was already tabled in Parliament in 2010, this was however not passed by the legislature. 

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Covid-19 slashed local business turnover by 81%

Figures from the latest Private Sector Development Survey (PSDS) 2019/20 indicated that almost half of the businesses in which turnover was slumped experienced a decline of at least 81%. Some 90% of the survey respondents said they suffered a loss of turnover while 30% of businesses experienced a decline between 91% and 100%, while another 12% saw a turnover decline of between 81% to 90%. 

The GridOnline signs up MTN Namibia 

MTN Namibia and The GridOnline have taken the Namibian ICT sector a stride forward, as the parties signed their first commercial contract for bulk data transmission services. The GridOnline is a service offering by NamPower. 

EIF resource mobilisation totalled N$1.3 billion

As a task to expand its revenue optional pool to diversify its resources, the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) established a Resource Mobilisation Strategy as a framework for revenue generation through which it managed to mobilise about N$1.3 billion.

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Chinese purchase of Ohorongo blocked by NaCC

The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) has blocked the acquisition of Schwenk Namibia (Pty) Ltd, which owns and operates the Ohorongo Cement factory, by West China Cement Limited for N$1.5 billion since it would result in coordination between Ohorongo Cement and Whale Rock Cement, which trades as Cheetah Cement. 

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Kenya Airways resumes international passenger flights

Kenya Airways (KQ) resumed its international passenger services on Saturday, 1 August, following the easing of movement restrictions as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The first international flights on 1 August departed to London, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Kigali, Dar es Salaam and Lusaka. 

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Mcube Investments lists on NSX

The board is pleased to announce that Mcube has been listed on the Development Capital Board of the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) as a Capital Pool Company (CPC) on Friday, 31 July 2020. 

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Fuel prices to increase

Fuel prices will increase as of midnight on Wednesday when petrol will increase by N$1 per litre (p/l) and diesel by 70 cents p/l. This increase means the fuel pump prices at the port of entry of Walvis Bay will become N$11.35 p/l on petrol and N$11.83 p/l on diesel. 

CRAN investigates market dominance

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) last week held a public consultative meeting on the proposed Market Study on the determination of dominant position in the telecommunications sector, and the regulations prescribing fees for spectrum licences, certificates and examinations.

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Rent prices stagger in wake of Covid-19

“Namibia has seen an unprecedent spike in the number of new Covid-19 cases over the last three months, signalling that the worst economic effects of the pandemic are yet to come,” warned Frans Uusiku, Market Researcher Manager at FNB Namibia. 

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Namibia seeks N$4.5bn IMF loan

The finance ministry yesterday confirmed that Namibia has applied to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a N$4.5 billion loan, through the institution’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).

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Moderate growth and subdued supply to gradually increase uranium prices

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Rössing Uranium has cautioned that while global uranium prices are expected to recover in the medium to long-term, the gradual recovery may take another five years. In its latest report to stakeholders, the uranium miner noted that moderate demand growth and subdued supply will drive a gradual price appreciation.

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GIPF reaps fruit of Mashare Berries investment

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has confirmed Namibia’s first largescale commercial blueberry harvest, produced by the Mashare Berries project, which forms part of the Spitz Capital Fund anchored in the GIPF unlisted investment programme. 

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NCAA income heavily affected by pandemic

He explained that the NCAA is not a revenue-generating entity and does not pay dividends to the government. However, for NCAA to fulfil its responsibilities to assure a safe, orderly, regular and efficient civil aviation system, it requires resources. 

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Cost of construction remains stagnant

The PPI is designed to measure the average change in the price of goods and services – either as they leave the place of production or as they enter the production process – and does not include imported products. 

CIF raises concern about clarity of empowerment Bill

If one were to focus on the National Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill (NEEEB) in its latest format as an instrument to address poverty and inequality, one of the biggest concerns is that NEEEB has not allayed any fears and made people more appeased with government’s commitment that people’s ownership rights will not be affected, and that their livelihoods will not be threatened.

Namcor employees test negative for virus

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) has confirmed that all four of its employees, who were recently quarantined on account of having contact with Covid-19 positive employee, have tested negative for the disease. 

