By Mbatjiua Ngavirue
WINDHOEK – First National Bank of Namibia marked its centenary celebrations with a festive and colourful event on Tuesday in Windhoek’s Independence Avenue.
Many invited guests, as well as a large vocal FNB staff contingent, attended the festivities despite almost below freezing temperatures.
The evening culminated in spectacular pyrotechnics above the FNB main branch, with the night sky lit up with the words “FNB 100”.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr Albert Kawana, represented President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the event.
Speaking on behalf of the President, Kawana said FNB exemplified the timeless values of honour, dignity, respect and commitment and had remained unchanged over the years.
In many instances, he added, the values embodied by the bank distinguished a successful business from otherwise short-lived ventures.
“The story and indeed the history of FNB holds ample lessons for Namibia, particularly for our entrepreneurs, as we march on the path towards the achievement of our development goals,” he said.
Kawana commended the significant work done by the FNB Foundation, especially in areas where they complemented government programmes. These included areas to address poverty, lack of educational opportunities and other social needs affecting the country’s communities.
He called on the private sector to make sustained investments towards the development of human capital in the country, adding that Namibia needs structured plans to equip the workforce with skills and competencies that can make them productive and competitive in the 21st century.
Kawana, speaking for President Pohamba, however expressed grave concern over recent reports that Namibia’s ranking in continental and regional competitiveness indexes had weakened.
“There are fundamental questions that we need to answer. We must re-examine the skills levels in our workforce to see whether our country can move forward sustainably with current skill levels,” he said.