UNAM outdebates NUST to clinch Bank of Namibia inaugural debate challenge
The University of Namibia (UNAM) was the overall winner of the first-ever Bank of Namibia Tertiary Institutions’ Debating Challenge, held on 28 September.
UNAM debated against the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) as inaugural participants of the challenge.
Dr Emma Haiyambo, Director: Strategic Communications and Financial Sector Development said the competition was hosted in support of the country’s financial literacy initiative and the recognisable need to educate the nation on the role and functions of the central bank as well as its role in the economy.
“The debate centred on the actions of the central bank which implemented unprecedented measures since April 2020, which induced the significant reduction of the Repo rate and policy relief measures to commercial banks which enable the country to weather the COVID-19 storm,” she emphasized.
She said they have long realised that there is a need to encourage and stimulate young people to take interest in the economy of the country regardless of their disciplines or career choices. “This initiative, targeting tertiary institutions, augments current effort to proactively engage the youth at the tertiary intuitions doing advanced economic studies to apply their theoretical knowledge acquired in lecture halls to real life, experiential and topical issues,” she added.
She explained that the purpose is to provide students with the opportunity to engage in relevant topical issues in central banking, and the macroeconomy, furthermore they will develop and sharpen their research, critical thinking, financial and economic literacy skills as well as their ability to work as a team to present logical arguments while presenting alternative and innovative ideas to policymakers.
The judging panel consisting of adjudicators from the Bank of Namibia as well as an external adjudicator declared the UNAM as the winning team, scooping the cash price of N$10 00, while NUST was the second runner up and received a cash price of N$5 000. “The debating challenge provides a platform to students who would have not otherwise had an opportunity to gain knowledge of the central bank’s roles and operations, thus we encourage students to partake in the Challenge in the future,” she said.
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Namibia Ebson Uanguta said there is a greater need for a general basic understanding of economic, both at an individual and societal level. “Economic touches our daily lives in more ways than we can fathom because it is concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services,” he added.
He said therefore as a bank they have realised that there is a need to encourage and stimulate young people to take interest in the economy of the country regardless of their disciplines or career choice. “Going forward the Challenge will be a flagship project for us because it will develop and sharpen the research of participants, critical thinking, financial and economic literacy skill as well as their ability to work as a team to present a logical argument while presenting alternative and innovative ideas to policymakers,” he concluded.