President Hage Geingob on Tuesday appointed veteran financial guru, Johannes Gawaxab as the new Governor of the Bank of Namibia effective June 1, 2020.
“I congratulate you Johannes Gawaxab on your appointment and appreciate your willingness to bring your talents and experience of the financial services sector towards our tireless effort in building a united inclusive and prosperous Namibian house,” the President said.
The move by Geingob to appoint Gawaxab to the helm of the apex banks comes after the head of state side-stepped long serving Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor, Ebson Uanguta who has been in his role since January 2012. Sources say that he had previously been tipped to take up the top role.
Gawaxab, former Old Mutual Namibia Managing Director and Co-Founding Partner and Executive Chairman of private equity form, Eos Capital, replaces Iipumbu Shiimi who was recently appointed Minister of Finance in a recent cabinet reshuffle.
According to Geingob, Gawaxab’s 18 month appointment is meant to allow him to finish the term of Shiimi at the bank. Concerns have been raised over what direction the new Governor will take the bank which is key in supporting the country’s economic growth and development. The Bank of Namibia must also serve the state as fiscal advisor, banker to the State, promoter of price stability, manager of reserves and currency, and guarantor of a sound financial system.
It is not clear if Gawaxab will step down from the board of Hollard Namibia, where he serves as Chairperson or relinquish his role as Chair of the High Level Panel on the Namibian Economy.