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New Era Newspaper Thursday December 14, 2017

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8 NEWS Thursday, December 14 2017 | NEW ERA Walters not surprised by IPPR report WINDHOEK Ombudsman John Walters is not recently launched Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report, which assessed the actual state of access to information in Namibia. In a telephonic interview with Nampa on Tuesday, Walters said the unresponsiveness of public John Muyamba Nkurenkuru Kavango West Regional Governor Sirkka Ausiku is happy that FNB Namibia has heeded the call to open a branch in the regional capital Nkurenkuru. Since becoming governor in 2014, Ausiku has made a signature call to all service providers, region to enable them to provide much needed services in the region. Nkurenkuru will now have not only Standard Bank and Bank Windhoek, but FNB Namibia too, with the latter scheduled to open its doors on Monday. The move is expected to relieve Rundu, which has been swamped by FNB clients seeking services from the bank. “I’m happy that FNB listened to the cries of our communities who travel long distances to Rundu and are subjected to long queues when they get there. I’m glad to see FNB opening its doors to us. Slowly but surely our region is moving in the right direction as far as our developmental priorities are concerned,” Ausiku noted FNB’s Rodney Forbes, the area manager for the northern regions, in an exclusive interview con- is due to open on Monday. It will have two self-service devices – an new phenomenon to him. “I am not shocked. I deal with this issue every day [and] get complaints continuously,” he said. Walters said he wondered as to where the problem lies and stressed it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to play a collective role in providing information for public knowledge. “It is a genuine challenge that ATM and an ADT (advance deposit taking machine). The ADT acts as an ATM but also has the capability to take in account. “The branch will have six staff members of whom two are tellers and two are sales and service. The other two staff members would be in a support and supervisory role,” I face each day. I don’t know if are reluctant in providing information,” he added. Walters said he would continue taking action by making sure, through the right procedures, that information is provided to the public and the media. He further called upon the permanent secretaries, account- on information so as to ensure accountability. Nampa earlier this the report show that 80 percent of all organisations and institutions did not respond or could not provide information requested. The report further showed that out of the 14 regions, only Erongo responded with the requested information within a reasonable time. – Nampa Ausiku excited about FNB branch in Kavango West Here at last… The new FNB branch is situated in Shop 1 at the Nkurenkuru shopping complex. Forbes said. “A number of technological capabilities such as the ADT device we deploying at the branch, and other capabilities which we plan for early 2018, are central to the FNB branch model and staff size for Nkurenkuru. The recruitment process for a senior staff member and other staff are in full swing, which we intend to conclude in January, for permanent appointment,” Forbes added. According to the area manager, with temporary staff seconded from neighbouring branches until permanent staff are appointed. “Rundu branch management will have an oversight function for Nkurenkuru which we expect to evolve as we entrench our presence in the town,” Forbes noted. Schoolgirls get pregnant over holidays WINDHOEK The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MEAC) is urging parents to take care of their girls during the holidays as most pregnancies in learners are recorded a few months after school breaks. Speaking to Nampa recently, Deputy Director in the HIV/ AIDS Management Unit at they have generally observed that girls are getting pregnant during holidays when they are away from school and under their parents’ care. “Children get pregnant while at home, especially [during] the December holidays and the few academic year. We count a lot of pregnancies in learners [early in the year],” he said. cause parents do not keep track of where their children are and so girls are left without guidance. “Some parents are not really taking care of their adolescent girls. They are hardly there. Some because of work and others are just not there,” he said. He urged parents and the community to take the responsibility of protecting, engaging and guiding the girl-child for her to make informed decisions. “Young girls are engaging in drugs and alcohol use – and this is becoming a problem and a major factor in pregnancy. We therefore need parents and community engagement at a family According to the most recent statistics from the MEAC, 1,843 schoolgirls got pregnant in 2015 and 2,233 in 2016. Ohangwena topped the regions for the last two years with 551 cases in 2016 and 349 in 2015, followed by Omusati with 319 in 2016 and 282 in 2015. – Nampa

