Economic policy

Universities debate economic policy and examine ZAR link

In the Bank of Namibia Debating Competition for University Students, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) won top honors and the N$10,000 prize. Second was the International University of Management, winning N$5,000, with the University of Namibia in last place and a consolation prize of N$2,500.

The best debater is Hillya Indongo who won 2,500 Namibian dollars and the title of best speaker.

The debate challenge was held on Wednesday, August 10, specifically for economics students to improve their knowledge and ability to convey their ideas in a meaningful and oral way.

The topic in their spotlight was the fixed exchange rate between the Namibian dollar and the South African rand. The students had to indicate both the pros and cons and whether the agreement on the common currency area should be revised. Second, they were to explore whether the common monetary area, in its present form, could be extended to other member countries of the Southern African Development Community, to serve as the legal framework for a single SADC currency.

There was no agreement among the debate teams on a single SADC currency, instead emphasizing the divergence in the level of development and different macro-economic conditions in each member state. They saw the harmonization of economic systems as essential before any monetary convergence could be implemented.

Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor Ms. Leonie Dunn said healthy debate allows for diversity of opinion and mutual understanding. This year’s theme was chosen to enhance multi-faceted research and knowledge covering several aspects of the economy, she said, adding that the economy requires a collaborative policy approach to recover.

The debates were moderated by Ms. Florette Nakusera, director of financial stability and macroprudential supervision of the central bank, Dr. Reinhold Kamati, principal economist of the bank, Dr. Johan van den Heever, technical expert at the bank, Ms. Magreth Tjongarero, Head of Bank Risk Management and Insurance, and Ms. Naufiku Hamunime, Head of Business Development and Ecosystems at Standard Bank.

The Namibia University of Science and Technology debate team, with Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor Ms. Leonie Dunn second from left. The team’s skill in arguing their points earned them N$10,000.