News & Media

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

Winners of the Agribank Women & Youth loan scheme selfie competition

Namibia’s premier agricultural lender, Agribank, recently announced the winners in the first round of the Bank’s women and youth loan scheme Facebook selfie competition. The competition started in October 2020 and runs until the end of April this year. The competition aims to raise awareness about women and youth in agriculture and how their needs are fulfilled by the bank’s products and services throughout all seasons. The competition is applicable to women of all ages with a minimum of 18 years and youth agricultural entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years as well as agricultural professionals of all ages..

Hileni Namwandi (26) from Omuntele in Oshikoto region scooped the first prize of a N$10,000 voucher. Namwandi farms with chicken and pigs and started a garden where she grows spinach and tomatoes. She plans to buy seeds and other production inputs with her prize money.
Peneyambeko Ndapandula Nghifikwa (29) from Windhoek who received N$5,000 has always dreamt of becoming a successful farmer. She currently runs two small poultry productions, one at her village of Okelemba in northern Namibia and another in Windhoek’s Havana informal settlement. Nghifikwa plans to buy more feed and drinkers for her poultry project as well as some material for the chicken coops.

Teopolina Uukunde Taukeni (30) from Omungwelume in the Ohangwena region received N$3,000 as the second runner up. Taukeni started a backyard garden to feed her family and grows spinach, tomatoes, beetroot, watermelon, sweet melon, eggplants, cucumber, pumpkins, lettuce and butternuts. She plans to buy shade nets with her prize money.
Eligible participants are required to take agricultural selfies while in full production, working in their fields or garden, feeding or heading their livestock, vaccinating or marketing their produce among other things. They are then required to upload those selfies with a brief description on their timelines and tag the Agribank Facebook page, before they invite their friends to like, comment and share their posts. Top three selfies that will generate more engagements are declared winners.

Issued by:
Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206 Email: info@agribank.com.na

Agribank inaugurates new regional office in Katima Mulilo

Agribank inaugurated its newly relocated regional office in Katima Mulilo on Friday, to improve its client experience as well as to ensure conducive working environment for staff when servicing farmers and potential farmers in the Zambezi region. Though the Bank has been operational for some years in the town, the new office elevates the Bank’s visibility and accessibility to clients and other stakeholders.

In his speech that was read on his behalf by Peter Mwala, Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu said the opening of the new Agribank office in Katima Mulilo is a welcome expression of the trust and confidence that Agribank has in the economic potential of the town and the region at large. Sampofu therefore urged the residents of the Zambezi region, particularly women and youth to make use of the office and utilize the services that are brought at their doorsteps. “I am pleased to learn that Agribank has recently introduced the women and youth scheme, with relaxed conditions. It is my hope that more young people and women from this region will take advantage of this scheme and become producers of note. The Zambezi region is endowed with sufficient fertile land and water and if you add productive youth and women to this equation, we can make our region the breadbasket of our country,” Sampofu said.

On his part, Agribank Chief Executive Officer Sakaria Nghikembua highlighted the Bank embarked on a transformation journey a few years ago that encompasses the transparency, excellent corporate governance, employee development as well as socio-economic transformation. “We are the best governed state-owned enterprise in Namibia, I can go on record and say that. We have very good record of risk management approaches and systems, strong internal controls, we comply with procurement policies of government and that is very important to us, if the institution is properly governed then the sustainability is ensured,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bank’s Chairperson Michael Iyambo expressed gratitude on Bank’s interventions in the region which includes agri-advisory services and trainings that saw 682 farmers benefiting in the region. Iyambo appealed to the local staff to continue rendering superior customer service, ensure accountability and extend professional courtesy to all stakeholders. “If we live by these values, I am sure that we will cement our position as the leading public enterprise in service delivery in Namibia while fulfilling our notable mandate in making a developmental impact,” he concluded. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the acting Governor of the Zambezi region Peter Mwala, Katima Mulilo Mayor Charles Matengu, Agribank Board Chairperson and senior management as well as other stakeholders in the region.

Issued by:
Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206 Email: info@agribank.com.na

Agribank launches the women and youth scheme

Agribank launched the women and youth loan scheme in Windhoek yesterday, with relaxed conditions to encourage participation and enhanced financial inclusion. The majority of women are unable to access affordable financing for farming purposes, while current financing for the youth is not at an optimal level, thus the Agibank women and youth scheme is flexible in that it provides relaxed conditions for funding. The purpose of the scheme is to promote financial inclusion, economic empowerment, employment creation as well as to stimulate Namibia’s econonmic growth. Eligible candidates that are set to benefit from this scheme are women and young Namibians or permanent residents aged between 18 and 35 years. The entry age is capped at 18 years and in case of partnerships, 80% of partners should be between the age of 18 to 35 years in order to qualify. In case of limited companies, 80% of the directors are required to be between the same age threshold, while the age limit for women as well as professionals in the agriculture and related fields is not limited.