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DBN suspends three more staff members 

The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) this week suspended an additional three employees, bringing the total to seven suspended staff as a result of its investigation into alleged misconduct in allocating finance, which was announced at the end of April 2020.

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All will be  well with pension funds 

Following concerns expressed by the public about the state of pension funds, pension fund expert Marthinuz Fabianus, Managing Director of Retirement Fund Solutions (RFS) and a trustee of Benchmark Retirement Fund, has reassured the public about the health of pension funds under their administration. 

Last miners down tools at Tschudi mine

TSUMEB – A last stake of employees at B&E International Namibia North, a company contracted by Weatherly Mining, who were producing copper at the Tschudi Mine, downed tools this week following a severance pay dispute. 

Hosea Kutako airport gears up for stage 4

The Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) is readying for its restart plan under the heading “Resumption of Activities” to ensure the airport is prepared upon the resumption of international flights as borders are gradually reopening under the provisions of the State of the Emergency Regulations on Covid-19.

Going above and beyond the call of duty

In April, during the national lockdown, Bank Windhoek’s Customer Contact Centre agents Fillemon Mathias and Celly Serogwe went beyond the call of duty to assist Jacobus Blaauw, a senior Bank Windhoek customer in his early 90s – a resident of Susanne Grau Heim old age home situated in Windhoek West.

Hangana Abalone signs agreement with Nafau

Following what was described as a successful and fruitful negotiation process, Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group subsidiary, Hangana Seafood, last week signed a new recognition and procedural agreement for Hangana Abalone based in Lüderitz, with the Namibia Food & Allied Workers Union (Nafau).

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NTA provides employers with reprieve on VET levy

The National Training Authority (NTA) this week informed stakeholders that, subject to finalisation of the requisite statutory processes, registered employers will not be required to pay the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Levy for the months of July and August. 

HOPE Fund donates thermal cameras

FirstRand Namibia HOPE (Health Optimisation in a Pandemic Emergency) Fund recently donated 15 fever screening thermal cameras to the value of N$1.4 million to the Ministry of Health and Social Services to strengthen government’s efforts of detecting any early infections, thereby taking speedy protective measures.

Keetmans agricultural show cancelled

The Keetmanshoop Agricultural, Industrial and Tourism Expo (KAITE) board has announced the unfortunate cancellation of their event slated for the first week of September this year due to the impact of the coronavirus.

MTC rolls out another Paint Namibia Blue campaign

Following the launch of the MTC ‘Paint Namibia Blue’ Project in March 2020, Omaruru, Okakarara and Omuthiya towns were amongst the latest beneficiaries of the MTC Paint Namibia Blue Project, with a new fresh coat of paint dotted on some of the town’s landmarks.

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No misstep in allocating largest chunk of budget to social sector

While Namibia’s relative budgetary allocations are subject to realignment over time, key development priorities for the country lie in balancing the needs of the social sector and that of the economic sector to bring about improved quality of life, economic diversification, inclusive growth and shared prosperity within an environmentally sustainable manner.

Trustco Finance secures N$345 million loan

Trustco has informed shareholders that DEG, a development finance institution based in the Federal Republic of Germany, in association with the German Development agency, KfW Group, approved a United States Dollar denominated term loan facility to Trustco Finance.

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MTC named most admired Namibian brand

Following the global release of the “2020 Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands on Africa Day”, Brand Africa, in partnership with TBWA\Paragon, announced Namibia’s rankings of the most admired brands. International sport and lifestyle brand Nike is the most admired brand overall, while local telecommunications giant MTC was named the most admired local brand. 

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Breweries urges responsible behaviour when alcohol sales reopen

Many Namibians are eagerly anticipating the lifting of the alcohol ban as the country, except Walvis bay, moves to stage 3 of the lockdown exit strategy for the next 28 days. As Namibians navigate the country’s gradual reopening, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) managing director Marco Wenk said there’s no doubt Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on society long after the current state of emergency and the risks associated with the pandemic are over.

