Hassle-free money transactions between Namibians, Angolans

Johannes !Gawaxab

Namibians and Angolans will now be able to transact easily across borders using several methods, including visa, credit card and electronic tranfers.

This follows steps taken by the two countries to enact various payment methods that will make the ease of doing business hassle-free, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) says.

Both the BoN governor, Johannes !Gawaxab, and the governor of the Banco Nacional de Angola, Manuel Dias, have announced progress in the issuance and use of payment mechanisms between the two countries.

A statement released by the BoN says the payment methods would respond to the need to smoothen trade-related transactions and thereby facilitate trade.

“Payment systems include a variety of platforms and services that enable businesses, individuals, the government and other economic agents to conduct daily financial transactions without the need to use cash.

“To this end, the central banks explored various payment mechanisms to enhance trade between the two countries,” BoN spokesperson Kazembire Zemburuka says.

He says the payment instruments agreed upon by the two neighbouring countries include credit and visa cards and electronic fund transfers (EFT).

“Non-resident accounts linked to a card product which were only issued on a limited basis in Namibia are now available at most commercial banks for Angolan citizens.

“These are also available to Namibian citizens travelling to Angola. In addition, the popular ‘Multicaixa’ cards used in Angola will soon be Viza/Mastercard branded, which opens another avenue for Angolan citizens travelling to Namibia to use conveniently,” Zemburuka says.

Meanwhile, Angola has made steady progress in making its kwanza currency part of the cross-border Southern African Development Community (SADC) real-time gross settlements.

“Once completed, cross-border payments with Angola will be made faster without the reliance on third-party banks outside the SADC region.

“This would open another avenue for high-value payments to be effected between the two countries,” he says.

The latest measures were sealed on a one-day working visit of !Gawaxab to Angola.

Commenting on the latest progress, he said: “For the exchange of goods and services, we find not only economic growth, but the seeds of prosperity and unity for our two peoples, who share a common border and a common history.

“Our cooperation should not only be transactional, but also transformational and as a beacon of hope illuminating the path for an interconnected future for Namibia and Angolan current and future generations.”

On his part Dias reaffirmed his bank’s commitment to working with its Namibian counterparts.

“With the measures taken today by the Banco Nacional de Angola and the Bank of Namibia, our two countries are one step closer to realising regional integration in line with the objectives set out by the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

“Furthermore, these steps will significantly strengthen the long-standing bilateral relationship between

Angola and Namibia,” he said.

The two central banks also announced a raft of research activities to be undertaken this year by technical teams of the two monetary authorities on trade-related topics to inform policymakers and other stakeholders on untapped trade opportunities.

The latest developments come years after the Namibian and Angolan central banks entered into an agreement to allow the exchange of the Angolan kwanza for the Namibia dollar at Oshikango in northern Namibia.

This eventually led to the central banks of Angola and Namibia renegotiating the repayment schedule for the approximate N$4 billion debt that Angola owed Namibia in 2017.
– tiri@namibian.com.na

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