Development Bank’s new overseers
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) announced that the Minister of Finance, Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, has appointed Penny Akwenye to succeed outgoing Board Chairperson Elize Angula. Penny Akwenye previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N). In her capacity as CEO of MCA-N, Akwenye was responsible for the administration of N$ 3 billion in funds, provided to Namibia by the US government, for the purpose of poverty alleviation through economic growth.
Asnake Getachew, a member of the DBN board since the Bank’s inception has also stepped down. His seat will be filled by Tabitha Mbome of the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA). Penny Akwenye is no stranger to DBN. Before commencing work on MCA-N she was responsible for DBN’s Special Developmaent Fund. In 2006 she was seconded to develop a plan for MCA-N, after which she was appointed CEO of MCA-N. Talking about her vision for the Bank, Akwenye said that she would seek a high degree of trust in the institution, strong relationships with stakeholders as well as sustainability. She said that she would work together with stakeholders to expand the scope of its activities, and that she envisaged it becoming a leading institution in the field of development. In her parting remarks, Elize Angula said that her particular role as Chairperson was to provide leadership for the Board. During her tenure, she said, the impact of the Board was remarkable, and it was able to produce exceptional results in the space of a single session. However she gave credit to the entire organisation, saying that the impact of a Board is only as strong as the organisation which executes the Board’s direction. She credited the Bank with approximately N$ 4,6 billion in approvals and impact on approximately 53,000 jobs during the period from 2009 to 2014 when she was Chairperson. Speaking about Akwenye’s appointment, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said her appointment will enhance the strengths of the current Board. He said Akwenye’s experience of Namibia’s development needs, and her close relationship to the National Planning Commission via MCA-N, will enable the Board to successfully manage the transition from the leadership of Elize Angula.