Kwanza exchanges in Namibia suspended, for now

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Windhoek

As of today (December 2) the exchange of Angolan Kwanzas for Namibian dollars has been suspended in Namibia. However, the central banks of Namibia and Angola have agreed to implement an alternative mechanism that will allow for the exchange of the two currencies at certain commercial banks in Angola.

The Bank of Namibia and the Banco Nacional de Angola entered into a Currency Conversion Agreement on September 22, 2014, which was implemented on June 18 this year. The agreement enabled residents of the border towns of Oshikango and Santa Clara to exchange their respective national currencies to facilitate the payment of goods and services.

However, after the implementation of the agreement the two central banks observed some challenges, including exchanging of currencies outside the scope of the agreement. Certain measures were subsequently introduced to address the identified problems, but these did not fully address the challenges.
As part of the commitment by the two central banks to ensure the continuation of the agreement, it was resolved to implement an alternative mechanism, which is provided for in the main agreement.

“The new mechanism on implementing the Currency Conversion Agreement will commence on December 21, 2015. The new mechanism means the Bank of Namibia will now issue Namibia Dollars directly to Banco Nacional de Angola.

“Banco Nacional de Angola will then facilitate currency exchange at commercial banks and Bureau de Changes in Santa Clara, Angola. This means that Namibians who wish to convert their Namibia Dollars into Angolan Kwanzas, or Angolans who wish to convert their Kwanzas into Namibia Dollars will be able to do so at commercial banks in Angola,” said the Bank of Namibia’s director for strategic communications and financial sector development, Ndangi Katoma.

In a statement issued on Monday, Katoma noted that in light of the above, the two central banks believe the implementation of the alternative mechanism will ensure effective implementation and sustainability of the agreement. “Further, this arrangement remains beneficial for trade promotion and facilitation between the two countries and will continue to strengthen economic relations at the two border towns,” Katoma added.

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