16 ADVERT Friday, August 18 2017| NEW ERA Official Weekly Communique of the University of Namibia - Volume 27 25 YEARS & Counting... The University of Namibia is currently celebrating 25 years of excellence by reminiscing about the riches of the past and the promises of the future. By looking at milestones through its people - the visionaries, the trailblazers, the connectors and the challengers, the institution can authenticate or verify the validity of its achievements and accomplishments. Throughout our 25 th anniversary we will share stories of how far we have come. In this edition we share appraisals, memories and opinions from our staff, students and alumni. To make it interesting, Forum Weekly decided to approach staff who have been with the institution for 25 years and longer, and students who are 25 years of age. “UNAM has been a great experience for me. I am doing a Diploma in Agriculture and find it very interesting. I encourage prospective students to take a closer look at the fascinating courses in agriculture at UNAM.” Paula Quimbra (age 25), (2 nd Year Agriculture, Ogongo Campus) “I had a Basic Education Teaching Diploma (BETD) from the former Colleges, but now that UNAM has a geographic footprint across Namibia, I could do my Bachelor of Education in Upper Primary at the Rundu Campus. I was glad I could blend into the University programmes with ease. I wish the University more success, and expansion. Today I am a proud graduate! I tell that to my teachers and learners every time I get an opportunity.” “My journey at the university did not start 25 years ago, it started in June 1980. I was appointed as the first Examination Officer for the Academy of Learning and the first Faculty Officer for the School of Medicine. The demands and opportunities inherent to an educational institution provided me with an opportunity to grow and develop as an individual. I wish for the institution to grow and to open more minds. Thank you UNAM, for 25 incredible years.” “I am proud to be part of this esteemed institution. I have watched and seen the University grow. It all started 25 years ago, but I still feel the same passion and excitement to come to work every morning, as if it is my first day. The University shaped me and gave me an opportunity to travel the world for education purposes. I wish to see more change, for the University, for it to grow and continue to produce more industry specialists.” Joseph Sikongo, Principal of Sinzongoro Primary School, Kavango West Region (Class of 2017) Sanet Marthinussen, Acting Assistant Registrar Office of the Registrar Barbara Seibes, Assistant Director: Policy & Organisation Development, HR Department “The UNAM journey isn’t a walk in the park. Nothing comes easy and hard work always pays off. I have learnt to pursue what I want and not get lost in the crowd while doing it. UNAM has indeed broadened my horizons and enabled me to discover myself.” Sakeus Tuhafeni (age 25), (4 th Year - Arts, Main Campus) “The road to growth and self-discovery: that is the description of my 25 years at UNAM. 25 Years has flown by and it is hard to believe the University has now grown into one of the best Universities on the continent and beyond. The institution still strives to move forward to achieve greater heights not just in infrastructure, but to conquer the academic world. By embracing technology and moving with changing times, UNAM continues to give hope to the people of Namibia. My well wishes and congratulations go to all who have worked hard to achieve this milestone. Let us walk another 25 years together.” Emmie Bedeker, Khorixas Regional Centre Administrator & Student Support Officer “When I hear of the name UNAM, my heart melts as it is the Alma Mater that defined and polished my approach towards life. UNAM taught me humbleness, patience, understanding pressure and most of all respect for people as you may never know when and where they are going to be in 25 years’ from now. “UNAM gives you the greatest opportunity to make it in life! You just have to make the right choices once here.” Wahliet Bauleth (age 25), (4 th Year - Law, Main Campus) The leadership roles I held at UNAM defined the meaning of being able to contribute to the nation’s goals in whatever way possible. I was part of the formation of the Medical School and the conversion of all teachers colleges in the country. Look at where we are today? Happy 25 th Anniversary My UNAM!” Inocencio Verde, Group General Manager: Operations at Seaflower Group of Companies, and UNAM Council Vice-Chairperson 2013 – 2015 (Class of 2008)
INSIDE BUSINESS This news is your business GIPF introduces online member portal at OATF Page 15 Economy grew only 1.1% in 2016 - NSA Staff Reporter Windhoek The domestic economy is estimated to have recorded a slow growth of 1.1 percent during 2016 compared to a strong growth of 6.0 percent recorded in 2015. The slow performance can be attributed to the secondary and tertiary industries that recorded a contraction in real value added of 7.8 percent and a slow growth of 3.9 percent, respectively. This is according to the Revised National Accounts for 2016, which were released by the Namibia Statistics Agency yesterday. National accounts are compiled in accordance with the standards of the 1993 System of National Accounts. Data from the external sector, such as balance of payments, have been fully incorporated within a harmonised and consistent framework. However, financial accounts have not yet been included within the system of national accounts. The financial account records acquisitions and disposals of financial assets and liabilities. “The contraction in the secondary industries is due to the construction sector that recorded a decline in real value