By Confidence Musariri
September 2011
Editors Note

The secret to surviving a bad economic period is opportunity recognition, but regardless of how bad or good an economy may seem, people still ask for credit.

Pieré Clarke offers some guidance on how credit has been functioning within Standard Bank Namibia in this month’s cover story.

That the rate of SMEs — who form the higher credit risk in Namibia — defaulting is around 2% is commendable as it drives home the notion that SMEs are bad business partners.

Clarke offers sound advice when she notes that when the world emerges from this current financial upheaval, the economic power centre may well have shifted.

That is particularly correct, because there has been massive fear world over and concern that the entire world may completely cease to function, someday soon.

Yet, even during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the world functioned and 75% of the West was employed. In fact, some people actually became wealthy during the Great Depression because they were able to identify opportunities and capture it.

Perhaps, there is need for Namibian businesses to reshape themselves for the windfall from the world economic panic.

One great example of success during the Great Depression is the motion picture industry. People were distressed and fearful about their economic condition such that they needed emotional relief and movies became an escape route. Opportunity always exists, even though it may be harder to recognise them in tough times because they come in different forms.

Besides talking about Standard Bank Namibia’s general credit performances in the world, and in Namibia, Pieré Clarke hints on leading one of the bank’s most crucial departments.

Much of this edition focuses on business leadership, which forms the fundamental thesis of our motto, ‘where business ownership matters’.

The book under review this month, Sakaria Nicodemus’ ‘Principles for the 21st Century Leader’ adds emphasises to those in leadership and those aspiring to be the next business, social and political leaders.

The majority of articles in this edition are meant to help readers become better professionals by providing them with the language they need for work or for a business.

You will find the article on the Namibia Institute of People Management (IPM) in the Prime Business section eye opening. It can help organisations gain insight into a better human resource framework.

Human resource management covers more ground than people might initially imagine. It is a process of working with people so that they and their organisations reach full potential even when change precipitates the need to acquire new skills, assume new responsibilities and for new partnerships.

In a country where skills shortage and nurturing is constant acne in the corporate environment, the Prime Business section should give direction to where organisations and individual companies can look to.

Mighty Amukwa, the new President of the Hake Association of Namibia (HAN) features in our profile section where he also discusses his leadership ambitions and qualities.

At the end of the day, this edition concludes that there is a huge difference between too much management and not enough leadership in today’s business world.

While focusing on Amukwa’s business acumen, we have also centred our regional and fishing pages to the coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

The harsh spectacle of Swakopmund developing at a faster pace than Walvis Bay over the years is brought before the feat of the Erongo Governor.

We hope you will not only enjoy this edition, but benefit from its unique business content. PF