The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry last Friday elected a new national leadership at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), with Mr Bisey Uirab as the new president.

Apart from Mr Sven Thieme, the outgoing president of NCCI, who gave a valedictory address, many other business leaders also spoke passionately about the state of the Namibian economy.

Apartheid can be attributed as a continuing contributing factor to the inequality that exists in Namibia, “but we must take responsibility for our failings and shortcomings,” said Ms Nangula Uaandja, the country’s senior partner of accounting firm PwC.

Uaandja stated that she wanted to highlight the deficiencies and shortcomings of Namibia’s business leaders in order to challenge the collective body to do better going forward.

Bank of Namibia Governor Mr Johannes !Gawaxab addressed the NCCI members and invited guests at the Chamber’s AGM on Namibia’s economic prospects in the near future. !Gawaxab outlined what had to be done to manage the risks during the economically devastating period of Covid-19.

“But Namibia cannot have another lockdown,” !Gawaxab cautioned. “We just can’t afford it. So let me appeal to all Namibians to rigidly observe health and safety protocols to avoid such radical actions.”

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Ms Lucia Iipumbu applauded the NCCI for its swift responsiveness and by working closely with the government and other stakeholders when the country had to make difficult decisions and take swift actions to manage the fallout of corona virus.

“The Government of Namibia has refocused attention on policies and programmes that facilitate and promote value addition, expand trade opportunities domestically, regionally and internationally,” Iipumbu told the meeting.

She further stated that partnership between the private and public sector is the only way going forward.

Dr Leake Hangala closed the meeting with a vote of thanks, and in conclusion he pointed out the crucially important and leading role that a country’s private sector plays in growing the economy.

The incoming NCCI leadership has Bisey Uirab as the president, Ian Collard as 1st vice-president and Patty Karuaihe-Martin as 2nd vice-president.

The presidential trio will be supported by a board of directors that comprises representation from the national corporate, corporate, branch and SME membership categories.

NCCI immediate past president Sven Thieme serves as an ex officio board member as does the chief executive officer Ms Charity Mwiya.

Two past presidents serve as honorary members of the board with no voting rights.

In the photo: NCCI’s new leadership; seated are the president Mr Bisey Uirab flanked by his two vice-presidents Mr Ian Collard and Ms Patty Karuaihe-Martin.