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TransNamib is set to resume its rail passenger service which was suspended nearly two years ago due to obsolete and insufficient locomotives, rolling stock and unreliable railway lines.

Namibia's economic performance continues an upward trend, recording a positive growth of 5.3% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to a decline of 4.9% registered in the corresponding period last year, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) announced on Thursday

The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of planning for anything that life can throw at you. Therefore, it is essential to start saving even a small amount as long as you start saving a portion of your money.

Before the pandemic, suggesting that you hold about 3-6 months’ worth of salaries would be ideal for many people. However, this might be unrealistic as the pandemic has increased financial pressure on many households. We need to encourage more individuals to acquire the financial knowledge and confidence to minimise debt to free up income to contribute to emergency savings.

 There’s a common misconception that you need a large amount of money to make an emergency fund feasible. That’s not true! The key message is that it’s fine to start small. Contribute N$10 or N$100 when you can but getting started is what’s important.

Some tips on starting an emergency fund:

  1.  Tackle debt: It is important to view your money holistically. If you can slowly pay more towards your interest-bearing loans and credit cards, you can minimise that income outflow. This can lead to freeing up money to be used towards an emergency fund in the future. You may see it as a small step today, but it’s a step that could produce significant results soon.
  2. Start today: If possible, start by saving small amounts towards your emergency fund while continuing to pay off your debt. Once you have reached your emergency savings goal, shift your focus to paying off your debt as quickly as possible. If you are faced with unexpected expenses such as replacing a tyre, you won’t have incurred more debt to cover the costs. 
  3.  Change your mindset: There’s also a common misconception that young people don’t need an emergency fund. But what happens if your geyser bursts unexpectedly? That can set you back significantly as a young adult trying to progress financially. When these things happen, we often use our credit cards, which can perpetuate the cycle of debt. Having an emergency fund helps cover you when these curve balls come your way.
  4.  Save smartly: First, you need to decide to start saving. Then it would be best if you decided where to save your money. For an emergency fund, consider an investment vehicle that earns you compound interest and is accessible without a penalty with a reputable financial institution. Consider having a debit order set up for your emergency fund contributions; that way, you will pay yourself first, before any other expenses. 
  5. Have a goal in mind: Be specific about the amount you want to save and review this goal constantly. If your goal is to save N$1 000, you save and build up to N$1 000, then maybe increase the amount to N$5 000 once you have attained the goal. If an emergency occurs, dont spare time to replace the money to reach the savings goal again. 

No amount is too small to start an emergency fund. Having savings set aside gives you a sense of control and preparedness, and this resilient psychological mindset can boost motivation to continue with positive money behaviours. These all set you on a path to financial confidence and freedom.

*Lorainne Greeff is a Financial Adviser with Sanlam

Bank of Namibia (BoN) Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab says his participation at the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF) has provided some insights into the central bank’s plans to establish a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Namibian business to business e-commerce startup JABU has announced a N$236.4 million (U$15 million) Series A investment led by Tiger Global into the business.

The round, which closed sometime in March, is Tiger Global’s second investment in the B2B e-commerce space after backing Wasoko in its mega Series B round according to Techcrunch and comes after the business raised N$50.6 million (U$3.2 million) last year.

Other investors include Box Group, Knollwood and D Global Ventures. Some backers from its seed round: Afore Capital, Oldslip and FJ Labs also doubled down.

“This will allow us to continue growing, which brings our total capital and equity investment as a Namibian tech company to over US$18 million,” Jabu CEO David Akinin told delegates at a Namibian House event being hosted at the on-going World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.

He also announced the company was engaging the Bank of Namibia and the Bank of Zambia to launch a payment wallet, JWallet, to solve payment and cash issues currently faced by the business.

The product will be launched as a standalone product and will allow merchants in Southern Africa to use their physical flows to offer cash withdrawals and deposit services for their customers.

Akinin founded JABU in mid-2020 to fix Namibia’s inefficient and almost nonexistent supply chain and distribution.

Its platform connects over 6,000 retailers to local and multinational suppliers such as Namibia Breweries Limited, Bokomo, Coca-Cola, Namib Mills and digitizes orders, payments and logistics.

The Namibian startup has its fleet of vehicles along with eight distribution centers.

 Suppliers using the platform have dashboards to see where their products are being delivered, check key performance indicators and book merchandising. They can also make advertising and marketing campaigns at shops, perform product giveaways and tap into merchandising revenue.

Jabu currently operates in five African countries.

Namibians could soon be asked to pay additional taxes on information and communication technologies (ICTs) gadgets as the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) proposes a Bill that will charge an additional levy on imported devices such as mobile phones, computers, hard drives, printers, photocopy machines, scanners and USB sticks among others.

RMB Namibia maintains that increased mining output and investments in renewable energy are likely to continue to drive growth in Namibia.

Newly appointed Acting Public Enterprises minister, Ipumbi Shiimi has also come out in support of TransNamib, dismissing the possibility of the railway company being liquidated.

The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) says the preservation of retirement benefits will ensure that a portion of employees' retirement savings is preserved throughout their working lives.

Standard Bank Namibia says it is ready to fund more projects in the country for economic development.

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