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Business leadership during a crisis

Merriam-Webster defines a crisis as “an unstable or difficult time or state of affairs”. It is unplanned or uncontrolled change. During times of crisis, leadership is critical. While the existing economic crisis caused by Covid-19 is unprecedented, small businesses have historically proved themselves to be flexible and resilient.

Economic woes cannot only be attributed to virus - experts

Economic experts opined that the national budget, including the growing budget deficit, were in line with expectations, but agreed that the current financial situation could not only be attributed to the Covid-19 health crisis. This is because the domestic economy had already contracted during three out of the past four years while policy frameworks to attract domestic and foreign direct investment has not been conducive.

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Fuel prices remain unchanged

In an effort to maintain price stability in domestic fuel market, the price of fuel stay untouched. The Ministry of Mines and Energy has, through its monthly fuel price review, resolved to keep fuel pump prices unchanged countrywide for the month of June 2020.

Covid-19 has moved fiscal policy

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the direction of government’s fiscal policy from fiscal consolidation to mitigation of the spread and impacts of the virus in the country. Additional expenditure has been considered to provide for the fight against Covid-19, increasing the already high government spending, while revenue is expected to fall to the lowest level. 

Economic contraction expected to remain well into 2021 - Shiimi

The Namibian economy is projected to contract by 6.6% in real terms during the 2020/21 financial year. Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi on Wednesday cautioned that this contraction may linger on well into 2021 at a moderate rate of 1.1%, with the new normal average growth rates of between 2.0 and 3.6% in 2022 and beyond.  

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MTC launches multiple Aweh product solution

Namibia’s first telecommunications provider MTC on Wednesday launched its latest market offering termed “Multiple Aweh” product solution. This solution will enable customers to subscribe to more than one and up to three Aweh subscriptions at a time. 

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SADC should prioritise investments to save economies

Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states should be developing roadmaps and action plans that prioritise investments and channel scarce resources to identified economic sectors to resuscitate their economies, strengthen resilience and improve competitiveness.

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NBL strengthens support to Covid-19 shelter 

Following its recent donation of 53 tents towards the Covid-19 homeless shelter initiative by the Ministry of Health & Social Services, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) followed up with further support of this project, with a beverage donation valued at close to N$100 000.

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New commemorative N$30 banknote now official tender

The Bank of Namibia officially put the new N$30 commemorative banknote into circulation on Friday at an event held to mark the issuance of the note as a legal tender in the country. This means the new N$30 note banknote can now be used for the payment of goods and services alongside the current family of banknotes. 

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From muffins to low-cost housing

Leena Haivera is a 24-year-old female entrepreneur from Windhoek. The last article about successful entrepreneurs from Katutura I dedicate to her as an example that even really disadvantaged Namibians can make it independently of their background and drawbacks in business ventures that is if they are passionate and optimistic about their businesses. 

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Social distancing defied

Chaotic re-emergence…Social distancing was a near impossible task when the Roads Authority (RA) reopened its Namibia Traffic Information System (NaTIS) offices on Monday when hordes of people flocked to the already long queues.

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Capricorn Group and Entrepo Holdings support vulnerable

The world continues to face an unprecedented time in fighting an unseen enemy. Many countries are struggling to take care of the needs of their people and meet the demands to combat the virus at the same time. Namibia is no different with several impoverished communities in desperate need of relief.

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Hangana Seafood boosts Lüderitz first responders

In support of fighting the Covid-19 war, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) department in Lüderitz was this week empowered with equipment to the value of N$100 000, sponsored by the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group through its subsidiary Hangana Seafood, in particular, Hangana Abalone in Lüderitz.

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Bukalo allocates over 100 residential plots

Bukalo Village Council has approved has the sale of single residential immovable properties or plots to various private developers. The village council CEO, Martin Limbo, highlighted that about 101 plots at Bukalo Extension will be developed by First Capital Home Loans.  

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NamPower makes two exco appointments

NamPower has appointed Fritz Jacobs as its Chief Operating Officer, effective 1 May 2020. Jacobs joins NamPower with over 25 years of corporate and private sector experience, ranging from consulting engineering, telecommunications, electricity, mining and construction environments. He worked at organisational levels from functional to executive and at governance as well as board level. Jacobs was also previously employed at NamPower as general manager: NamPower Investments (New Business).

