KAMANJAB – As part of expanding its footprint across the country and making banking services accessible to under-served communities, Standard Bank recently opened a new agency in Kamanjab in the Kunene Region.
Kamanjab is a village of an estimated 6 000 people located in the Kunene region, situated between Outjo and Opuwo, and widely used as a transit point to tourist destinations such as Etosha National Park, Grootberg Pass, Palmwag and the Skeleton Coast.
Until the opening of the Standard Bank agency, Kamanjab had no full resident banking services, so inhabitants have had to either travel long distances to other towns to access these banking facilities or rely on mobile banking services by visiting the village occasionally.
However, with the opening of the agency, Standard Bank has underlined its commitment to help underserved communities grow by bringing banking services to the people.
Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein presided over and the official opened the Standard Bank agency on Friday. He said that opening the agency was a demonstration by the bank towards the country’s economic and financial development, as it has the potential to attract additional investment and skills from other sectors. He added that the agency is a positive boost towards the continued development of Kamanjab, and that increased economic activity and expansion could lead to it being proclaimed a town.
The Minister hailed Standard Bank for opening 15 new branches in the last five years, four of which were opened in towns where there were previously no other banks. These four branches were opened in Oniipa, Divundu, Trans-Kalahari border post and now Kamanjab.
Not only did Standard Bank contribute to deepening access to financial services and products, as well as bringing banking services closer to the people, but it also contributed to skills development.
Schlettwein noted that in the past, public servants such as police officers, teachers, nurses and others would spend hours away from work to visit banks and do shopping in other towns, leading to reduced productivity in critical areas such as health and education.
On the other hand, he said the town was unattractive to new skills, especially young professionals, because of absence of banking services.
“This branch should thus be viewed as an investment in the efficient delivery of goods and services to our people. Our hope is that it will stimulate the hearts, minds and brains of the employees who will grace this branch, spurring them towards the pursuit of a culture of effective performance. In the bank’s quest to providing good and reliable service par excellence, Standard Bank Namibia remains the armoury of its clients,” Schlettwein emphasised.
He added: “Let this new branch be an epitome of excellence in service delivery and integrity. I believe that this investment has brought about a conducive banking services and environment for the people of Kamanjab and its surroundings – for the good of the nation. It will contribute to the much-needed savings in transport costs for the inhabitants of Kamanjab and its surroundings.”
He, however, pointed out that Standard Bank Namibia would only realise the benefits of its investment if customers receive the standard and quality of service that they are entitled to. He thus urged residents of Kamanjab and its surroundings to make full use of the branch to enable the bank to justify and realise its investment and growth.
Standard Bank Chief Executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda said at the occasion that the opening of an agency has become necessary, as the village has showed increased signs of potential for growth and thus needed support to attract new clients and investors.
“It is true that Kamanjab is central to all tourist attractions in northern Namibia. However, we have seen an increase in business activities in the town and the district centred on livestock farming, charcoal production, tourism and hunting,” Mungunda recalled.
“We are encouraged by these activities in Kamanjab, and it is for that reason that we decided to invest in the opening of a new branch in the town of Kamanjab. This is testimony to our belief and confidence in the future of not only Namibia, but importantly the town of Kamanjab,” he added. Mungunda also dispelled rumours that the bank was closing its branches and laying off staff. “As you can see, we are not closing branches. We are opening new branches. We are growing, investing in Namibia, investing in Namibians and investing in Namibian communities.”
2019-11-26 07:42:06 | 4 months ago