The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA)’s innovations in pension regulation were recognised with an award at the first-ever Africa Pension Awards in Abuja, Nigeria last week. The 2015 African Pension Awards formed part of the second World Pension Summit “Africa Special” that took place on October 5 and 6.
The 2015 African Pension Awards, which were introduced as part of strategies to boost innovation, excellence and commitment to the development of the African pension industry, were structured into three categories, namely governance, pension coverage and socio-economic impact.
NAMFISA was judged to be the best regulator in the socio-economic impact category, based on its innovations in pension regulation, and securities market regulation.
This award category evaluated how countries have utilised pension funds to provide financial intermediation for the real sector of their economies and also support the development of infrastructure. It also focused on how the pension funds have impacted local capital markets and insurance sector.
The Namibian government has passed legislation through Regulation 28 of the Pensions Fund Act that requires pension funds to allocate a minimum of 1.75 percent and a maximum of 3.5 percent of the market value of their investments locally in unlisted entities. Further, Regulation 29 was promulgated to provide a framework under which the unlisted investment should be undertaken by the pension funds.
The expected outcomes of this policy are investments in domestic companies to stimulate economic activity, create employment and to ultimately contribute to attaining the ideals of Vision 2030.
NAMFISA’s Acting CEO, Kenneth Simataa Matomola, said the award is a recognition by the continent of the collective efforts to grow the Namibian economy and create employment opportunities through the investment of pension assets. He added: “This award recognises and validates our collective efforts to deepen the financial system, improve the economy and create a better future for Namibians.
“We dedicate this award to all the people of Namibia, the Namibian government and especially to our late CEO, Phillip Shiimi who worked tirelessly towards the implementation of Regulations 28 and 29, which create the regulatory environment for the local investment of pension assets.”