No word on economic advisory council

11 August 2017 | Government

The Presidency said it will only announce the composition of a new Presidential Economic Advisory Council when it is ready to do so.

This is according to its press secretary Albertus Aochamub who responded to Namibian Sun's questions on matters related to the council, which is tasked with advising the Head of State on economic challenges facing the country.

According to Aochamub, the work of the council was well served by a member of President Hage Geingob's A-team, John Steytler.

Steytler currently serves as Geingob's economic advisor.

“On the council, we will advise when we are ready to make any announcements on future relevance, form, structure, composition and purpose. For now the president and the administration are both very well served by [presidential economic advisor] John Steytler who is doing a sterling job in that portfolio,” said Aochamub.

Aochamub also defended Steytler's position by pointing out that previous economic advisors had always been utilised in conjunction with advisory councils that served on previous administrations.

“State House and the previous presidents have always had the services of an economic advisor since independence. The advisory council existed side-by-side with those economic advisors in place. In that sense your question of Dr Steytler's position as the president's economic advisor is irrelevant,” said Aochamub, providing context to Steytler's position.

He also did not provide an update into the workings of the economic advisory council established by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2013.

President Geingob has not composed an advisory council of his own yet, apart from his A-team which he assembled after taking office.

Geingob also established a presidential advisory council comprising of former presidents Pohamba and Nujoma.

Pohamba's economic advisory council was ironically headed by Steytler and included business heavyweights such as Koos Brandt, now First Lady Monica Kalondo, Ebson Uanguta (Bank of Namibia), Osmund Mwandemele (University of Namibia), Raimar von Hase (Karakul Board of Namibia), Herbert Jauch (labour consultant), Audrin Mathe (New Era Publications) and Seretta Lombaard (PriceWaterhouseCoopers).


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