NEW ERA KBB signs collaboration agreement with building supply chain Page 10 Namibia in Global Impact Page 11 INSIDE USINESS This news is your business Namibia suffered recession in 2017, but growth expected in 2018 Edgar Brandt Windhoek A just ended mission to Namibia by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that due to exceptional growth in the domestic economy, Namibia’s economy is still in an adjustment phase and as a result growth was expected to turn slightly negative in 2017, following positive growth rate of 1.1 percent in 2016. The negative growth rate expected for 2017 comes as large construction projects, particularly in the mining sector, have been completed and as consolidation. “Namibia has a lot of room for improvement. While Namibia ranks high on the African continent in general, the country can do better and should ease of doing business,” said Geremia Palomba, the head of the IMF team that just concluded its Article IV Mission, which is a regular assessment of IMF member countries. “Growth is projected to resume in 2018 and accelerate thereafter to about four percent as production from new mines ramps up and manufacturing and retail activities recover. Downside risks to this outlook include volatile Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenue, slippages that could undermine policy credibility,” said Palomba on Wednesday Finance Calle Schlettwein and Bank of Namibia Governor Iipumbu Shiimi. Palomba said the country’s key challenges going forward include managing the ongoing adjustment process and preserving macro-economic stability, while reducing unemployment and income inequality. “The government and the Bank of Namibia have already taken steps to external vulnerabilities are rising and call for additional action,” Palomba said, adding that government’s wage bill, which is growing at about 20 percent per year, is a dynamic issue that requires policy intervention. The visiting IMF team also which after balance sheet stress tests “The authorities are taking steps to manage possible risks and advance key reforms, such as strengthening bank’s liquidity monitoring and asset classification, introducing a bank resolution regime, expanding the macroprudential toolkit and upgrading the non-bank regulatory and supervisory framework. “These actions should help vulnerabilities, including some banking and non-banking sector weaknesses, rising real estate prices, relatively high household indebtedness and complex Palomba remarked. The head of the IMF mission added particularly for rural populations and small enterprises. In addition, Palomba noted that government had taken action to support growth, tackle high unemployment, particularly among the youth, and reduce income inequality. shortage of skilled workers, better aligning wage dynamics to productivity trends, and simplifying business regulations employment and deliver more inclusive growth. During their visit, the IMF team met with Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein, Bank of Namibia Governor Iipumbu Shiimi and Article IV staff report, which, together with the joint IMF and World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Programme report, is due to be discussed by the IMF Executive Board in early 2018. Taking stock… From left, head of the IMF mission to Namibia Geremia Palomba, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein and Bank of Namibia Governor Namibia’s economic growth to resume at 4 percent – IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Namibia’s economic growth will resume at about 4 per cent in 2018. Tuesday, IMF Mission Chief for Namibia Geremia Palomba said the projected growth is due to the production from new mining, manufacturing and retail activities recovery. Palomba emphasised that the downside risks to the outlook include unpredictable Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenue, subdued commodity undermine the policy credibility. “Namibia’s key challenges going forward are to manage the ongoing adjustment process and preserve macroeconomic stability, while reducing unemployment and income equality,” said Palomba. and the Bank of Namibia have already needs to be done as external vulnerabilities are on the rise. Palomba further emphasised that policies need to address the sources of recent decline which include public wage costs, combine expenditure and revenue measures that can support long-term growth, while safeguarding critical social and development spending. “Strengthening revenue administration, improving budget formulation and expenditure controls as well as carefully managing extrabudgetary entities including public enterprises are critical steps to consolidate taken actions to support growth, tackle high unemployment among the youth and reduce income equality. Palomba added that reforms targeted at addressing the shortage of skilled workers, better aligning wage dynamics to productivity trends and simplifying business regulations have the potential deliver more inclusive growth. – Nampa

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167