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Africa’s travel industry needs US$10 billion

Alexandre de Juniac, the Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is leading an urgent appeal to global financial institutions to support Africa’s travel and tourism industry. Speaking from IATA’s head office in Geneva, Switzerland, De Juniac said the industry has been decimated by Covid-19 and its associated travel restrictions. 

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SME thrives in extremely competitive market

Based on my experience of over 30 years in promoting small businesses in four Asian countries and since 2000 in Namibia, such programmes can only be successful if the participants are carefully selected and if the required training is implemented in the business with additional mentoring. 

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NWR prepares for post-Covid-19

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) management says the institutions have been hard at work addressing some limitations it identified within some of its resorts in the Etosha National Park. At the same time, NWR has been preparing its soon-to-be-launched Hospitality Institute (HI) for later this year.

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GIPF in search of former members with unclaimed benefits

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has appealed to all former members who left employment due to retirement, resignation, ill-health, disability or retrenchment and have not claimed or received their pension benefits from GIPF to contact the HR offices of their former employers to complete a claim form with the relevant supporting documents for submission to the Fund as soon as possible.  

Team Namibia calls for conducive environment to create jobs

For Namibia to survive in the medium and long-term, every effort is required to create jobs. As in many other countries, Namibia’s fiscal space to continue supporting the private sector long after the lockdown period is extremely limited. After a four-year economic crisis, the coronavirus pandemic outbreak finds Namibia in an extremely vulnerable position. 

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Air Namibia resumes domestic flights

Air Namibia will start flying again locally as of today, following the announcement of stage two under the state of emergency. Regional and international flights remain suspended until further notice.   Passengers can now fly between Eros and Ondangwa, Rundu, Katima Mulilo, Lüderitz, Oranjemund and Walvis Bay.

Risks to Namibia’s financial stability have increased significantly – central bank

The latest Financial Stability Report (FSR) by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) shows that risks to Namibia’s financial stability have increased significantly since 2018 as a result of the economic contraction experienced in 2019, coupled with the expected impact of Covid-19 going forward. Since the central bank’s last FSR, the probability and impact of most risks increased, particularly in the macroeconomic environment. 

Customer care a question of survival even now

Why customer care is essential during lockdown? Several entrepreneurs may ask this question. Without customers during the current lockdown customer care is not required. This is true, but every entrepreneur has to plan for the future. Running businesses often told me: “We don’t have time for new approaches. We must concentrate on making money.”

DBN suspends four staff members 

The Development Bank of Namibia has suspended four of its employees, pending an investigation into alleged breach of the bank’s operational standards. The suspensions were effected as a result of anonymous tip-offs received. 

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Businesses team up with public sector

WALVIS BAY - The success of smart partnerships is evident in Erongo region with the private sector taking the leading role in assisting the public health sector as well as residents in the region during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Entrepreneurs construct decontamination chamber

​​​​​​​Curbing the spread…Namibian entrepreneur Sylvanie Beukes passes through a disinfecting chamber that he constructed together with partners, Abed Nakalenga and water specialist Sidney Beukes. The trio built the locally manufactured hands-free disinfectant chamber, which they hail as first of its kind for Namibia.

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ECB leaves tariffs unchanged until 2021

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) has confirmed that electricity tariffs will not change and therefore will remain at N$1.65 per kilowatt-hour for the period 2020/2021. The approved tariff is applicable to NamPower bulk customers, such as Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs), local authorities, regional councils and mines. 

Labour ministry cautions against fraudsters 

The ministry of labour has cautioned the public against fraudsters claiming to be ministry employees. In a recent statement, the ministry notes that it has become aware of the alleged fraudsters contacting members of the public, particularly employees who have labour cases at the Labour Commissioner (LC). The perpetrators initiate the contact with intention to solicit money from the public.

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FNB Namibia provides relief to SMEs

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, First National Bank Namibia has been closely monitoring developments, with the view of provisionally restructuring its operations and solutions to meet the changing demands and minimising the impact of the pandemic.

