The Bank of Namibia (BoN), in its ongoing pursuit of digital transformation for the central bank and modernisation of the financial sector to achieve higher levels of financial inclusion, has concluded a visit to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
The visit aimed to enhance the Bank’s capacity to effectively manage financial risks emanating from new forms of money and promote financial inclusion in Namibia through digital financial services. The Bank of Namibia has been actively seeking strategic partnerships to facilitate these pursuits with leading central banks on the African continent and beyond.
During the visit, the delegation from BoN had the opportunity to learn from successful initiatives undertaken by the CBK in financial sector transformation and deepening. The engagement also allowed the two Central Banks to deliberate on emerging technologies, such as Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), stablecoins, and other virtual assets. These novel innovations will require central banks to collaborate closely to enact relevant policies that strike a balance between embracing innovation and safeguarding financial stability.
Said Governor Johannes !Gawaxab: “Kenya is well known for its financial services democratisation agenda, and through its digital innovations, it has achieved a financial inclusion rate of 84 percent, higher than Namibia’s financial inclusion rate of 78 percent. They have managed to do so by providing an enabling environment that has unleashed the entrepreneurial talent and ingenuity of the Kenyan people. These lessons are crucial as we develop our new Financial Sector Strategy underpinned by a reform agenda with Namibians playing a larger role in ownership and management of our financial services institutions.”
Furthermore, digital transformation is a key strategic priority for the Bank of Namibia to modernise the financial sector further and achieve higher levels of financial inclusion. The visit thus provided valuable insights into the successful initiatives of the CBK in these areas, and they will be used to improve policies and practices to serve the Namibian people in this regard better. The engagement represented an important opportunity for mutual learning between the two Central Banks, especially in fulfilling their respective price and financial sector stability mandates.
The Bank of Namibia’s digital transformation agenda is gaining momentum with investments in systems and platforms to support digitisation for increased operational efficiency in the last year. Business units are reaping the benefits of enhanced efficiency due to the digitalisation and automation of business processes. Furthermore, the Bank recently launched an Automated Regulatory Reporting System for regulated entities in the banking, exchange control, and payment provision areas. These deployments are part of the future-fit central bank strategy being championed by the Governor.
The Bank will continue to explore opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing with other central banks in the African continent to enhance its policy framework and support sustainable economic growth in Namibia.