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By: Andrew Kathindi

It has been two years since President Hage Geingob’s panel set up to revive the economy said they had received pledges worth more than N$20b.

The Presidential High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy was chaired by Johannes Gawaxab who was deputised by Nangula Uaandja.

Both Gawaxab and Uaandja have since been awarded jobs.

Gawaxab is now the Bank of Namibia governor, while Uaandja is the chief executive officer of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board.

In pursuit of the pledges Tuesday, The Villager reached out to Gawaxab to ask whether all the pledges were met.

Gawaxab referred The Villager to Uaandja.

“I’m no longer there. Call Ms Nangula Uaandja. She was a member of the high-level panel and she’s the CEO of the Namibia Investment Promotion Development Board. Ask her what happened to the promises made at that [summit]. Because when we left we handed the documents over to her new department. I wouldn’t know,” Gawaxab said.

He also said the mandate of the panel expired since it was only for one year from February 2019 until March 2020.

However, he added, one of the recommendations the high-level panel made was to set up the investment promotion development board to make sure that Namibia attracts investment and to follow up with all the investments made.

“So, you can call to find out what happened to all the pledges made,” he said.

Uaandja, in turn said we should talk to Margareth Gustavo, who also works with Uaandja at the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board.

Gustavo said they would call for a press conference soon. She did not say when this will be.


The Panel comprised of Gawaxab, his deputy Uaandja, Florette Nakusera, Estelle Tjipueja, Ester Simon and Kauna Ndilula.

There was also Martin Shipanga, Jason Kasuto, Sven Thieme, Junias Mungunda, James Mnyupe, Kenneth Matengu, Michael Iyambo, Evangelina Nailenge, Gitta Paetzold, Justin Braby, Immanuel Kadhila, Klaus Schade, Banda Shilimela, Carlos Lopez, Joseph Okpaku and Vuyo Jack.

The pledges amounting to N$20b were announced by Gawaxab in August 2019.

Gawaxab announced at the time that the panel had targeted US$1b but had surpassed that target by US$400 000 – 40% beyond their target.

According to Gawaxab, an additional pledges and commitments amounting to N$46 billion were made.

He added that the high-level panel will follow up on the commitments made by various businesses and report to the presidency thereafter.

The Villager also chased other companies that pledged among them O&L, Gondwana and the Development of Namibia.

O&L together with Gondwana pledged N$1b, while N$1b.

Sven Thieme, the O&L chairperson who was also a member of the panel, referred The Villager to the group spokesperson Roux-Che Locke, who said she would need to consult the leadership.

Development Bank of Namibia chief executive officer Martin Inkumbi said their pledge was for infrastructural projects.

Inkumbi said they have planned to invest N$1b over four years from 2019 until 2023.

When the pledges were made, Inkumbi said expected returns from their pledge included shared prosperity and employment.

“The bank has approved and already partly dispersed N$580 million as we speak on this and there is still N$420 million that DBN can approve and commit up to 2023,” Inkumbi said.

Of this, he said, N$400 million was for the land development project to improve housing in Windhoek by Ongos Valley and a power project that will be unveiled in the next two weeks.

Other investment, he explained, were also spent on a smaller land development project in Katima Mulilo for about N$30 million.

Other pledges were made by NamPower, Namibia Airports Company, NamWater, the Development Bank of Namibia, Namibian Ports Authority, Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority and Namibia Wildlife Resorts together pledged over N$800 000.

The mining sector was also represented, with B2Gold Namibia pledging N$200 000, while asset management companies Allan Gray Namibia, Prudential and Namibia Asset Management pledged about N$200 000.

Geingob’s economic advisor James Mnyupe was the managing director at Allan Gray Namibia when the company made the pledge.

Other pledges were made by Avril Payment Solutions and Old Mutual Namibia with a combined figure of N$260 000.

Namfisa’s spokesperson Victoria Muranda said they met their pledges.

“We gave the money. It was N$50 000,” she said.

Namibia Airports Company spokesperson Danny Kamati also said the company honoured its pledge of N$50 000.

NamPower’s boss Simson Haulofu said they are meeting their pledges of about N$15 billion.

Haulofu outlined a number of projects at various stages.


Geingob said the panel was meant to advise him on how to revive the economy, which at time just like now, had been battered by headwinds.

The president said the panel would ensure a more proactive, resilient, and innovative developmental approaches.

Geingob also said the panel was appointed as part of his promise made in 2018 to set up a high-level presidential economic advisory council on the economy.

“Upon independence, Namibia inherited a skewed economy as a direct consequence of our pre-independence political legacy.

“Although our democracy has established sound governance and macroeconomic architectures – underpinned by a solid foundation of peace, stability, unity and the rule of law – deficits persist within our socio-economic landscape,” Geingob said.

According to Geingob, the panel was envisaged to

strengthen collaboration between the government, labour, and the private sector.

The former labour minister Errki Nghimtina, and Gawaxab who both spoke during a seminar held in Windhoek said the economy needed funding to gradually allow for job creation.

In turn, they said, this would balance the socioeconomic disproportion in Namibia.

Furthermore, they said, tax incentives and government funding from private sector and organisations would provide the ability to implement this, allowing the country’s economy to respond properly.









Julia Heita

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