• July 11th, 2020

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. 

“The President’s choice for the new minister of finance is certainly reflecting his attention to the current economic situation. Shiimi is a trained economist and carries a wealth of experience in macro-economic research and analysis that he gained over the years, in particular, in his role as governor of the central bank. His professional background, as well as his regional networks, are certainly supportive of the tasks ahead, which in my view require regionally coordinated responses. His appointment is expected to reassure markets that Namibia will continue with the prudent fiscal policy stance pursued by the previous minister,” commented local economist Klaus Schade. 

Schade added that the appointment of the Lucia Iipumbu as the new industrialisation and trade minister is a reward for her previous work and provides continuity that will play a crucial role in assisting businesses that feel the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Leon Jooste has been instrumental over the past five years in re-structuring the Public Enterprise (PE) sector and pushing the necessary legislative reforms through Cabinet and parliament. The real work starts now that the new Act has been promulgated and requires tough decisions concerning the way forward for many PEs. It is only logical to retain the minister, his knowledge and insight to continue and hopefully finalise the restructuring process over the next five years, as well as to reduce the PEs› drag on the national budget,” Schade commented. 

CEO of Sanlam Investment Management Tega Shiimi ya Shiimi says the appointment of Shiimi as the new finance minister is a welcome breath of fresh air.  “As a seasoned career banker, Shiimi brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Times are challenging and he has a mammoth task in balancing between stimulating growth in a tough economic environment, limited reserves and delivering on the social contract with the Namibian nation,” said Ya Shiimi.  

Meanwhile, the BoN’s spokesperson, Kazembire Zemburuka, yesterday stated that during the transitional period at the Bank, Deputy Governor Ebson Uanguta, who until most recently served as Acting Commissioner of Namibia Revenue Authority (NAMRA), is performing executive responsibilities at the central bank in conjunction with the board, with the full support of the senior management team.

“Stakeholders are reminded that there is a laid-down procedure for the appointment of a substantive governor. According to the Namibian Constitution, it is the prerogative of the President to appoint on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, the governor and the deputy governors of the Central Bank,” Zemburuka stated in a media release. Furthermore, the Bank’s Act states that whenever the Public Service Commission is required to make its recommendation to the President for the appointment of a governor or deputy Governors, such recommendation shall be made only after consultation with the Minister of Finance. 

Edgar Brandt
2020-03-25 08:00:24 | 3 months ago

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