Namibia and Angola signing currency exchange agreement

17 Sep 2014 15:50pm
ONGWEDIVA, 17 SEP (NAMPA) – The chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI)’s Northern Branch executive committee, Tomas Iindji says he was happy to hear Namibia and Angola will sign a national currency conversion agreement.
Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, Iindji said his branch received a memo from the Bank of Namibia (BoN) that the agreement between the BoN and Banco Nacional de Angola will be signed at Santa Clara at the Namibia-Angola border post on 22 September.
The agreement will allow for the reciprocal conversion of the national currencies of the two countries and is aimed at reviving and stimulating trade between the two counties.
“Of course this will allow business people and traders to legally export the Namibian dollar and the Angolan Kwanza to the two countries and exchange it into local currency for trading purposes,” Iindji said.
He pointed out that the idea is mainly to make the Kwanza legal tender at Oshikango in Namibia to facilitate smooth currency exchange and trading between the two nations.
He went on to say this will help Oshikango reclaim its business and trading status.
Following reports of a decline in trade at Oshikango as a result of the limited circulation of American dollars, the NCCI Northern Branch organised the NCCI-Helao Nafidi Conference on revitalisation with stakeholders in February last year.
“Oshikango was once the biggest and fastest growing town in Namibia in terms of business activities and the amount of money changing hands. Since the construction of Export Processing Zone (EPZ) facilities there, Oshikango started booming on the back of growing consumption in the Angolan market,” Iindji noted.
Business there however started declining in recent years to a point where some businesses closed shop and jobs were threatened.
The NCCI has called for intervention by all stakeholders to prevent the further decline of business activities.
Iindji noted that Oshikango has the potential to grow further and provide employment to thousands of Namibians.
“It was against that conviction that the NCCI Northern Branch called a dialogue to focus our attention and to come up with strategies to reverse the economic decline of this once thriving town,” the NCCI Northern Branch chairperson stated.
Iindji noted that the currency conversion agreement to be signed by the two countries’ central banks forms part of the interventions needed to revitalise the booming business and trading at Oshikango.