!Gawaxab: ‘Economy needs smart ideas’

BoN governor designate brings quite a lot of leadership to the table, as well as an understanding of the financial sector and ideas, he says.

23 April 2020 | Banking

The benefits of staying in the peg arrangement works for the country better than staying outside. - Johannes !Gawaxab, Governor designate: BoN

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) must contribute towards making sure that the economy protects Namibians by placing them on a prosperous trajectory, its newly appointed governor, Johannes !Gawaxab, has said.

!Gawaxab said this in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, shortly after his appointment into the BoN’s top post.

The new governor expressed humility and gratitude for the confidence the appointing authority has in him.

“I need to first thank the president [Hage Geingob] for the confidence [and opportunity] bestowed upon me to serve the nation. We are facing difficult times and as the Bank of Namibia, we need to look towards making sure that we have got an economy that is not only protecting Namibia but that we have an economy that is advancing and provides some prosperity for Namibians,” !Gawaxab said candidly.

Asked what he brings to the table, he pointed to his vast experience in the financial sector.

“[I bring] quite a lot of leadership [to the table] and understanding in the financial sector and ideas,” he said.

South Africa

According to !Gawaxab, the precarious financial state that the country finds itself in and other challenges it faces require smart ideas.

“What we need now is smart ideas to advance and protect the nation,” he said.

On Namibia’s continued reliance on South Africa, particularly the current peg that exists between the Namibian dollar and South African rand, !Gawaxab indicated that the peg has worked in Namibia’s interest and sees no need to de-link the local currency.

“My understanding from the previous governor is that currently it [peg] works for us. The benefits of staying in the peg arrangement works for the country better than staying outside,” he said.

A currency peg is a policy in which a national government sets a specific fixed exchange rate for its currency with a foreign currency.

Pegging a currency stabilises the exchange rate between countries, in this case between Namibia and South Africa, from whom the former exports around 70% of goods and services. - Nampa

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