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Covid-19 crisis is far from over - Thieme

The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, one of Namibia’s largest private sector companies employing about 6500 Namibians and contributing almost 4% to GDP, said the impact of Covid-19 on Namibia and the rest of the world are not yet fully understood but will be felt for many years to come.

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Repo rate cut effected to support households and businesses

Commercial banks have commenced with a reduction of their interest rates after the Bank of Namibia’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Wednesday cut the repo rate even further by 100 basis points to 4.25% in a bid to provide more relief for consumers. At its new level, the repo rate is expected to provide some short-term relief to borrowers.

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QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine digs deep to help fight Covid-19

The oldest gold mine in the country, QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine, situated just outside Karibib, has responded to private sector appeal by President Hage Geingob by reaffirming its support towards the nation-wide efforts to address some of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in supporting the Karibib community.

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Momentum Namibia to acquire Alexander Forbes Insurance Namibia

Momentum Metropolitan Namibia, through their subsidiary Momentum Short Term Insurance Namibia, will acquire all the issued shares of Alexander Forbes Insurance Namibia. After the two entities signed the binding agreement, the transaction will be finalised pending regulatory approvals from the Namibian Competition Commission and the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority. 

B2Gold Namibia approves N$6m to fight Covid-19

At a recent board meeting, B2Gold Namibia approved the allocation of N$6 million towards Covid-19 amelioration efforts. According to a company spokesperson, this donation will be split between targeted government interventions and a non-governmental organization called the Development Workshop of Namibia (DW), which operates through the Namibian Chamber of Environment. 

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Doing business in turbulent times

The only thing that is certain about forecasting at the moment is that it is probably inaccurate. This sentiment resounds with many Namibian business people as we all try to make sense of and understand the uncertain future of doing business during the Covid-19 pandemic and the world thereafter.

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Tips on how to make working remotely work for you

Cast your mind back to a few weeks ago and imagine someone telling you the following: within the next few days, your child’s school or day-care will be closed. You won’t be able to leave your house unless it’s deemed “critical”. Essential and non-essential services will be redefined. You will work from home for an extended period. 

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Finance ministry clarifies Emergency Income Grant processes

The Ministry of Finance has clarified that people receiving social grants on behalf of others, such as orphans or vulnerable children and other relatives, do not qualify for the Emergency Income Grant (EIG). The finance ministry this weekend explained that the EIG system does not allow for double benefits for any person whose ID number is registered for any sort or social grant and those who will attempt to apply will be declined.

Letshego offers payment holiday

Letshego Namibia Holdings Ltd, the country’s largest micro-lender and a subsidiary of the 11-market strong Letshego Group, is taking proactive steps to support its customers through emerging economic challenges

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MTC dismisses 5G rumours

As the Coronavirus sweeps the globe, so do rumours about what caused it or how it is spread. One such rumour that has gained steam online is that MTC has secretly installed 5G towers while the Khomas and Erongo regions are on lockdown. 

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O&L Group collaborates with industry to address Covid-19 impact

“In these unprecedented times, it is important to stay focused and practice transcending actions through purpose, care and discipline. Collaboration amongst industry leadership and government has never been this phenomenal,” said O&L executive chairman and NCCI president Sven Thieme in a media statement issued on Wednesday. 

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Businesses must be innovative and trade borders must remain open - private sector

Faced with the prospect of an economy further devastated by Covid-19 after suffering from a recession for the last two years, a private sector task team spearheaded by the ministry of industrialisation and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) has encouraged businesses to be innovative in conducting their activities in order to minimise the spread of the deadly virus.

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Bankers Association explains funding relief by banks

The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) has provided further clarity to customers on the case-by-case funding relief, which is handled according to each bank’s respective rules. “It is important to clarify that monthly payments will not be waived altogether but will only be moved out for a limited period of time,” said Sarel van Zyl, current chairperson of BAN.

