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The Country’s Premium Family Magazine

February 2018 • Vol 2 Issue 3 • N$20

Sven Thieme Kennedy Hamutenya

Namdia, Namibia & its Diamonds

How I survived the reccession

TULIMEKE MUNYIKA @ 33, she’s already a Director of MTC & NSFAF

FEB 2018 • VOL.2 ISSUE 03 • N$20

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Contents Cover Story 12 / The surge of Tulimeke Munyika: Since completing her attachment with Algade in France, the graph of Tulimeke Munyika (TM) has transcended faster than she imagined.

Business 16 / Resilience: Recession Lessons from a Namibian conglomerate: Besides PnP, O&L’s other assets include Namibia Dairies and hotel group O&L Leisure Namibia amongst others.

Andrew Kathindi | Editor 081 800 0250

Kenneth Karamata | General Manager: Marketing 081 667 6552

Entrepreneurship Education (NUST) 04 / Pursuit of Greatness vs. Academic Drift: The importance of maintaining NUST’s very definite and specific nature is itself a challenge, if the institution is to eventually become a world leader.

18 / FNB SME Fund, an entrepreneur’s dream: Flip over to page 18 and learn about the FNB SME Special Fund.

06 / India expands outreach in Namibia in 2018: Besides being the global culture centre of the world, India remains a high educational destination among Namibian students.

Keith M. Tuwelo | Production Manager & Graphic Designer

Group Executive Editor Confidence Musariri

19 / Effectiveness defines Frans Domingues. It is one thing to start a company when you’re 19 and fresh in varsity but to maintain it 7 years later and triple its success is something exceptional.

Operations Officer: Marizaan Bock Admin & Accounts Lindah Vengesai

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Business & Personalities

Fax: 061 254 004 Cell 1: 081 800 0250

08 / Selling Diamonds: Inside Kennedy Hamutenya’s logic: Where dreams are a dime a dozen, Kennedy Hamutenya is proving that no ambition is too big.

Cell 2: 081 122 6850 C/o Sam Nujoma Drive & Mandume Ndemufayo Ave. 6th Floor, Atlas House Suite 24 Windhoek, Namibia

Personality 14 / Faith and firmly less limelight: Justus Hausiku’s recipe: His wife is the heartthrob of Namibian Corporate Governance..

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Pursuit of Greatness vs. Academic Drift


he importance of maintaining the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST)’s very definite and specific nature is itself a challenge, if the institution is to eventually become a world leader. This was shared by educationist Prof Rolf Stumpf, a South African statistician and former Vice Chancellor and Rector of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Port Elizabeth), during the NUST academic opening session.


rof Stumpf challenged NUST to operate within the set mandate, if international recognition is to be achieved. “When we speak of NUST becoming a world-renowned institution, we do so absolutely and with no compromise within its institutional mandate area of science and technology coupled to a specific focus of relevance, application and innovation,” he said. It has been two years since NUST achieved university status and Dr Stumpf says having a central focus has been the makings of a great university. He argued that to be internationally ranked, NUST does not require a different mandate, “neither an expanded one nor a restricted one.” He warned, “In fact, pursuing a more general higher education

mandate (academic drift) will inevitably dilute your effectiveness and impact as a university. To put it bluntly, you do not need to become something else to be excellent, you need to become better, in fact much, much better in what you already are.” In an era where Namibia desperately needs an institution that focuses on relevance, application and innovation in science and technology, Prof Stumpf cautioned that there is no need for another general university focussing on the entire span of knowledge domains and types. “The more general a university is, the harder it becomes to develop a distinctive institutional focus.

knowledge stakeholders in such an institution. NUST by virtue of its institutional mandate already has had institutional focus defined in its Act of Establishment,” said Prof Stumpf.

This is due to the paralysing competing interests of all the


“When we speak of NUST becoming a world-renowned institution we do so absolutely and with no compromise within in its institutional mandate area of science and technology coupled to a specific focus of relevance, application and innovation” Dr Rolf Stumpf.


Of late much has been said and written about world-class universities, a status earned through recognition and acceptance of this level of excellence by others in higher education. However, there exists no definitive set of metrics at the moment that have to be achieved or surpassed in order to achieve such recognition. At most a general set of features characterising world-class universities is beginning to emerge. He added, “NUST should aspire to demonstrate these features as part and parcel of its institutional fabric while at the same time not disregarding the place and value of institutional performance metrics in its journey towards achieving world-class levels of excellence.” But Prof Stumpf questioned why African universities yearn for

E DU C AT I ON institutional greatness when the socio-economic conditions of the continent and its countries are in tatters. “Can we aim for being a world-class university while unemployment levels are as high as they are in Africa? While numeracy and literacy levels continue constituting such severe challenges to economic and societal development, while school and university drop-out figures remain unacceptably high, while some people do not have access to clean water…. the list could go on and on. So for NUST, as for universities elsewhere on our continent, the first requirement is to set your sights for achieving greatness within measure. This, however, does not preclude you from aiming higher each year, while at the same time making deliberate efforts to change the standards of living in Namibia and further afield through your relevant and innovative knowledge outputs and products.”

A vital feature for world-class universities is institutional autonomy as a prerequisite for achieving greatness. Institutional autonomy allows institutions to respond decisively to changing priorities in civil societies and in economic

systems both nationally and internationally without first having to navigate through a cumbersome bureaucratic maze, he stated. Alas, said Prof Stumpf, “Many African universities wellintentioned policies such as national qualification frameworks and concomitant bodies such as Qualification and Accreditation authorities have impeded rather than strengthened the responsiveness levels of universities. The reason why these policies and structures in many cases have become a hindrance rather than a help is that many of these structures are staffed by officials who have little or no understanding of the true nature and vocation of a university. This means that many of these officials become mere appliers of rules and regulations, creating ever more of them, rather than being stimulators of institutions to achieve greatness.”

