IT'S official. Banking qualifications can be obtained from the Institute of Bankers in Namibia (IOB) from next year, with the first intake scheduled to start with classes early next year.
This was revealed at the first ever IOB new qualifications information day held in the capital recently.
The institute's website was also launched at the occasion. IOB Chief Executive Officer Gift Kavari says the website will facilitate the dissemination of information to IOB students.
"The IOB is positioned and equipped to provide the best education for those in the banking industry or planning to enter the industry in the near future, as it will complement the expertise of Namibian bankers with professional qualifications," he said.
The event was attended by founding President Sam Nujoma, who expressed his delight at the large number of women present, cheerfully remarking that "money in the hands of women is safe money".
Nujoma said local banks' investment of N$1,8 million in IOB is a significant step in the provision of banking education and is vital to transfer skills and expertise to previously disadvantaged Namibians.
"The continuation of this productive investment by the banking sector will help Namibia to produce a pool of skilled bankers in line with the objectives of Vision 2030.
"Banking education will reduce the current intellectual dependence of Namibia on other countries in the field of banking," Nujoma said.
He added that banking education is the only way for the previously disadvantaged Namibians to position themselves as future leaders in the banking industry.
"I am therefore requesting the Namibian bankers and those who wish to join the banking sector to make use of this opportunity and to register for banking diploma courses," he said.
The Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Tom Alweendo, said education has a role to play towards economic growth and without it, Namibia's war against poverty can never be won.
"I encourage everyone to make use of the IOB services. We can only hope to survive if we equip ourselves with sufficient financial knowledge," he said.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, said banking is a critical service in today's world. She stressed the importance for bankers to be well trained and adequately equipped with the latest skills.
"We need bankers who will anticipate problems and plan ahead to solve them," she said.
The IOB banking qualifications are supported by Namibia's four commercial banks - First National Bank, Bank Windhoek, Standard Bank and Nedbank, as well as Agribank and the Bank of Namibia.