SME Bank finally arrives


The microfinance bank, which was given a N$60m allocation by treasury in the last national budget, is expected to become operational soon.
The bank, which will operate under the trade name Small to Medium Scale Bank of Namibia Limited is the first of its kind in the country and will have a public-private-partnership ownership, with Government being the majority shareholder, owning 60% of the shares.
The other principal shareholder will be Zimbabwe’s Metropolitan Bank with other minor shareholders.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Hage Geingob is expected to officiate at the groundbreaking ceremony of the bank most probably today where the full list of the board members will be presented.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya confirmed that the appointment of the board has been finalised, although he could not reveal names.
“I can neither confirm nor deny that Ndishishi will be the board chairperson for the bank but I would urge you to wait for the foundation laying on Monday (today) and the minister will give a full briefing without unnecessary speculation,” said Tweya.
Secretary of Cabinet, Frans Kapofi also confirmed that the groundwork for the construction of the bank and the board members of the microfinance institution have been given the nod by Cabinet but he came short of revealing names of the board members.
He referred all correspondence to the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda.
Since the idea was mooted about three years ago, The Villager understands the opening of the SME Bank has been delayed because Cabinet has still been busy scruitinising the proposed board members.
The SME Bank will take over some of the functions that have been executed by the Development Bank of Namibia to date.
The SME was granted a provisional license by the Bank of Namibia last year and today, will see the central bank moving towards the granting of a full operating license.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, Andrew Ndishishi, has been tipped to be the board chairperson with Zimbabwean businessman, Enock Kamushinga who owns Metropolitan Bank the managing director designate.
Last week, Ndishishi said he could not pre-empt the minister, “I cannot pre–empt the minister’s announcement. The minister is the appointing officer and he has the right to release names associated with the issue.”
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya hinted in an earlier interview with The Villager that Ndishishi is the most likely person to scoop the top job.