He stated that in such instances, an institution such as NUST should be careful not to be seen as an adversary but rather as an upholder of the original intentions of establishing these structures and related policies. “This you can do by constantly arguing for these structures to play a role of assisting institutions in their development rather than laying unnecessary stumbling blocks in their way. Achieving institutional greatness does not come to those who wait for it to be accorded them but for those who actively pursue it and who earn it! NUST is well positioned to move from strength to strength. After all the truly great universities did not become so overnight. Within the realistic restrictions and constraints faced by NUST, I urge you all to give it your all. You will never regret it and those coming after you will thank you for it!”

“NUST should aspire to demonstrate these features as part and parcel of its institutional fabric while at the same time not disregarding the place and value of institutional performance metrics in its journey towards achieving world-class levels of excellence.” Prof Rolf Stumpf.

Professor Tjama Tjivikua NUST Vice-Chancellor 5



India expands outreach in Namibia in 2018

Besides being the global culture centre of the world, India remains a high educational destination among Namibian students, thanks to having one of the world’s largest higher education systems.


o date about 1200 Namibian students and officials have received training in India while the Indian High Commission to Namibia currently provides about 150 fullypaid scholarships to Namibian officials and students for both long term and short-term courses annually. But for Indian High Commissioner to Namibia Kumar Tuhin, the opportunities are vast. “For the 2018-19 training year, 22 scholarships are being offered for Namibian students, which include enrolment and course fees, besides a fixed amount of living

expenses for the full duration of the course and return economy class airfares to the nearest international airport and train fare to the place of study in India. Already a large number of Namibian students have been exposed to ICCR scholarships. It is so heartening to meet the students who have studied in India and are making significant contributions at their respective work places in Namibia,” Tuhin tells Us. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholarship Scheme was launched to enhance the academic opportunities for students of African countries in India by increasing the number of scholarships to pursue undergraduate, post-graduate and higher courses. Coming off celebrating India’s National Day on 26 January, Tuhin believes that there is a need to revitalize and strengthen the economic and commercial relations between Namibia and India.

Similarly, the famed Namibian diamonds ultimately do reach India for processing (as 9 out of 10 diamonds in the world are processed in India) but after going through many intermediate layers. If at least some of this business is done directly between the two countries, it will definitely boost the bilateral trade and in turn create mutually beneficial partnerships. Business and investment decisions are however decisions which will be taken by individual companies,” he adds.

“For the 2018-19 training year, 150 scholarships are being offered for Namibian students and officials” Kumar Tuhin

increase the number of persons travelling to India from Namibia. “To the Indian community, my message is to keep excelling at whatever place they are working and to serve as a bridge of friendship between India and Namibia. And for Namibians, the message is that India was, is and will forever remain a friend of Namibia,” Tuhin concludes.

For 2018, one of the Indian High Commission’s focus will be expanding their outreach and creating more awareness about the tourism and business potential of India.

He says while there is already a significant overlap here, the rapid growth of the Indian economy and its size provides a lot of scope for the Namibian companies to do business with India.


“Pharmaceuticals and diamonds are two sectors I can point to for example. Namibia imports pharmaceutical products and India is amongst the largest exporters. But a good part of Namibian imports comes through third countries.


Already, the Government of India has included Namibia in the list of countries eligible for e-visa, which means that Namibian citizens can now apply and receive visas online, with hope that it will

Kumar Tuhin | India’s High Commissioner to Namibia

FA R MI NG advancements, innovations in financial engineering, and government policies. In response to these dynamics, Value Chain (VC) development is taking many forms and methods to address emerging challenges and leverage new opportunities. A critical input in facilitating AVC development is finance, in terms of availability of financial products to facilitate response to changing market requirements and meeting VC actors’ critical needs. However, Standard Bank Namibia presents a different angle and there is so much to be gained, as other aspects of agriculture have evolved in the direction of sustainable development although the potential within the agricultural value chain remains unexplored.

Standard Bank, Head of Agribusiness, Gerhard Mukuahima

Agriculture Value Chains: Standard Bank financing linkages


gricultural Value Chains (AVCs) have become very important in determining countries’ trade competitiveness in a globalized world. In Namibia, where AVCs supports above 70 percent of the Namibian population and employs about a third of the working force, AVCs are important not only in enhancing export competitiveness, but also in developing sustainable agricultural systems, alleviating poverty and promoting financial inclusion, especially of the rural poor.

Thus, Standard Bank Namibia is raising awareness on farmers’ role as a link in a much larger pool than just produce what leaves the farm. Says Standard Bank, Head of Agribusiness, Gerhard Mukuahima, “The ultimate pay-off of the value chain should be agriculture-for-development. It is a natural but so far unexploited cycle that starts with the farmer through primary production and that ultimately benefits the farmer again, along with everyone else in the country.” AVC development has increasingly become complex over time, as sustained efforts have continued to move the country from an exporter of live animals to an exporter of value-added agricultural goods. Market requirements change rapidly, reflecting increasing demand, changing tastes and lifestyles, international product standards, technological

Adds Mukuahima, “This is beginning to change and to participate in the benefits, farmers need to take the trouble to understand how the chain works now as well as the ways in which it will evolve.’

Value chain finance Banks have always taken a risk averse approach to the range of variables involved in agricultural operations, the unpredictability of the impact of weather on primary production, and the equally difficult to predict fluctuations in prices. As a result, the need for industry players to access finance, secure sales, procure products, reduce risk, and increase efficiency has been met via conservative means that are either internal or external to the value chain. For Standard Bank, the fact that value chains are becoming more coherent and interdependent gives banks the confidence to expand financing options, proactively aim for improvements in financing efficiency and repayments, and help consolidate value chain linkages among participants in the chain. Internal mechanisms involve players offering one another finance, usually in the form of an input provider offering a farmer terms or a lead firm advancing funds to a market intermediary. External mechanisms take the form of loans and insurance products from banks. Weighs in Mukuahima, “Both the internal and external options address value chain needs in a fragmented and sporadic


way and tend to be exclusive of smaller or inexperienced operators. Certainly, they don’t meet the needs of the modern agricultural value chain.”

Strengthening the chain “Standard Bank approaches value chain financing with the goal of a deep, accurate understanding of who the players and where the linkages are, and can create finance products and services that will strengthen the chain Finance can be tailored to fit the needs of participants and structured so as to support new entrants and reduce the risk for smaller players of getting into their value chains. Financial transaction costs can be reduced through direct discount repayments and delivery of financial services. Also, value chain linkages and knowledge of the chain can be used to mitigate risks within the chain, including those arising from participants themselves,” thus Mukuahima. Ideally, however, farmers should not be dependent on other players in the value chain including the bank, to help them exploit the opportunities that are inherent in the chain’s evolution.

“Both the internal and external options address value chain needs in a fragmented and sporadic way and tend to be exclusive of smaller or inexperienced operators. Certainly, they don’t meet the needs of the modern agricultural value chain.” ‘This does not mean that farmers need to become economic or finance specialists. It does mean staying aware of opportunities and requiring your industry body to keep you up to date on the implications of shifts in the chain. What you should aim for is to use the value chain for your own development, knowing that if you develop, so will the value chain. All of which will make you more sustainable and turn agriculture into a vehicle for real transformation.’ Farmers, government, and financial institutions should be using the industry’s value chains to better manage risk for players and increase food security for everyone.



Selling Diamonds: Inside Kennedy Hamutenya’s logic Where dreams are a dime a dozen, Kennedy Hamutenya is proving that no ambition is too big.


t’s exactly a year to this month that NAMDIA, a new Namibian government company which is entitled to buy 15% of NamDeb’s run-ofmine production for onward sale to discerning world markets was founded. And this anniversary coincides well with Hamutenya’s 50th birthday. As Chief Executive Officer, Hamutenya is the face of NAMDIA. His experience in the diamond industry, his position in the political landscape of Namibia and his stature in the community, are not reflective of the the physical office he now occupies in Windhoek. Whilst waiting for the completion of NAMDIA’s offices currently under construction, Hamutenya and his team of dedicated managers operated from small rented offices in the city.

“My vision is to reduce unemployment and poverty among the youth in my community and also to beneficiate our minerals in our town and country.” “The biggest lesson I learned is that you must work On your business not in your business for it to grow. We are moving to the new offices sooner than you think. The contractors are just finishing off the final touches.

He was among the young people tasked by the then guerrilla movement, SWAPO, during the liberation struggle, to focus on gaining academic qualifications and experience “so that when we gain independence, we would know what to do with our natural resources,” says Mines Commissioner, Erasmus Shivolo, with whom Kennedy spent time together whilst studying abroad.

Like NAMDIA, this building is unique - in both its history and its design. Moreover, it will perhaps be the most secure building in the city. We will not compromise on the safety of our people, nor on the security of our product,” he says.

Namibia today has the largest reserves of marine diamonds in the world and Hamutenya is best positioned to know what to do with NAMDIA.

​ amutenya’s journey has H been characterised by both humble beginnings and public pessimism.



“Big retailers don’t sell diamonds. They just sell a brand,” he says. We’ve all heard of the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” but for Hamutenya, it seems diamonds are also becoming an investor’s best friend. Rough diamond prices have jumped nearly a third since 2005 and rose to another 20 percent by 2017, bolstered by demand in Asian economic powerhouses China and India, according to wealth research firm Wealth-X. Record prices of diamonds have been making headlines lately. A pear-shaped 101.73 carat “flawless” diamond, for example, sold for a record $27 million to luxury jeweler Harry Winston at a Christie’s auction in Geneva. It’s no surprise that many investors want in on the action.


“We just don’t sell diamonds, we sell the diamond dream and experience,” says Kennedy Hamutenya.

Government to becoming the Diamonds Commissioner, a position he occupied for the past 15 years before joining NAMDIA, Hamutenya has the footprints to steer the country’s diamond trade into the right direction. Already, in just over a year of existence, NAMDIA has so far sold close to a billion Namibian dollars’ worth of diamonds and paid some N$60 million in taxes to the State – over and beyond the De Beers Price book. “We have been accused of underselling diamonds. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we are selling 15% of Namdeb Holdings diamonds for over and above De Beers selling price (our invoices are testimony) why spit venom at NAMDIA but not question the sale of the rest of the 85% by De Beers? If our price is higher than theirs that means the bulk of the Namibian diamonds are grossly being undersold. This is simple logic. We have boxes of our inaugural annual report sitting in our office awaiting presentation in Cabinet and Parliament,” Hamutenya tells Us. He has no qualms with those crucifying NAMDIA. In fact, it does not bother him.He remains undeterred by those after him.

“I lost my uncle, Hidipo as well Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, my first boss at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

“We have been accused of underselling diamonds. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Having been an integral part of the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) for an increased entitlement of diamonds to the local industry by NamDeb,

Hamutenya and diamonds have become synonymous with success. He was appointed as the Chief Negotiator for Government by Cabinet and this was a unique and welcome opportunity. With his insights and experience in the diamond industry, this position provided an ideal opportunity to correct some anomalies that were holding the Government back from fully developing the diamond sector. Of course, considering he was a leading a team consisting of much senior members, including Permanent Secretaries, he had to be humble and tread carefully, he says. Today more than 50% of all Namibian diamonds (U$430 million out of US$800 million) are earmarked for local polishing. Also, all the big stones (specials) and unique beautiful stones are earmarked for local manufacturing.

This is excluding the $150 million purchase entitlement to Namib Desert Diamonds (NAMDIA). For Hamutenya, this was very crucial to give the Namibian manufacturing industry the oxygen it so desperately needed to make the industry viable and sustainable. So as a result of the Diamond Agreement Hamutenya’s team signed last year, some 73% of all Namdeb Holdings diamonds are working directly for the local economy through beneficiation and direct trade through NAMDIA. His vision for NAMDIA is clear. “I want to create an elite international diamond sales and marketing company and to create a footprint of our beautiful diamonds in the international market. I want to see NAMDIA as a good corporate citizen, essential in helping to empower young people and women in Namibia.

Both these tragedies impacted me and allowed me to zero in on my purpose in life

According to net worth data provided by Wealth-X, as of July 15, 2013, the world’s richest diamond owners consist of collectors, dealers, business owners as well as investors who have stakes in some of the world’s biggest diamond mines. So, from being the youngest director in the Namibian



P ER SONA LIT Y “No apology was offered. I was very bitter for many years but I have made peace with God and I have let it go. I used to have the Police case number on my pin board but I have since thrown it away. It is between him and his God now,” says Hamutenya striking a subdued tone. And yet, despite all this, Hamutenya’s star continued to shine and he rose through the ranks swiftly. Again, as he was helping NAMDIA cut its teeth in the international arena, double tragedy struck again last year.

“It has been quite a year... billion Nam dollar sales, a skeletal staff compliment and not even a building of their own for operation, and yet success continues to beckon.” I want to see NAMDIA helping to build vulnerable communities. I want to see Namdia as a partner in education by helping to build infrastructure. I want NAMDIA to be an incubator of diamond knowledge and technical diamond skills to especially our young people. I want communities to say we are better off because NAMDIA is here. I want NAMDIA to contribute its part towards revenue generation (taxes and dividends) that would facilitate socioeconomic development,” Hamutenya tells Us. In simple terms, he wants to see Namibian diamonds selling at Maddison Square Garden, The Mall of the Emirates, and proudly displayed around the necks of Hollywood’s biggest stars. “Because of our constraints we have been forced to sell the entire shipment to no more than two clients per every shipment. We have been trading from the NDTC space and we are only allowed to bring in no more than two clients. It is a very difficult job for one person to split the shipment without sorters. We are busy recruiting and by early next year we would have moved into our building and our processes would be more efficient and optimal,” Hamutenya says. It has been a roller-coaster ride - billion Dollar sales, a skeletal staff working around the clock

But mostly the important thing is that me and my wife are God fearing people and we want to bring up our children in an environment where we promote family and Christian values,” he says.

I want to see NAMDIA helping to build vulnerable communities. I want to see Namdia as a partner in education by helping to build infrastructure.

It is through life’s tragedies that Hamutenya has become stronger. In 1998 his father lost his life in a hit-and-run tragedy around Katutura hospital. The culprit was intoxicated, it turned out, and the death was a low blow for the young corporate who was trying to reconnect with his father, after 20 years of life abroad.

to drive the engines of success, with not even own offices to operate from. Yet success continues to beckon.

They were just five years into their bonding as father and son.

But it has come at a cost. Only the first year with NAMDIA and he has already had to miss Christmas with the family, globetrotting to open new markets, some in countries that know no Christmas.

Worse still, the suspect was never apprehended, having skipped the country to Zambia.

“I lost my uncle, Hidipo as well Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, my first boss at the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Both these tragedies impacted me and allowed me to zero in on my purpose in life and what my role is in the development of this country. These were selfless men who gave up everything for us to be here. I used to write Tate Ya Toivo’s speeches and travelled with him across Namibia and the world, so we developed a very strong relationship. He also knew my late grandfather – Aaron Hamutenya - my late uncle Hidipo and my mother’s father. I have fond memories and great adulation for these men. The most important attribute of the late Ya Toivo was his humility. For a man who sacrificed the majority of his life for our freedom and independence he was so humble and never asked to be treated like a King.” Such experience has been intertwined by Hamutenya into NAMDIA’s cause, and history will be the judge of his legacy, just like his two idols.

He admits his family life has been impacted by the teething phase of NAMDIA, and his two daughters and wife Thusnelde have had to contend with such a lifestyle.

HAMUTENYA’S JOURNEY (Colorado School of Mines (US) Bsc: Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (1989-1993)

“I feel bad as I am missing out on important family milestones. I have children from my previous life and I try very hard to ensure that they have a good education and to ensure that their needs are taken care of. But most of all, I try to make time to share in their lives. They too are growing fast.



Director of Mines

Government of Namibia

Diamond Commissioner:

Government of Namibia


International Seabed Authority

August 2004-2011

Deputy Chairperson

DebMarine Namibia

January 2000-2015


Namdeb Holdings (Pty) Ltd

January 2000 - 2015


Namgem Diamond Cutting Factory

January 2000-Present


Minerals Development Fund of Namibia

January 2000 - 2016

Alternate Director

Diamond Board for Namibia January 1998-Present

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The surge of Tulimeke Munyika

Since completing her attachment with Algade in France where she finalised her research paper on exposure to radioprotection, the graph of Tulimeke Munyika (TM) has transcended faster than she imagined. A one-time chairperson of MTC, she still serves the country’s biggest corporates as director and was recently appointed as board member to the beleaguered Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF). And for someone sitting in a dilapidated government building for the past 12 years, someone who has never worked in the Namibian private sector, her glittering stars caught our attention. Besides, she is just 33. How do you describe your transition across the boardrooms of Namibia? You make it sound like it’s a lot of boardrooms. Duh. With the new appointment as Director on NSFAF Board, I will now be serving on two boards. The transition between the two should be exciting, how can it not be? Whilst the principles of governance remain the same, MTC and NSFAF have distinct missions and this requires that I equip myself with appropriate knowledge for each boardroom. I anticipate the transition to be one that involves considerable reading, which I am delighted to do.

• Director of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (4-years) • Head of Legal Support Services: Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration (4-years)

But was it luck or sheer determination for you to be this high at an early age? We do not have so many women in corporate Namibia upper echelons. It wasn’t luck, I don’t believe in luck. I believe in the favour of God. I also don’t think it was determination only. I have always been determined to do my best. While doing the best I can where I am, I was noticed and subsequently entrusted with additional responsibilities. That has been my recipe; to do the best I can. I would in fact urge nominating and appointing authorities to be openminded and be aware of the bigger Namibian environment, not only look at those who are already in the corporate world.



There are many capable women out there, some are in Government like me. Let’s look beyond what our eyes usually see. But is your leadership and impact being felt? I would be blowing my own horn now. I cannot measure it myself but I believe the impact is felt. One wouldn’t be entrusted with more (national) responsibilities, if they are not delivering on existing mandates. Maybe that is an indication that the impact is being felt. Leadership and the intended impact need not be the type that changes the world at one go; we can change the world by impacting one person, one institution or one community at a time. It is about influence. That’s where we start and it’s not magical. So what are your key priorities then, to ensure that you maintain your leadership in the industry? Continuous education and willingness are key because they place me on “ready mode” to serve. Maintaining leadership should be understood in the context that when we are appointed as directors we are called to serve and to act in the best interest of the organisation, not to just sit and look pretty. My key priority is one: continue sharpening myself. From MTC to now, NSFAF, what form do your efforts take in leading change and how do you engage stakeholders in these efforts? Change, positive change, can and should happen but ideally only after careful consideration of relevant information. Leading change should not be impulsive. I cannot overemphasise continuous education. So, my efforts take the form of first equipping myself with knowledge (you can’t do without it). My contribution is mainly done in the boardroom but not limited to the boardroom of course. There is always need for consultative engagements with relevant stakeholders to the business environment. The mode and processes for consultations differ depending on the relationship with that stakeholder. You cannot leave stakeholders behind. What are the distinct challenges in meeting your mandates in each of the Boards that you sit in on? For MTC, it’s the technical nature of the industry and the fast pace at

C OV E R ST ORY which technological innovation evolves. This is a challenge for me because of my background which is not ICT, but law. You can only make a meaningful contribution in the boardroom if you are up to date with industry developments. So, I keep myself as updated as possible. For NSFAF, time will tell. Regulation. Would you say the communications sector is overregulated or under regulated, particularly when you look at affordability and stable tariffs? Where is change needed? Price and affordability of services, not just in the telecommunications sector but generally everywhere, will always be a topic of discussion, because they are relative terms. My view is that whatever the prices, customers must get good value for their money. Of paramount importance in this eco-system is an independent and competent regulator which Namibia has to ensure there is proper regulation and sufficient protection to customers against exploitation. How do you see the communications industry evolving towards 2030? I foresee growth. Namibia must and will be in an up and forward direction but the growth will not happen accidentally. The national developmental goals are achievable but role-players in the industry must be intentional about realising that upward evolution. This includes the necessary investment injections into necessary spheres. I am proud to be associated with MTC which is intentional about industry growth.

“Whilst the principles of governance remain the same, MTC and NSFAF have distinct missions and this requires that I equip myself with appropriate knowledge for each boardroom. I anticipate the transition to be one that involves considerable reading, which I am delighted to do.”

“Change, positive change, can and should happen but ideally only after careful consideration of relevant information. Leading change should not be impulsive. I cannot overemphasise continuous education. So, my efforts take the form of first equipping myself with knowledge (you can’t do without it).” In the next 2 years for example MTC intends to expand network capacity to a tune of N$1.1 billion through the 081EVERY1 initiative. Telecommunications industry cannot thrive without quality network infrastructure.

of Namibia since completing my studies at the University of Namibia in 2006.

In the Namibian space, I see more telecommunications operators – new ones and strengthened old ones. This is foreseeable because we have the ingredients to make the environment even more conducive. Yes, it is competition for MTC but it is good for the maturity of the industry and development of the country.

One could call my stint there as a fly-by-night type of thing without me taking offense as I immediately left when my current job called, and here, I feel at home.”even though it pays less than what B2Gold was offering me.

I personally want to see more Namibians embracing the available innovations in the market. Let’s embrace the digital world.

It is people, they bring about the results.

You have been an MTC board member for a considerable time, where will the growth come from for MTC, looking ahead?

Integrity, honesty, confidence and open-mindedness.

The growth of MTC has always been centered around its customerbase. I anticipate it to remain so. But where is the risk? Competition in the market will be a risk looking ahead, but looking at the bigger picture its good for the market and it is an advantage for the customer. Risk is not all bad because it can be managed and it pushes us to do better because there is always room for improvement. MTC will be sure to also evolve innovatively. Tell Us one interesting fact that isn’t generally known about you? There is generally nothing known about me so I will give you one fact about myself: despite one common but incorrect assumption of my origin, I hail from the banks of the Kavango River. With an exception of three months in my 12-year career, I have worked for the Government

Well, I got a job with B2Gold between January and March of 2013 as a legal coordinator, but it failed to resonate with my heart.

Is it results or it’s the people? What do you emphasise on?

What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

At this stage, how do you get others to accept your ideas? Three sure ways. One is by being open-minded. I have seen that others are open to my ideas when they know I am open to theirs. This does not mean I agree with everything that is out there but I am open to listen and understand; even if I end up disagreeing.

sometimes I meet people who choose to only see me as a “petite young woman” and disregard the authority I carry. In a time, such as this, (where we must all make determined efforts to develop this country) women must be seen for who they really are and not who “society” has packaged them to be – this way women can be recognised and be availed equal opportunities of responsibility. A recent research by the Hay Group of US company Korn Fery established that women leaders score higher than men on emotional intelligence competencies, do you think this makes women better leaders/ managers? I am hesitant to make general comparisons between men and women because we are all uniquely made. Although emotional intelligence is important, it is not the only factor that matters. Other attributes also play a role. What must however be clear is that women are also capable.

Another thing I quickly learnt in the workplace is that being knowledgeable makes a huge difference. So, I always try to make sure that I know my stuff. I have also learnt to be assertive when I know I am right. This is an important one because




Faith and firmly less limelight: Justus Hausiku’s recipe His wife is the heartthrob of Namibian corporate governance, sitting on over N$1 billion worth of assets. Always on point and dressed quintessentially, Justus Hausiku’s wife Rosalia is the toast of Namibia’s boardrooms. But a rare glimpse is offered of her private life. This is because Justus is one of the most elusive businessman

“I have learnt to create my own standards, and use these as a benchmark for my progress. Having said that, it is also important to keep track with industry developments and global trends – as they at times give focus and direction,” he says.


mixture of faith and business excellence has been his recipe as he carefully navigated his career path shying away from the public gallery, from his first job at PricewaterhouseCoopers and being the Managing Director at Standard Bank Insurance Brokers and other stints at, Development Bank of Namibia as an Independent Non-Executive Director, Old Mutual, and ultimately Hollard Life, a N$300m institution he spent considerable time to set up and make a success of. Earlier this year, he was appointed on the FNB board, having previously served


as a Finance Manager up to 2007, but the apple of this businessman is his own architect, Arch Group of Companies. “These experiences and professional exposures led to the establishment of Arch Group of Companies in 2014 and the following year we started the very first 100% Namibian owned general short-term insurance company, called Quanta Insurance Limited. In actual fact, my training in finance and practical exposure at PwC gave me the initial insight in risk management. My time at FNB gave me the perfect combination of risk management, business and finance. It is there where my passion for business was birthed,” he tells Us. With this business conglomerate, Hausiku assembled his wealth of experience and passion for business into a multi-faceted organisation with long term investments interests in companies with premium brands, attractive growth and strong margin dynamics.


spouses around town. He has not given a single interview, rarely appears in public and allows all the limelight on her. But he is the busiest of the two. A distinguished businessman in his own right, Justus has simply refused to play the role of dutiful spouse for the public. Especially in the age of social media.

PE R S O NALI T Y Arch Group of Companies offers insurance risk & advisory services, fresh produce distribution, information technology as well as property development. Whilst Quanta is in shortterm insurance and non-conventional financial services. With a pressured economy in 2017 hitting the construction industry the most, Arch Group’s business was also impacted as a large portion of its clientele portfolio being contractors, architects, quantity surveyors, and engineers, many of whom were forced to close their doors or retrench their workface. But there were more lessons than disappointments for Hausiku.

“In fact, I saw that some of the contractors were losing money not because of lack of performance, but because they didn’t know the full extent of their contractual obligations nor had the full understanding of the contracts they signed,” he says. Hausiku’s leadership is measured by his influence and impact, but it is impact in people’s lives that satisfies him the most. “My objectives are set in

accordance to what influence and relevance I have brought into the industry and what impact it makes in the lives of my employees, clients, the business community and the Namibian economy at large. And when I achieve these objectives I know I have been able to influence and I have made an impact. he says. His commitment to business is as steadfast as his commitment to his family and God, the latter of which he is unabashed of. With his high school sweetheart-cum wife CEO Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, the couple has borne three sons whom he speaks highly of, humbly putting his faith before family and business, in that order. “I emulate business men and women in the bible and I base my business principles on theirs. The likes of King Solomon, who was and remains the wealthiest man ever to have lived; the likes of the Shunamite woman; Johanna the wife of Chuza, Joseph of Arimathea etc. They bring one principle of the bible that Faith is one thing, but faith without works is dead. This has taught me one thing, it doesn’t matter how anointed you are, if you are lazy and can’t get up and work, nothing will happen for you,” he narrates. Hausiku has come to learn that if God does not release a business

transaction in the upper-room, he has no mandate in the boardroom. For 2018, his mandate compelled him to build five pillars of business, four of which he has planted seeds for and the fifth being the financial services. Says Justus, “I am inspired by the business acumen of the likes of Tate Frans Aupa Indongo locally and beyond borders I look up to Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwean) and Aliko Dangote (Nigerian). I have the best spiritual mentors, who guide me and spend time on their knees, that I may be able to remain standing. Growing up in my twenties without a father figure was not easy, but my mother was my pillar.”

“I emulate business men and women in the bible and I base my business principles on theirs.” 15



Resilience: Recession Lessons from a Namibian conglomerate Sven Thieme’s grandfather, Werner List, founded Ohlthaver & List (O&L), the largest private-owned conglomerate in Namibia. Ohlthaver & List, which has annual revenues of more than US$400 million and 6300 employees, owns Namibia Breweries Limited, the largest producer of beverages in the country. Besides PnP, O&L’s other assets include Namibia Dairies, the country’s largest dairy company, and hotel group O&L Leisure Namibia among other companies.

“The O&L Group showed the best profits ever this time around, amid the recession. It shows that our culture is extremely resilient. Our resilience comes from our people, like Morkel.”


t is now 20 years that Angelo Morkel has been with Pick ‘n Pay (PnP) Namibia. Recruited as a grocery-packer straight from high school a few years after Namibia’s independence, Morkel thought he had seen it all in the retail industry where he has risen to regional manager. Alas, an economy-crippling recession, a first for independent Namibia brought out not only the

best for Morkel, but for Pick ‘n Pay and holding company, the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group. “We were worried to learn that the Southern African franchise of PnP was retrenching about 3500 employees in RSA to reduce business costs amid a recession. Most employees in Namibia thought, if it could happen to South Africa, then the worst was to fall on Namibia,” he says.



With both countries’ economies in parallel, it has become an economic and political apparent that if South Africa catches a cold, Namibia would sneeze. However, instead of the impending axe, Morkel was promoted to regional manager of Pick ‘n Pay Wernhil Park, right in the middle of the recession, and none of the retail outlet’s employees were sent home.

Namibia like the rest of the southern African region is facing rather uncertain economic times. Neighbouring South Africa is on a negative ratings-watch by agencies, to the north Angola, just like Botswana and Zambia to the eastern borders continue to be negatively impacted by low commodity prices.

B U SI NE SS But while the economic growth slowed down to around 2.5% in 2016 from a previous estimate of 4.3%, where government revenue hit a 9% low, negatively impacting the customer pocket, Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman of the O&L Group says the demand for grocery provisions has continued to grow. “The O&L Group showed a great performance this time around, amid the recession. It shows that our business is extremely resilient. Our resilience comes from our people, like Morkel. I am personally involved daily and monthly in the training of our people. About 50% of my daily job is driving leadership. Thinking ahead.

“I applaud the new government measures where no expenses are being incurred without the approval by the Ministry of Finance.” We have sectors that are closing around the country who did not think ahead regarding valuing their people as assets,” says Thieme, listed amongst Forbes top 5 richest Namibians of 2017. “The group has managed to grow despite the economic recession. Small reason we never retrenched,” he says, adding, “Our import and export operations have been resilient to the exchange rate. Our products do not have to wait for anyone. The secret lies in value addition. We brew beer, produce milk and related products, process fish, our retail is 38% processing from meat, bakery and other. In industries where we should have slumped amid the recession like the brewing industry, we remained stable, and now we are picking up gradually. This because the O&L group has created within the economy, its own economy which balances itself.

And the greatest equator is the people.” Recent estimates indicate that the O&L Group generates revenues contributing roughly 4 percent to Namibia’s GDP. The Group has business interests in food production, fishing, beverages, farming, retail trade, information technology, property leasing and development, renewable power generation, marine engineering, advertising and the leisure and hospitality industry. He credits the success of the Group, which has won repeatedly the Deloitte Best Company to Work For Survey in Southern Africa, to the GAP International concept. It was in 2009 when O&L engaged American consulting and diagnostics company, Gap International to facilitate accelerated business growth and for Thieme, that came with the improved dimensions of higher risk, huge purpose, shared goals, selfempowerment. “We became a people first company. Customers second. This helped us weather the storm. In fact, it challenged us to achieve further breakthrough. The Group’s improved financial performance reflects in large measure the encouraging progress over the past year in investing in its people where many of its rivals reduced cost through stronger financial controls. Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) maintained its strong market position despite a strained local economy, challenges in export markets and declining consumer spending. In their results for the half year ended 31 December 2016, Namibian, South African and export volumes increased by 1.1%, 33.1%, and 7.3% respectively. Revenue increased by 13.6% and operating profit was 6.5% higher than the comparative period. But for Thieme, stronger financial controls are the smaller part of the puzzle, from both a business perspective and a national perspective. Calle Schlettwein, the Minister of Finance identified R5.5billion expenses that needed to be cut in the 2016/17 fiscal year where R1billion was reallocated to urgent funding needs.

“I am worried about the national approach. The country has had little focus on value addition. The policies required to foster foreign direct investment have been in draft format since 2007. Only now do we see momentum. Besides, corruption has been an acne. The tenders are allocated to suppliers who cannot deliver. By now, the amount of millions and billions lost to corruption should have gone to schools and hospitals for our people. We need to concentrate our efforts on poverty alleviation, tackling income inequality and achieving economic emancipation in earnest,” says Thieme. With the South African economy expected to remain under pressure over the mid-term with 1.1% growth for the 2018/19 financial and 1.5% growth for the 2019/20, Thieme says a national economic resilience strategy has to be adopted. He continues, “I applaud the new government measures where no expenses are being incurred without the approval by the Ministry of Finance. In fact, the new Procurement Act is key to a national resilience strategy. There are indications that Namibia has survived the storm, but there are tougher measures that still need to be implemented if we have to adopt an economic resilience strategy. Not everyone will understand resilience. We need to create more policies, more value addition. Currently all the right things are being done but at a slow pace.” Simonis Storm Securities has weighed in, “The Bank of Namibia cut interest rates by 25bps this year to 6,75%. Looking at the economic indicators, it is justifiable for Bank of Namibia to cut by another 25bps at its next meeting in December. However, due to the current depreciation of the rand, we expect inflation to remain moderately high and interest rate cuts to be on hold both in South Africa and Namibia this year,” Simonis said. In a surprise move, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Namibia’s long-term senior unsecured bond rating from Baa3 to Ba1 with a negative outlook.

This is a non-investment grade or ‘junk’ status. Moody’s cited an “erosion of Namibia’s fiscal strength” and alleged “increasing debt burden” as concerning. It also noted limited institutional capacity to manage possible shocks and to address long-term fiscal rigidities. Moody’s also saw a risk with the Namibian government’s liquidity. Argues Thieme, “A number of factors led to the current economic climate. However, we are where we are and should refrain from being stuck in the past.

“The group has managed to grow despite the economic recession. Small reason we never retrenched,” Let’s focus on the future and move forward towards creating a future we want for our children and generations to come by fighting corruption, being more disciplined and implementing better policies that would ultimately increase the speed of ease on doing business in Namibia. We need to have a different sense of urgency and as a country, we should never lose the opportunity of a good crisis.” As the lingering shocks from the longest and deepest recession since independence continue, Angelo Morkel has no qualms, no job losses, a promotion, another possible 20 years with the company, all become the fundamentals of an O&L system where instruments in its people have become the greater infrastructure for the technical recession shocks. “Even in the darkest hour of our country’s economic survival, O&L was still recruiting, innovating and promoting,” Sven Thieme sums it up.

Angelo Morkel

“Instead of the impending axe, Morkel was promoted to regional manager of Pick ‘n Pay Wernhil Park, right in the middle of the recession.” 17



FNB SME Fund, an entrepreneur’s dream Erasmus Haipindi always wanted to be an employer. When he left his job as an electrician in 2013, he used up his savings to purchase equipment and gear.


salary wasn’t guaranteed anymore, it needed something extra. By 2016, business grew, they were four more electricians assisting him, and a Unam graduate to work on the admin and finance side of business. Erasmus Electric was thriving! “But I did not expect the economic situation to take the twist it did. It hit my business hard because I had to let go of three of my employees and had to start doing the admin work myself. We weren’t getting accepted for tenders and jobs became far and few despite how good our work was,” laments Haipindi. The two steps forward until 2016, became three steps backwards in 2017.


No sooner had desperate times indeed called for desperate measures, than Haipindi picked up a flier with FNB SME Special Fund. In fact, the special SME fund product had just been launched, allowing small and medium enterprises to apply for funding with the bank, averaging between N$100,000 and N$3 million for their various projects, provided they have met the required standards. Requirements including the business being owned and managed by individuals with relevant skills and experience who are either Namibian citizens or permanent residents, all fit Erasmus Electric’s. All he had to prove was the commercial viability and sustainability of his venture to present to FNB formal business practices, sound corporate governance. He was already registered with relevant statutory bodies and could demonstrate sound cash flows to cover repayment of their debts.

with viable business cases but who are lacking collateral or who don’t have equity on their balance sheet but have a strong business case, showcased by a business plan and also showing reprimand ability through cash flow projection,” Head of FNB SME, Sam Ikela tells Us. Back in Katutura, Haipindi has just dropped two of his employees on a site that need urgent service, following recent Windhoek rains. “I still have one car, I will not rush to invest in more cars until I have paid at least 80% of my FNB funds and the Bank is very accommodative to the needs of SMEs. I never had security for my projects but I can inform you that since I got this boost, I now have the colleteral needed to do bigger projects,” he says arriving to at recently purchased Khomasdal house.

“It struck me. I did not sleep that night. I spent the entire weekend in the office trying to get all the necessary paperwork. By Monday I was in front of the branch and in no time, I got the boost of a lifetime,” he says. With that N$460 000, he managed to turn around his business, he was to re-recruit his old employees, and jobs have been calling lately. “The SME special Fund was basically designed to cater for budding entrepreneurs


Sam Ikela | Head of FNB SME


Effectiveness defines Frans Domingues. It is one thing to start a company when you’re 19 and fresh in varsity but to maintain it 7 years later and triple its success is something exceptional. Now 26, Frans Domingues’ journey with Effective Media Group, has been a fairy-tale. His company now operates all over Namibia boosted by staff compliment of seven, focusing mainly on outdoor advertising and with billboards as well as campaign material across the country.


e meet him as he is about to dash out to inspect some advertising sites at Chiko Mall and Etango Mall in Ongwediva. For a few days, he’s leaving behind a young team, average age, 23, but whose biggest projects encompass Ongwediva, Okahandja, Swakopmund, Eenhaha town councils, Windhoek, Namibia Health Professionals and various expos among them, the Arandis expo. The company also specialises in road-side advertisement, trailers, mall Advertisement, billboard advertising, indoor marketing, branded corporate gifts, website development and other marketing strategies.

“I prefer to employ young people because it gives us an opportunity to grow together. Young people are selfdriven and that’s the culture we want to develop here” Of course, this did not come without due diligence and hard work. Some days he retires to bed around 2am, and by 8am he is unlocking his office.

“I am not as hands on as I used to be. I’m not sitting down and designing, I have employed people that are capable of doing that and moved into business development for the company and making sure the organisation’s goals are met,” he says. Building relationships, he has realised is a key cog in the wheel and most of his time now is spent keeping harmony between the client and the company and within the company.

“I prefer to employ young people because it gives us an opportunity to grow together. Young people are self-driven and that’s the culture we want to develop here.

“In five years I want Effective Media Group to be the media organisation that is the heartbeat of the young people.”

Away from the office, Domingues prefers a quiet life indoors, at the gym at 5am and church.

But for Us, it might not be five years. It might just be tomorrow, next month, next year or even next week for this entrepreneur par excellence. “In five years I want Effective Media Group to be the media organisation that is the heartbeat of the young people.”

Being a young person in this business can be challenging because some of our clients have only known a certain way of doing things, but I think the fact that we are here speaks to our ability,” Domingues tells Us. As a 19-year-old NUST student, he took his love of computers and graphic design and began designing. An advert here, a poster for an event there, Domingues’ passion was finally fuelled into entrepreneurship.




INDIA’S 65th Republic Day In Windhoek




Photography by: Wilson Z. Ziunye 21


Us Namibia February 2018 Side A  

Side A of Us Namibia's February 2018 Issue

Us Namibia February 2018 Side A  

Side A of Us Namibia's February 2018 Issue