"Aviation, in its entirety, is a key contributor to a country's economic vitality. As such, the aviation industry does not operate in a vacuum, nor is it isolated from the society in which it operates; it is part of a complex ecosystem that will require our combined efforts to recover holistically, benefiting us all," said Hans.
An initiative by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), the Namibia Aviation and Connectivity Forum, was started to rethink and reimagine the trajectory of the industry considering the recent devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by Bank Windhoek, the Forum will seek solutions on how aviation can play a central role in attaining national aspirations, such as the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP2) and National Development Plans (NDPs) and the national transport policy. "Bank Windhoek is proud and honoured to be part of this initiative that sparks the beginning of a new era in Namibian Aviation," said Hans.
Regarding challenges experience by the industry due to the pandemic, Hans said the aviation industry was particularly hard-hit as lockdowns ran rampant worldwide, furthering the economic turmoil experienced.
Celebrating being Namibian
Hans also took the opportunity to remind the attendees that this year marks the Bank's 40th anniversary. This milestone, she said, reflects the Bank's commitment to Namibia as it has become integral to its progress and evolution. "As the only fully Namibian-owned bank, Bank Windhoek's heritage lies in our people, customers, partners, and communities," said Hans. "Bank Windhoek was founded in 1982 to revolutionise the financial sector in Namibia. This is a strategic standpoint that, to this day, holds true and is inherent in our culture and the way we do business."
Hans emphasised that as Namibia charts a path to strong economic recovery, it is imperative that the country comes together and capitalise on the full spectrum of opportunities that will strengthen its economy. “Our nation's survival depends on our successful unity, cooperation, and collaboration as we navigate a post-pandemic reality," she said, concluding that Bank Windhoek looks forward to writing a new chapter in history alongside the Namibian aviation industry.
The Namibia Aviation and Connectivity Forum event was attended by renowned executives and leaders from the government and the private sector. The Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa delivered the keynote address. To be hosted in November, the 2022 forum will focus on how Namibia can re-emerge from the recent pandemic with resilient and sustainable aviation industry and pave the way for developing a series of policy and structural reforms.