!Gawaxab urges stakeholders in //Kharas to rally behind economic recovery by prioritising vaccinations
The Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Johannes !Gawaxab recently engaged stakeholders in Keetmanshoop during his countrywide visits aimed at understanding how best to position Namibia in securing a sustainable economic recovery amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
His recent engagement in Keetmanshoop in the //Kharas region held on Thursday 7 October, follows highly subscribed events in Oshakati and Swakopmund hosted earlier in the year which bolstered national efforts aimed at mobilising stakeholders behind the singular goal of building back the economy better.
During the southern event attended by regional and local authority leadership, representatives from the business community, commercial banks, as well as civil society organisations, the Governor reminded stakeholders about the overall responsibilities of the Bank, such as the promotion of price stability and financial stability, which underpin sound macroeconomic fundamentals, necessary for economic development and advancement.
The Governor reiterated that Namibia is not out of the woods yet as far as the Covid-19 pandemic is concerned, despite the recent declining transmission and mortality rates.
He was of the view that containing the pandemic and its spill-over effects should not be left to authorities alone but should be everyone’s preoccupation in order to reduce the impact on the economy which has been evident in job losses reported at 13 000 during 2020 and the first half of 2021. Therefore, vaccinations are essential to contain the pandemic and assist the country in reversing the economic misfortunes of late which have exacerbated inequality, unemployment and poverty.
The Governor was hopeful that the interventions implemented since April 2020 by the Bank of Namibia have assisted greatly to soften the blow to the economy and provide relief to struggling borrowers. The unprecedented relaxation of certain regulations by the Bank as the regulator of commercial banks has made it possible for banks to lend to critical sectors in the economy while also providing borrowers with an opportunity to negotiate repayment conditions on their loans. These relief measures coupled with a low-interest environment and low inflation continue to support growth in the economy.
“On the economic front, we are moving with the necessary speed and urgency to deal with our structural challenges. For Namibia to rebuild the economy and secure a sustainable recovery it doesn’t require a magic bullet but a strong response and acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines in our communities. Our call, as the central bank, is for the community, church and civic leaders to mobilise their communities en masse to get vaccinated and give this economy a shot in the arm,” !Gawaxab said.
The Regional Governor of //Kharas region, Aletta Fredricks, welcomed the high-level interaction with the leadership of the central bank. The attendees also used the opportunity to engage the Governor on measures to grow and revive the economy.