Universities debate economic policy, scrutinise ZAR link
In the Bank of Namibia’s debating competition for university students, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) took the honours and the N$10,000 prize money. Second was the International University of Management, earning N$5000, with the University of Namibia in the last place and a consolation prize of N$2500.
The best debater is Hillya Indongo who earned herself a nice N$2500 and the title of Best Speaker.
The debating challenge took place on Wednesday 10 August, specifically for economics students to improve their knowledge and the skill to transfer their insights in a meaningful, oral manner.
The topic under their spotlight was the fixed exchange rate between the Namibia Dollar and the South African Rand. Students had to state both pros and cons and whether the Common Monetary Area agreement is due for an overhaul. Secondly, they had to investigate whether the Common Monetary Area, in its current form, can be extended to other member countries in the Southern African Development Community, to serve as the legal framework for a single SADC currency.
There was no agreement between the debating teams on a single SADC currency, instead emphasising the divergence in level of development, and the different macro-economic conditions in each member state. They considered the harmonisation of economic systems as critical before any currency convergence could be implemented.
Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor, Ms Leonie Dunn said healthy debate allows for a diversity of opinion and mutual understanding. This year’s theme was chosen to enhance research and multifaceted knowledge spanning several aspects of the economy, she said, adding that the economy requires a collaborative policy approach to recover.
The debates were adjudicated by Ms Florette Nakusera, the central bank’s Director of Financial Stability and Macroprudential Oversight, Dr Reinhold Kamati, the bank’s Principal Economist, Dr Johan van den Heever, a technical expert at the bank, Ms Magreth Tjongarero, the bank’s Head of Risk Management & Assurance, and Ms Naufiku Hamunime, Standard Bank’s Head of Business Development & Ecosystems.
The debate team from the Namibia University of Science and Technology, with the Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor, Ms Leonie Dunn, second from left. The team’s skill in arguing their points, earned them a cool N$10,000.