added of 26.5 percent in 2016 compared to a strong growth of 26.0 percent in 2015. The slow growth recorded in tertiary industries can be attributed to the following sectors: wholesale and retail (3.4 percent), hotels and restaurants (5.1 percent), real estate and business services (2.5 percent), public administration and defence (3.3 percent), education (3.5 percent) and health (10.5 percent),” explained Statistician General and CEO of the NSA, Alex Shimuafeni. He noted that primary industries are recovering – however they remain in a contraction, registering 2.0 percent in 2016 compared to the 5.2 percent in 2015. Revisions in the national accounts are always necessary because certain data only become available more than a year after the end of the reference period. Thus the national accounts estimates for the last three years are revised once or twice a year due to updated data from Source: NSA Contraction… The domestic economy in real terms for 2016 was estimated to have registered a slow growth of 1.1 percent compared to a strong growth of 6.0 percent recorded in 2015. data sources. Revision to previous years of certain variables are necessary as new evidence becomes available or to correct errors in the estimates, although the aim is to avoid errors altogether. The highest revisions were recorded in the hotels and restaurants and construction sectors which were revised by 3.7 percentage points and 3.0 percentage points, respectively. These revisions were mainly necessitated by improved response rates and updated data, which were received after the preliminary national accounts. Downgrade comes at a time when green shoots are emerging - FNB Staff Reporter Windhoek Moody’s downgrading of Namibia’s foreign debt to sub-investment grade came as a surprise, as it was unscheduled and at a time when green shoots are just starting to emerge. This is according to a report released by FNB Namibia yesterday. The report noted that although the foreign debt rating is now at sub-investment grade, the local debt remains at investment grade. “This reflects rising FX (foreign exchange) risk in meeting international debt obligations and thereby relegating Nam Eurobonds to speculative grade,” read the FNB report. The reasons cited by Moody’s are three-fold: First, absence of progress on fiscal consolidation which saw debt to GDP increase to 42 percent; second, limited institutional capacity to manage shocks (SACU revenue, ZAR weakness and FX reserves); and third, risk of renewed government liquidity pressures. “Central to the downgrade was government debt and the bloated wage bill, the latter having impeded consolidation efforts thus far. “Essentially there has been only limited fiscal consolidation; having largely only decelerated the rate at which we accumulate debt. Be that as it may, the downgrade highlights external frailties and structural inefficiencies within the economy, which will prolong Namibia’s economic recovery,” read the report. The report further noted that paramount is Namibia’s expenditure efficiencies. “From each tax dollar collected, 50c goes to wages, 13c goes to SOEs, 9c goes to interest payments, leaving 11c for the provision of public goods and services. Since the Group had conservatively included a downgrade into our core view, there are no material changes to our outlook. Taking market sentiment, consumer confidence and national financial attitudes into account, the downgrade is a shock reminder that a longer-term through the cycle view is required when implementing the necessary public sector cost diligence and structural expenditure adjustments to steer Namibia back to the high growth trajectory, which we have all enjoyed over the past seven years,” read the report. Some relief as banks release new interest rates Staff Reporter Windhoek In reaction to the decrease in the policy rate by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Namibia, Bank Windhoek and Standard Bank Namibia have decreased their prime lending rates by 0.25 percent from 10.75 percent to 10.50 percent. The mortgage lending rates at both banks will decrease from 11.75 percent to 11.50 percent and all changes will be effective from today. The other two commercial banks, First National Bank and Nedbank, are expected to follow with similar announcements. Source: Bank Windhoek Knock-on… An example of the effect that the lowering interest rates will have on major loans. According to Claire Hobbs, the chief treasurer at Bank Windhoek, the repo rate reduction was expected after the South African Reserve Bank lowered rates in South Africa last month. “Rates were decreased to maintain the currency peg against the South African rand and support the local economy. The Monetary Policy Committee was mindful that to support a weakened economy, it had to drop its repo rate to commercial banks,” Hobbs said. Vehicle and asset finance rates will continue to be linked to the prime lending rate and will be re-priced accordingly. According to Claudia Boamah, an economic analyst at Capricorn Asset Management, relief has finally been granted to the Namibian economy, which has struggled over the last year within the tight policy environment. “The dire condition of the domestic economy as evinced by the recession, falling inflation, high unemployment and weak credit growth has long since necessitated rate cuts. However, the central bank also had to keep in mind the protection of the Namibian dollar’s link to the rand. Fortunately, recent data on the level of our international reserves indicate that the peg can be sustained for almost half a year thanks to injections from the National Bank of Angola and the AfDB loan,” said Boamah yesterday in The Morning Brief, which is her daily assessment of the economy.