Paul Egelser new Research Economist at DBN

By Jemima Beukes
December 2011/January 2012
On the Move
Former Bank of Namibia (BoN) economist, Paul Egelser has jumped ship for the Development Bank of Namibia to take up a post as Research Economist for the DBN.

Egelser enjoyed a proverbial quick rise within the BoN ranks moving from research officer to economist within one year; a move that catapulted him to a lucrative position at DBN.

Driven by a long standing quest to work for the developmental institution, Egelser suspects the weak implementation and evaluation of developmental programmes have derailed the nation’s path of prosperity.

Asked why he thinks Nambia has not developed faster than it has over the past 20 years, Egelser says he believes it is because, “We have not monitored and evaluated programs that were implemented effectively, If we want to move forward as a nation and in an effort to achieve Vision 2030, we must adress unemployment. We must also keep in mind that improved infrastructure enhances development. We must set the scene for development, the processes of doing business in Namibia must be effective, we must have functional industrial parks to enhance industrialisation. We must have the road and rail infrastructure for easy movement of goods and people and we must have well developed ports to facilitate international trade, to mention but a few,” says Egelser.

He draws his inspiration from Professor Diescho who advised him to cherish the ability to learn from others. He further expresses his gratitude to Tom Alweendo who told him “ to make sure he enjoys what he does.

“You must have a passion for what you do, if the passion is not there, then you are in trouble,” he says. “My passion is to make a difference to inform the country about indicators in order to know what must be addressed. And I moved to BoN, because I believe that the mandate of the bank is close to my personal aspirations.”

While Namibia has good growth prospects, Egelser warns that it is not an isolated country as it is part of the global village and is bound to be affected by financial turmoils in the rest of the world, despite the country having very sound policies in place.

If economies struggle during recessions, they cut on luxuries and If the rest of the world doesn’t buy from you anymore, then you will be affected,” he adds.

Egelser started his career in statistics just shortly after he matriculated in 1990 when he joined the Central Bureau of Statistics as mapper on an on-off basis but was permanently appointed.

In 1993, the bureau sent him to Tanzania where he pursued a Diploma in statistics. After his studies in Tanzania, he returned home, then moved to the United Kingdom where he enrolled for a Diploma in mathematics as well as finishing Post Graduate Diploma in statistics.

Upon his return from the UK, he continued working for the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), before joining the Ministry of Finance in 2001 for a short while as a systems analyst after which he returned to CBS as a chief statistician. In 2002, he joined BoN where he started as a research officer. He was then promoted after about a year as an economist and served BoN for nine years before joining DBN this year, giving him a background in research of 20 years.

As a research economist, he researches on topical issues related to projects financed by the DBN as well as other domestic and international indicators. He stated that Namibians seem not to have valued the importance of statistics in the past but that has changed now.

According to Egelser, an economist and researcher must always make sure that the advice they give is accurate and truthful as most decisions are influenced by such advice and predictions made by economists or researchers.

In the mean time, Egelser, who is learning the ropes at DBN at a fast pace looks forward to the next year, which he sees as a learning year and a year where he can make a difference. He is particularly excited about the foresight of new projects and the opportunity to grow. PF