Other requirements of this scheme include business registration, licenses or permits as well as certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association and identification documents for all the directors. New and existing businesses are eligible, subject to financial viability and development impact. The target group can benefit from all Agribank loan products with the exception of debt take-over and debt consolidation, but preference will be given to climate resilient projects, agro-processing, poultry and intensive farming projects.

Speaking at the launch of this scheme, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), Hon. Emma Theofelus commended Agribank for intiating the women and youth scheme noting that these financial solutions are developmental in nature and government as the shareholder of Agribank is pleased with the launch of this scheme. “It’s pleasing to know that Agribank has taken a bold step to encourage women and youth by designing a scheme that furthers the objectives of financial inclusion as you all are aware that agriculture is the backbone of our economy and source of sustenance of many livelihood in Namibia,” she said. She therefore urged women and youth to utilize this opportunity provided by Agribank to empower themselves and become succesful agripreneurs. “Let’s show our elders that we too can make a difference and that we can take up farming as a business, not only to sustain ourselves but contribute to the national food security as well,” she concluded. The product launch was officiated by MICT deputy minister Hon. Theofelus, and was attended by Agribank Chairperson Mr Micheal Iyambo, Management in the Bank as well as key stakeholders in the industry, with live performance by award winning Namibian artists Gazza, Adora and Suzy Eises.

Issued by:
Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication

For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206 Email: info@agribank.com.na

Agribank lauded for as most compliant public enterprises

Agribank is arguably one of the most compliant public enterprise with an extremely well governed structure. This is the view of the Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste, who indicated that the quality of governance directly translates into credible performance of Agribank over the past few years. Jooste however cautioned the Bank not to compromise its viability, as it has a strong developmental mandate. The minister was speaking at the Bank’s first ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Windhoek today.

Speaking at the same occasion, Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi, commended the Agribank Board and Management for making the Bank vibrant, stronger and dynamic over the past few years. The finance minister intimated that the Bank has done “extremely well” despite a difficult operating environment to show positive trends in interest income, collections and expense management”.Shiimi also commended the Bank for being one of the few public enterprises that produces annual reports and annual financial statements within the stipulated timeframes and obtaining an unqualfied audit opinion in two consecutive financial years.

Meanwhile, the finance minister has urged the Bank to take quick, decisive and deliberate action against farmers who neglect their financial obligations as it threatens the liquidity and financial sustainability of the Bank. The AGM was attended by the Ministers of Finance and Public Enterprises, Agribank Board and management as well as senior officials of the two ministries.

Issued by:

Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communications Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332/Fax.: 061 2074206

Agribank disburse over N$246 million worth of loans

Agribank disbursed N$246 million of loans in the financial year ended 31 March 2020. Of this amount, more than N$21 million was paid exclusively to female clients, while N$52 million went to the youth (below 40 years of age). The bank also extended funding worth over N$15 million to communal farmers without collateral, while over 8-thousand farmers countrywide benefitted from training and mentorship interventions during the same period.

The Bank continues to deliver credible financial performance as its loan book grew by 11% to N$3.01 million in 2020 from N$2.8 million in 2019, interest income went up by 12.7% to N$243 million, while the operating expenses went up by only 4.2% from N$136.7 million in 2019 to N$142.5 million in 2020.

The Bank listed the implementation of loan process automation which delivers clear visibility on the application progress tracking that enforces accountability to improve turn around times as one of the key achievements during the past financial year. Other highlights include the collection of over N$323 million in arrears, while the Bank continues to feature amongst the top 25 postively communicating brands in the country.

Speaking at the virtual Annual General Meeting in Windhoek, Agribank’s Chief Executive Officer, Sakaria Nghikembua, noted that the Bank will continue to “preserve the business through securing sustainablesources of affordable loan book funding. We will ensure new business growth, maintain positive collections trajectory and prudently manage expenses while managing provisions for bad debt”. Our focus is to diverisfy the loan book for climate resilience and inclusivity by bringing onboard the youth, women and communal producers”.

We are also sourcing grant funding to expand the reach and depth of training and mentorship services, whilesustaining high performance environment. Continouos enhancement of the brand reputation, balancing mandate sustainability and shareholder as well as client expectations also remain high on the agenda.

The AGM was attended by the Ministers of Finance and Public Enterprises, Agribank Board and management as well as senior officials of the two ministries.

Issued by:

Rino Muranda
Manager: Marketing and Communication
For enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communications Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332/Fax.: 061 2074206

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