WINDHOEK, 29 JUN – Angola’s Central Bank, Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) has settled the remaining outstanding debt of U.S. dollars 51.1 million (approximately N.dollars 705 million) with the Bank of Namibia (BoN).
BoN’s Deputy Governor Ebson Uanguta told a media conference here on Friday that BNA settled the final outstanding amount on 22 June 2018.
“The agreement was hailed as a significant step in smoothing trade activities at the border towns of Oshikango in Namibia and Santa Clara in Angola,” he said.
BoN and BNA entered into an agreement on 18 June 2015 to allow the exchange of the Angolan Kwanza for the Namibian dollar at Oshikango in northern Namibia and Santa Clara in southern Angola. This was to maintain the momentum of business between the two countries under Angola’s tough economic conditions and shortage of United States dollars.
The two central banks agreed for the BNA to repay the BoN repurchase costs for Kwanzas that have come and gone through Namibia since the agreement was implemented.
As per the first agreement, BNA had to pay BoN about U.S. dollars 426 million (about N.dollars 5.4 billion) in quarterly instalments before the agreement expired in 2019.
However, after re-negotiating the currency exchange agreement to a shorter term in December 2016, repayment was done a year earlier than the original expected date.
Uanguta explained that despite the positive benefits of the agreement in the facilitiation of trade between the two countries, challenges were experienced in its implementation, which included the abuse of the exchange of currencies outside the original scope.
“This invariably led to the accumulation of the debt,” he said.
Uanguta said the repayment of the debt overall had a positive impact on Namibia’s foreign reserves by N.dollars 5.7 billion at the current exchange rate.
“The settling of the outstanding obligation is a demonstration of the excellent cooperation established between the two central banks, which continues to flourish into other areas of mutual interest for the benefit of the two institutions and the two countries,” he stated.