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Welwitschia Fund launched

Summary

President Hage Geingob officially launched Namibia’s inaugural Sovereign Wealth Fund, dubbed the Welwitschia Fund, in the capital on Thursday.Speaking at the launch, Geingob said various factors such as drought, financial difficulties, tough economic t…

President Hage Geingob officially launched Namibia’s inaugural Sovereign Wealth Fund, dubbed the Welwitschia Fund, in the capital on Thursday.

Speaking at the launch, Geingob said various factors such as drought, financial difficulties, tough economic times and the recent emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to Namibia establishing this fund, the purpose of which is to fully utilise the benefits of Namibia’s natural resources, by putting aside a fund to counter future unpredictable economic headwinds, as well as to allow future generations to benefit from the natural resources.

Geingob said Namibia is a country rich in natural resource, both minerals and other non-renewables, which all contribute significantly to the development of the Namibian economy.

“Since independence, the successive administrations have used Namibia’s non-renewable resources to the benefit of its people, through the provision of essential services, and the dividend has been evident in the socio-economic outcomes, such as the reduction of poverty and inequality, provision of affordable housing, education and healthcare services, amongst others,” he said.

Geingob added that the launch of the fund is testament to government’s commitment to uplifting the lives of Namibians and guaranteeing socioeconomic progress.

The ownership of the fund is entrusted to the Government of the Republic of Namibia, with the Minister of Finance acting as the trustee representing the interests of the citizens.

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) will be the fund’s primary custodian, responsible for its administrative function, Geingob explained.

“This means that the fund will have operational independence. The decision to have the fund managed by the Bank of Namibia was informed by best practice and the need to keep its establishment costs as low as possible, following the government’s fiscal consolidation drive,” he further stated.

The Welwitschia Fund will commence with money estimated at around N.dollars 262 million, sourced from various local companies and other sources.

BoN Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab, said the fund will target two objectives; achieving short-term objectives relating to the balance of payments and fiscal stability, and achieving long-term intergenerational wealth transfer earned mainly from Namibia’s natural resources.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency