News & Media

Dr Karuaihe Reveals His 100 Days Plan as Agribank CEO

Agribank’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Dr Raphael Karuaihe, revealed his first 100 days plan at the helm of the Bank. Dr Karuaihe made the revelation during his first staff address on Friday, 14 January 2022.
Before detailing his plan, Dr Karuaihe noted that “I am cognisant of the harsh realities in our country, the extreme drought, flood and other calamities hurting farmers, who are our clients, and therefore necessitating urgent and timely customer service.”

For this reason, Dr Karuaihe has prioritised stakeholder engagements to be key during his first 100 days, as he wants to listen to farmers, clients, the shareholder, and other key stakeholders to understand their perspectives and expectations. “This will assist me in developing the roadmap towards the fulfillment of the institutional mandate,” he said.
Improvement of operational efficiencies is another area of focus, during the period. This is inclusive of cost containment measures, and enhancement of customer service at the Bank, ensuring that clients are served with excellence, since this has an impact on Agribank as a brand. Dr Karuaihe further singled out the plan of building on a good business model that is already established at the Bank, as another action item during his first 100 days in office. On this area, he stated that, “I must say, I found a very well-run institution, and there is no need for a crisis management, I will however strive to improve on what I found.”

The CEO also aims to promote research and development in the Bank, to ensure that data on the Bank’s impact in the country “is well analysed and dissected for efficient planning and execution purposes,” he stated. Addressing key person’s risk and staff retention are also other areas to occupy his time during the period, with the eye of ensuring business continuity.

Lastly, according to Dr Karuaihe at the end of his 100 days period in office, he will present a road map to the Board of the Bank. This will detail his plan and vision for the Bank, during his tenure as CEO.

Issued by:

Fillemon Nangonya
Public Relations Officer
For inquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communications Division
Tel.: 061 2074111 Email: info@agribank.com.na

Dr Raphael Karuaihe Assumes Duties as Chief Executive Officer of Agribank

Agribank takes pleasure to announce that Dr Raphael Karuaihe has officially commenced duty as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Agricultural Bank of Namibia, 10 January 2022. This follows his appointment by the Board of the Bank, in October 2021.

Prior to his appointment, Dr Karuaihe worked as the Head of Commodities at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa; since 2012. At the JSE, he was responsible for overseeing agricultural and non-agricultural commodities within the Capital Markets Division.

Dr Karuaihe is no stranger to financial services. Before joining the JSE, he spent many years in the financial service industry where he had advised institutional clients on investments and risk management.

Dr Karuaihe brings along a wealth of unique experience and knowledge to the chief executive position. The Board and staff of the Bank place considerable trust in him to carefully navigate the agricultural bank during the currently trying times. The Bank needs all hands on deck to mitigate challenges and risks to the agri-business environment, such as the protracted drought and the impact of Covid-19 outbreak on the agricultural sector.

Dr Karuaihe’s term coincides with the new 5-year strategic plan of the Bank, running 2022-2026, with a special focus on business preservation and growth, financial sustainability, product, and technological innovation. This is to enable the Bank, to continue delivering on its mandate of providing affordable and innovative agriculture financing solutions.

Among other qualifications, Dr Karuaihe holds a doctorate in Agricultural Economics from the Washington State University, USA, and a Master of Business Administration in Banking and Investment Management from the Maastricht School of Management, in the Netherlands.

The Board of Directors and staff welcome and wish Dr Karuaihe well in his new role. We assure him of our impartial support in the execution of his executive responsibilities. We are certain that he will take the Bank to the next trajectory.



In the picture from left to right: Dr Michael Humavindu, Board Member; Dr Raphael Karuaihe, Agribank CEO; Ms. Dagmar Honsbein, Board Vice Chairperson; and Mr. Alfred Sikopo, Board Member.

Issued by:
Dagmar Honsbein
Board Vice Chairperson
For inquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communications Division
Tel.: 061 2074111 Email: info@agribank.com.na


AGRIBANK APPOINTS NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

The Board of the Agricultural Bank of Namibia is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Raphael Karuaihe as the incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Agribank, with effect from 10 January 2022.

Dr Karuaihe is currently the Head of Commodities at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa. He has been with the JSE since 2012, where he oversees agricultural and non-agricultural commodities within the Capital Markets Division. Prior to that, Dr Karuaihe spent many years in the financial services industry where he had advised institutional clients on retirement planning, investments and risk management. He holds a doctorate in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University, USA.

The Board and staff look forward to welcoming Dr Karuaihe to our team that is destined to take Agribank to greater heights.

Dr Raphael Karuaihe – Incoming Agribank CEO

Issued by:
Dagmar Honsbein
Board Vice Chairperson
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division
Tel.: 061 2074308/10Fax: 061 2074206
Email: info@agribank.com.na

An overview on farming

Farming is an endeavor that allows a person to be involved in the growing of crops or keeping of domestic animals for the purpose of producing food and raw materials. Over the course of time, farming has rapidly evolved to incorporate technological and scientific advancements to make it a sustainable undertaking that utilizes resources such as land and water efficiently. These advancements have enabled the achievement of food security and significant revenues in many developed economies.

However, aspiring farmers need to keep key considerations in mind when deciding to become a farmer.

Before you embark on your farming venture there are critical questions that one must be able to answer in order to make the farming journey a success. The first and most important question is Why do you want to farm? This question will easily help an aspiring farmer to have a purpose or objective as to why he/she wants to farm.

This question has to be followed by asking What do you want to produce? This question helps a farmer understand that from the wide range of products available, he/she can focus on producing one or two with determination. For example, if one wants to be a livestock or crop farmer, they must decide to either focus on the production of cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, pigs, or crops. If one opts to produce livestock (cattle, sheep, and goats), aspiring farmers should identify their product of choice (breeding stock, weaners, oxen, or steers) to produce from their cattle farming venture. Aspiring crop farmers on the other hand may decide to focus on growing agronomy crops such as maize, pearl millet, wheat, or sorghum for grain production or to produce vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbages, potatoes, etc.

The third question is Whom are you producing for? This question helps you identify your potential target market which will be the immediate consumers of your product. Furthermore, this helps you to properly plan your production to meet sufficient quantities demanded by your target market.

The fourth question is What are your expectations? This question addresses the farmer ‘s envisaged output from the farming operations in the form of revenue and profit. Farmers are also encouraged to keep records that they can use to assess their progress, costs, and incomes. This will enable any farmer to answer this critical last question, is farming a business? Once you decide to embark on a farming journey, it should always be noted that once money is invested, one should anticipate a return on investment, and this makes farming a business.

Starting a farm is a complicated endeavor because it encompasses a myriad of aspects. In no particular order, farmers must consider business planning, finding land, securing financing, marketing, production selection, production knowledge, securing equipment, developing or securing infrastructure, and their vision for their farm. Moreover, an aspiring farmer should be cognizant of their knowledge and experience levels. In the final analysis, addressing these questions may ease the planning process and enable farmers to set up sustainable and profitable farming businesses.

Author: Hanks Saisai, Technical Advisor: Crops & Poultry (Agribank’s Agri Advisory Services Division)

Agribank launches agricultural podcast

Agribank has launched a two-season podcasting service that will cover 8 episodes each. The podcasts will be hosted by Ms Ndeshihafela Shinedima (aka Reina Nelao), the brand ambassador for the women and youth scheme that was introduced late last year.

Podcasts are hosted on platforms that offer ample amount of storage and the content (episodes) can be distributed to various social media platforms. The Agribank podcast will be hosted on the spotify and apple podcast platforms. The podcast started on Tuesday, 22 June and will be hosted every second Tuesday for eight episodes. The first season will cover topics such as range land management, farm maintenance, livestock (Small & Large) production, horticulture production, financial literacy, women and youth, agri-tech innovations, and agricultural marketing.

Agribank has now expanded its social media platforms and can be found on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. It’s Executive for Marketing and Customer Strategy noted that the Bank continues to “optimise its digitilisation and online presence. I therefore urge our stakeholders to follow us on these platforms and to make time to tune in to listen to the podcast at your own convenience”.

Meanwhile, the Bank is encouraging its clients and stakeholders to make use of online platforms to access its services, in order to minimize the risk of Covid-19 exposure. In this regard, clients are urged to make use of online payments, submit online applications, call Agribank offices for consultations and general enquiries as well as use the website and social media platforms for general enquiries.

Issued by:

Rino Muranda
Manager, Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division
Tel. 061 207 4332
Emailinfo@agribank.com.na

Agribank and GIZ series of women and youth networking sessions suspended

Following recent announcement of new COVID-19 regulations by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Hage Geingob, which amongst other things limit public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people to curb the increase in infection rate, in the country, Agribank announces the suspension of the countrywide women and youth networking sessions with immediate effect.

The Bank in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, through its agricultural project Farming for Resilience (F4R), partnered to embark on a countrywide series of networking sessions, targeting women and youth in agriculture, hosted under the theme “creating women and youth Agri-preneurs.”

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH committed funds towards this partnership and the objective of these networking sessions is to provide insight into the various Agribank loan products under the Women and Youth scheme that was launched last year, while addressing obstacles on the loan product application journey. Free lectures, and training as well as a podcast broadcasting targeting established, and emerging farmers also take place during these sessions.

So far, the networking sessions covered Noordoewer, Aussenkehr, Oranjemund and Luderitz in the //Karas region as well as Maltahohe, Aranos and Rehoboth in the Hardap region. The Bank will continue to monitor the environment and the public will be informed when the face-to-face networking sessions will resume. In the meantime, Agribank urges all Namibians of all walks of life to continue to adhere to the Covid-19 safety regulations, go for voluntary vaccination, as well as to regularly wash hands, sanitise and wear their masks in order to contribute to the flattening of the infection curve.

Nghikembua to leave Agribank at end of term

Agribank has announced that its chief executive officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, will leave the bank at the end of July when his term comes to an end. The board has emphasised that Nghikembua has served his full term and has opted not to renew his contract for a second term. He will take up a role as Group Chief Executive Officer of Momentum Metropolitan Namibia effective 1 August 2021.

The board and bank employees thank Mr Nghikembua for elevating the bank to become a premier agricultural lender and for his contributions since 2016. Through his leadership Agribank was put on a new, exciting growth trajectory. The bank’s 5-year strategy was devised and implemented. Financial sustainability became a long-awaited reality, resulting in significant growth in the bank’s loan book, its interest income as well as loan repayment and expense management discipline. The governance environment was strengthened, making Agribank one of few public enterprises to complete its annual audits punctually and hold its annual general meetings on time. Agribank has become a customer-focused lender in Namibia’s most important socio-economic sector, agriculture. Numerous new products were launched, such as the salary-backed no-collateral loans, the emerging retail financing product and the women and youth scheme. The bank’s accessibility to clients was improved with new branch offices at Gobabis and Grootfontein, whilst the Zambezi branch in Katima Mulilo was moved to more customer-friendly premises. The bank implemented a robust performance management system and managed to recruit highly skilled executives, managers and employees at all levels, all of whom have played a key role in the implementation of the bank’s strategy.

Commenting on Nghikembua’s contribution, Board Vice Chairperson, Dagmar Honsbein stated: “It is regrettable to have to lose Mr Nghikembua to the private sector. The value he added was immense, and the board and the bank’s employees will continue to build on this solid foundation.” Honsbein added that the bank’s strategy and policies aimed at ensuring its sustainability, whose implementation Nghikembua dutifully championed, will continue. She further stated that the process of recruiting a new chief executive officer is well underway and the public media will be duly informed.

On his part, Nghikembua says that he relished his role at the bank, adding: “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to serve in this public service role over the past five years. We have done some fantastic things and have achieved quite a lot in a difficult operating environment. We have in place a good team that will continue to implement the strategy to ensure we consolidate the gains of the past years. I am truly grateful”.

Issued by:
Dagmar Honsbein
Board Vice Chairperson
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communications Division
Tel.: 061 2074308/10 Fax: 061 2074206 Email: info@agribank.com.na

Opening of Agribank's branch office in Grootfontein

Namibia’s Premier Agricultural Lender (Agribank), opened a new office in Grootfontein today, as part of its on-going strategy to put clients at the centre of its activities. The Bank has a continuous strategic objective of providing access to a wider client base, through both physical offices and the use of online services. Three years ago, the Bank opened an office in Gobabis, Omaheke region and towards the end of last year, it relocated its office in the Zambezi region, based in Katima Mulilo, to new and more customer-friendly offices. In the 2021/2 financial year, the Bank has budgeted to renovate its Otjiwarongo and Rundu offices to improve customer experience and service delivery at every level of contact.