Huawei announces solid business performance for 2018/19

Huawei recently released its 2019 Annual Report detailing a solid business performance. The company’s global sales revenue in 2019 rounded off at CNY858.8 billion, up 19.1% year-on-year; its net profit reached CNY62.7 billion; and its cash flow from operating activities topped CNY91.4 billion, up 22.4% year-on-year.

‘We bring ICT to the people’

For thousands of years it was only a privilege of a few people to learn reading and writing. Lack of this knowledge was a tool, like the whip in slavery, to oppress the masses, in particular girls and women. Luckily, this has changed in most parts of the world including Namibia. 

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Medical funds urged to pay out Covid-19 cover

The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) has encouraged the public to adhere to all public notices issued by government in relation to Covid-19 and to contact their medical aid funds for clarity on their benefit option limits. 

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Covid-19 pushes fuel prices down

Petrol prices will come down by a whopping N$1.70 per litre and diesel will decrease N$1.20 per litre on 1 April 2020 as global demand for the oil wanes in the face of the crippling impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.  The massive drop in local oil prices was announced even as the local currency depreciated against the United States greenback. 

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MTC sets aside N$1 million to help fight coronavirus

MTC has embarked on an aggressive response strategy to help fight Coronavirus, setting in motion a plan to be funded with N$1 million. The funds will be distributed to different critical areas as per the strategy, including information sharing, education sharing, prevention, facility investment, as well as service delivery.

Bank Windhoek confirms new interest rates

In response to the announcement by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Namibia to decrease the policy rate as announced on 20 March 2020, Bank Windhoek hereby confirms the reduction of its Prime Lending Rate by 1.00% from 10.00% to 9.00%. The Mortgage Lending Rate will decrease from 11.00% to 10.00%

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Shiimi hailed as ‘breath of fresh air’ in finance ministry portfolio

Economists and business leaders have hailed former central bank governor Iipumbu Shiimi as new finance minister as a welcome development, given his extensive economic and banking background. President Geingob on Sunday appointed Shiimi to the finance ministry while former finance minister Calle Schlettwein, a trained biologist, has been moved to the merged agriculture, water and land reform ministry.

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Repo rate cut to 5.25% to cushion impact of Covid-19

The Bank of Namibia’s (BoN’s) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Friday cut the repo rate by 100 basis points, from 6.25% to 5.25% to help cushion the anticipated impact of Covid-19 and support domestic economic activity, while maintaining the one-to-one link between the Namibia Dollar and the South African Rand.

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NSA halts census mapping due to Covid-19

The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has confirmed the suspension of the census mapping exercise. As per the directive from President Hage Geingob, calling for a state of emergency because of the Covid-19 outbreak, NSA’s statistician general and CEO Alex Shimuafeni on Friday confirmed the Census mapping has been put on hold until 14 April 2020, or at least until the situation stabilises. 

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NamPost to remain open for business during virus crisis

In response to the confirmed Covid-19 cases in Namibia and the directives issued by the government and head of state, NamPost has implemented preventative measures as part of its overall action plan to protect the health of staff and clients throughout the country. As part of preventative measures, there will be restrictions on the number of clients in the post office dependent on the post office lay-out and size and customers will be requested to keep a distance of at least a metre as directed by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. 

Access to affordable financing key for economic development - BoN

Certain national developmental agendas can only be achieved through public education and some of the crucial issues pertaining to this, according to the Bank of Namibia, are policies related to fees and charges at banks and financial institutions. Director of Payment and Settlement Systems at the central bank, Barbara Dreyer, said that access to affordable financial products and services is a key driver for economic development. 

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GIPF sets aside N$25.9 billion to ensure benefit payments

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) is aware of the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and has taken the necessary precautions to protect its staff members by encouraging them to practice best hygienic methods such as washing their hands with soap regularly, applying alcohol-based hand sanitisers and wearing of protective gear such as masks and gloves where necessary.  

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Businesses postpone crucial events due to Covid-19

Businesses in the country are adhering to the call of President Hage Geingob on the suspension of mass gatherings for at least 30 days. This after Namibia confirmed two cases of coronavirus last week. Most events that were scheduled for April including expos and graduation ceremonies are now postponed.


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