Ester Kali takes over as Bankers Association Chair
Letshego Bank Namibia’s CEO Ester Kali recently stepped in to lead the banking industry as the new Chairperson of the Bankers Association Namibia, taking over from FNB and FirstRand Namibia Chief Executive, Sarel van Zyl.
On 12 June Kali took up her role and engaged with the newly appointed Governor Johannes Gawaxab of the Bank of Namibia, which is the regulator and supervisor of the sector, at the invitation of the central bank.
Kali will be at the helm of the association and will serve for a year in the position. This position rotates annually among the heads of all commercial banks. As part of this annual rotation, Richard Meeks from Nedbank now takes on the position of Vice-Chair.
Kali, upon assuming her new role thanked Van Zyl and his team for steering the ship with all of its respective banks and having made sound decisions towards the best interest of every banking Namibian.
“This is a team effort and it is therefore all of our responsibility to take ownership and put in as much effort as we can. We have a mammoth task ahead of us, especially in such trying times; however, through a pandemic or not we will always do the best that we can. Through the Covid-19 lockdown it was heartening to see all BAN members pulling together to assist their customers in this time of need,” Kali said.
Gawaxab welcomed the new Chair and re-iterated the importance of open communication and stakeholder relations to set the tone for various synergised initiatives. He stressed that during the current economic landscape, the financial sector needs to continue to play its part to help cushion our households and businesses feeling the wrath of the impact of Covid-19, on their livelihoods and bottom-lines.
Additionally, the sector needs to be ready to provide the impetus for growth and development we need, as a nation, in the aftermath of the pandemic. I look forward to working with Bankers Association Namibia and its new leadership as we navigate the ship through these turbulent tides and ensure we emerge from this crisis stronger, responsive to the needs of the population – and most importantly a vibrant, competitive sector,” Gawaxab said.