In his keynote address at the inauguration ceremony, the Governor of Otjozondjupa region, James Uerikua, who officiated at the event, applauded Agribank for setting up a branch office in Grootfontein given agriculture sector’s important contribution towards the Namibian economy. The sector is also the largest employer in Namibia, despite a sustained economic recession over the past 5 years. While the Covid-19 pandemic poses some serious challenges to Namibia’s food sustainability in the short term, Uerikua said there is an opportunity to accelerate transformation in the agricultural sector to build its resilience in the face of these challenges.

“It is against this setting that I consider the opening of the Grootfontein office as an important step towards unlocking the agricultural growth potential offered by the Otjozondjupa region, since this region, particularly the Maize Triangle Area, is known for relatively high rainfall and endowment with groundwater resources required for improving agricultural productivity. “I thus congratulate the Board and all Agribankers respectively for their vision to bring services closer to the agricultural communities and for implementing this vision. What an outstanding achievement in the midst of tough economic and climatic environments?” Uerikua stated. He explained that as a government expects state-owned enterprises to be managed on a financially sustainable basis whilst providing much-needed goods and services to all Namibians, irrespective of where they live. “I am fully aware of the positive achievements which Agribank has been making over the past five years”, he concluded.

Speaking on behalf of the Agribank board, Peyavali Hangula described the opening of the new office in Grootfontein as a yet another milestone in the Bank’s journey towards customer excellence, as it enables the Bank to expand its reach, and improve its accessibility to clients and stakeholders nationally. She said the Otjozondjupa region is an important farming region in the country, which balances both livestock and crop production, making it equally important to Agribank, whose mandate is to support agriculture through funding. “It is against this backdrop that we felt it necessary to increase our footprint in this region. Today, we gathered in Grootfontein to open our second office in the Otjozondjupa region”.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Governor of the Otjozondjupa region, James Uerikua who was the keynote speaker, Grootfontein Mayor Lovisa Iyambo, Agribank Board members and senior management, farmers as well as other key stakeholders from the region.

Issued by:
Rino Muranda Manager: Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communications Division Tel.: 061 2074308/10 Fax: 061 2074206
Email: info@agribank.com.na

Agribank triumphs – Golden Arrow PMR Africa awards

Agribank was nominated for the prestigious Golden Arrow Award for three consecutive years for the annual PMR Africa awards.The award was given to Agribank for being one of the companies and institutions doing the most in their sectors over the past 12 months to stimulate the economic growth and development of Namibia. Agribank achieved a rating of excellent as determined by a random, national sample of respondents comprising chief executive officers, managing directors, business owners, company directors, managers and senior government officials based in Namibia.

PMR Africa conducts a survey annually to measure companies, institutions, government entities and individuals on their contribution to the economic growth and development of the country, levels of management expertise, implementation of corporate governance and levels of innovation. Through the awards, PMR Africa acknowledges contributions, initiatives, strategies, efforts and hard work of corporates in Namibia. The awards are aimed at, amongst others, enhancing excellence, setting a benchmark in the industry and acknowledging the contributions of businesses and employees.

Issued by:

Regan Mwazi
Executive: Marketing and Customer Strategy
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074308
Fax: 061 2074206

Commencement of on-line loan applications

Agribank is pleased to announce to the public, all clients, and farmers in general, that applications for all available loan products can now be completed on-line with immediate effect. The automation of the loan origination process will bring speed and accuracy to the loan application process, better quality and consistency in lending decisions.

Clients can now apply for loans via the Bank’s website. The new electronic process will enhance transparency and tracking of loans and ensure clear accountability in the handling of applications by the different functions in the Bank. These process improvements are in line with the Bank’s continuing mission to deliver better value to its clients.
On-line application forms can be accessed directly on the Agribank website: https://www.agribank.com.na
Issued by:

Sakaria Nghikembua
Chief Executive Officer

For enquiries please contact:
Regan Mwazi
Executive: Marketing and Customer Strategy
Tel.: 061 2074308
Fax: 061 2074206
Email: info@agribank.com.na

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Loans are granted against security of fixed property, investment or any other acceptable form of security (fixed deposits, investments and surrendering value of policies). read more

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