The Standard Bank Group is firmly rooted in Africa as one of the financial institutions with the continent’s growth at heart and as such Standard Bank Namibia recently sponsored N$150 000 towards the Africa Day commemoration gala dinner in Windhoek.
Initially pegged for May 25 (Africa Day), the dinner was held on Monday, May 29 at the Safari Court, marking the 55th anniversary of the African Union.
The event was attended by the First Lady Monica Geingos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Land Reform Uutoni Nujoma, as well as various foreign heads of mission to Namibia and their families.
Formally known as African Liberation Day, Africa Day commemorates the establishment of the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) which subsequently birthed the African Union (AU).
The AU’s aspirations for Africa have shifted to achieving a future of peace and unity through democracy, inclusive growth and sustainable development. With more than 154 years’ experience in Africa and 102 years in Namibia, Standard Bank, also trading as Stanbic Bank, respects and celebrates the continent’s character – it is evident that shared progress and success can propel entire communities forward.
Standard Bank is a leading African banking group focused on global and regional emerging markets. Standard Bank Namibia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Standard Bank Group and locally it opened its first commercial branch in Lüderitz on the 19th of August 1915. Standard Bank Group currently operates in 20 African countries.
“Our strategies are built on ensuring progress for the collective. For example, we sponsor Lionesses of Africa, a social enterprise that encourages female entrepreneurship; we support a number of social, environmental and developmental programmes throughout our 20 markets; and our digital innovations connect Africans to each other and the financial world beyond our borders … Africa Day expresses our hopes for African unity and marks our continent’s freedom from colonialism. Thanks to the struggle and sacrifice of the generations that achieved independence, we get to choose our own future,” Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank South Africa’s chief executive said.
These sentiments were shared by Standard Bank Namibia’s acting chief executive, Amit Mohan, who further pointed out local initiatives such as the Buy-a-Brick campaign that has illustrated that the financial institution goes beyond banking by donating N$1.4 million to the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia who built 40 new houses in Rehoboth last year in a bid to alleviate the housing shortage in the country.
“For us as Standard Bank our slogan is: ‘Africa is our home, we drive her growth.’ In this context we therefore pride ourselves to be sharing this milestone Africa Day celebrations. The future will be bright and as we have seen since the turn of the millennium, countries that control inflation and public debt, regulate business sensibly, construct and respect an independent legal system, build roads and ports and power stations, and find ways to draw people into the modern economy can be sure they will continue to flourish over the years and decades to come,” he stressed.
During her keynote address, First Lady Monica Geingos echoed their sentiments, pointing out the importance of forming fruitful partnerships, investing in the youth and having honest conversations.
She explained that in order to grow people must understand the issues that affect them all. While it feels as though there is generational conflict, it is not more than there has ever been. She stressed that generational conflict is to be expected, but it becomes a problem when people do not respect each other and listen to one another.
Geingos urged both the youth and their elders to listen to one another and have honest conversations, even on issues that are sometimes considered taboo such as sex and HIV/AIDS, thereby creating unlikely partnerships that will aid in the socio-economic development of Africa as a whole.
Africa Day is aimed at continuously reminding African states to unite in order to collectively address the challenges facing the continent.