President Hage Geingob yesterday walked out of the Bank of Namibia (BoN) with the unpleasant truth that the country and the world are going through a difficult economic situation.
“I was told the reality, our economic situation, the reality of the world economic situation, and also maybe what measures we must take to live within our means and also prepare for tomorrow. And tomorrow definitely looks much better,” said Geingob.
The President yesterday engaged BoN leadership and management on its operations and functions. The engagement aimed at updating the President on the central bank’s operations and functions as well as providing insight into domestic and global economic developments.
However, the President remained optimistic, saying the future for Namibia looks bright despite the numerous challenges the country endured over the past seven years, including the commodity crisis, recurrent droughts and the uninvited guest of Covid-19.
“We have problems; we are going through a very difficult time. But the only way is to hold hands and pull in the same direction. It’s bad all over the world. But, many of the people are seeing the hope. They see the light at the end of the tunnel and they want to rush and be there in that process,” noted Geingob.
Building a nation and the Namibian house, according to Geingob, requires all to become nation-builders by fighting against the “isms” of tribalism and racism. Geingob further urged Namibians to have hope. He mentioned the country made oil discoveries and is pushing to become a green hydrogen hub, thus there is hope after all.
The President also urged the central bank to continuously focus on the uproar about high banking fees and charges, unfair business and residential property repossessions, as well as unfair credit terms. According to statistical bulletins from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), domestic economic activity continues to unfold, registering a positive outturn for five consecutive quarters since 2021.
Meanwhile, the real gross domestic product (GDP) rose to 5.6% during the second quarter of 2022, relative to a growth of 5.5% posted during the same quarter of the preceding year.
During yesterday’s visit, BoN governor Johannes !Gawaxab shared the same sentiments, saying despite the very difficult global situation, there is a lot of promise and opportunity: “The economy recorded positive growth in 2021 after almost five years of contraction, and the first two quarters of 2022 have also delivered near positive growth rates and opportunities in the energy sector.”
!Gawaxab added the bank remains committed and will continue in its quest to support the economy, particularly new industries, with the necessary policy research that will help maximise the benefits of these resources to the majority of Namibians. In his closing remarks, deputy governor of the bank, Ebson Uanguta assured the President of their dedication to championing the financial inclusion agenda through implementing new strategies, especially for Namibians in rural areas, as well as women and entrepreneurs in the informal economy.
“As we sail through new unchartered territories of the 4th and 5th industrial revolution, the bank can assure you of its commitment to building a prosperous Namibia by safeguarding monetary and financial stability,” Uanguta concluded.