Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

1 February 2013

Namibia: Central Bank's Back-Up Plans for Continuity After Disaster

A new Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery facility which will enalble the cental bank to continue with its operations after a disaster, is nearly completed.

This facility of the Bank of Namibia in Prosperita is currently under construction and is expected to be complete by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Construction on the facility commenced in 2011. The facility is intended to ensure that the bank can continue to perform its operations uninterrupted during and after emergencies. The facility will be equipped with state of the art technology that replicate and back up all critical IT systems.

According to the Director of Strategic Communications and Financial Sector Development at the Bank of Namibia, Ndangi Katoma, the project is a significant capital investment and is of strategic importance to the bank. "The importance of establishing a disaster recovery facility for the Bank of Namibia is to comply with international Core Principle VII of the "core principles for systemically important payment systems" (CPSS). This principle requires an operational system that ensures a high degree of security and operational reliability. It also requires contingency arrangements that should be in place for timely completion of daily processing," said Katoma.

Katoma further said the principle requires the system's business continuity arrangements to include a second processing site. "In other words, the primary logic for the disaster recovery facility is to be able to continue to provide settlement services in the event of a severe outage, disruption or disaster. There fore, most key financial institutions in Namibia are required to and do have disaster recovery facilities," he said.

The location of the facility is strategically placed off-site, which according to Katoma, should be far enough away from the local risks and on a different infrastructure backbone while maintaining easy accessibility when required."Prosperita happened to be the area where the required size land was available to suit the bank's needs. The area is easily accessible and a fair distance from the head office operations," said Katoma.

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