Bank of Namibia strategic plan launched

03 December 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) officially launched its strategic plan for 2022 to 2024 on Wednesday, following a six-month exercise led by the management committee and the board.

Speaking at the launch, central bank governor, Johannes !Gawaxab, noted that the bank will focus its attention on the reformation and modernisation of the Namibian financial sector while striving for a recovery of the economy in the near term as well as sustainable economic development.

The new plan has been adjusted to a three-year execution horizon, due to the rapidly changing environment the bank is currently operating in.

“Our operating environment has changed significantly, and our responsibility has expanded in its scope. In this regard, the macroprudential oversight responsibility now resorting in the bank underlines our central role in the functioning of the financial system. Equally, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to decisions in the policy environment that have long lasting effects, while the stabilising force of the monetary authority during the pandemic was demonstrable and impactful,” !Gawaxab said.

The BoN sees this challenging time and the demands thrust upon it, as the perfect opportunity to recalibrate, repurpose, re-prioritise and future-proof the central bank. In place is a three-year strategic plan which replaces the five-year plans with the ultimate objective of ensuring the institution responds methodically to this changing landscape, while operating in a future-fit manner, he added.

Mandate

“The bank shall focus on its statutory mandate, which includes price and financial stability, supervision of banking institutions, payments and settlements, exchange control, provision of banking services to the government, the issuance of coins and notes, foreign reserves management, fiscal advice to the government and macroprudential oversight,” he said.

The plan, the governor enthused, undertakes to usher in a digital transformation era for the institution as it intends to automate, modernise and facilitate efficiency utilising technology, which further acts as an enabler to the strategy. Some initiatives include assessing the viability of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and retail bonds, and the establishment of an Innovation Hub. The Hub shall promote innovation and creativity in the fintech sector to provide a conducive environment for the incubation of new concepts without stifling start-ups and innovators but doing so in a regulatory responsible manner.

The central bank governor shared that with the adoption of the new strategic plan, the bank is committed to and well-positioned to drive greater digital transformation, financial inclusion and economic growth in Namibia, while delivering a stronger all-round performance in fulfilling its core mandate of price and financial [email protected]

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