Various farmers’ associations have welcomed the appointment of capital markets expert Raphael Karuaihe as the new CEO of the Agricultural Bank of Namibia.
Namibian Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) executive manager Daniel Mahua said the association is hopeful that Karuaihe will deliver according to the farmer’s expectations.
“I know he will be faced with the daunting task of finding a fine balance of running the bank on sound and sustainable business principles, while having the understanding and empathy for the industry where business is conducted,” said Mahua.
He said the union, as a stakeholder in the industry, will be offering its wholehearted support to the new CEO to assist him in whatever he might need.
Karuaihe, who is currently the head of commodities at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa, is expected to assume duty on 10 January next year.
Previously Disadvantaged Namibian Commercial Farmers Union (PDNCFU) chairperson Jane Kuhanga said Karuaihe’s appointment is a step in the right direction, considering his experience and know-how.
“We are very confident and certain with his experience he will take the bank to greater heights. His appointment is something that we are very proud off,” she said.
“We are willing to tap from his experience and expertise – and similarly, we are willing to offer our experience in order to make the bank a farmers’ bank,” she added.
Karuaihe has been with the JSE since 2012, and oversees agricultural and non-agricultural commodities within the capital markets division.
Prior to that, Karuaihe spent many years in the financial services industry, where he advised institutional clients on retirement planning and investment as well as risk management.
He holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from Washington State University, USA. Karuaihe’s appointment follows the temporary appointment of Louis Du Toit, who was selected to lead Agribank for three months, following the end of Sakaria Nghikembua’s five-year term.
Du Toit, a qualified chartered accountant, has been with Agribank since 2019.