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Wednesday 16 January 2019
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Know your corporate leader

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Who is Erwin Tjipuka?

I was born and bred in the beautiful town of Tsumeb. I am a proud husband and father. I am an ordinary person with a passion to “make an impact that matters” in society.

Take us through your educational journey.

I completed my primary school education at Opawa Senior Primary School in Tsumeb. Thereafter, I attended Otjikoto Secondary School for one year before I moved to Windhoek where I completed my secondary school education at Concordia College. I hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Namibia (1998) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Cape Town (2000). I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2002. In 2009, I completed a Master of Business Administration from the Maastricht School of Management based in the Netherlands.

Briefly take us through your professional career.

I started my articles as trainee accountant at Deloitte & Touche in 1998, took a study break in 2000 and came back to complete my articles in 2001. I rose through the ranks at Deloitte and became a Senior Audit Manager, before I left the firm in 2005 to join First National Bank of Namibia (FNB) as Group Financial Manager. Subsequently I was promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at FNB in 2008, a position I held till September 2012. During my time at FNB, I worked on a number of strategic projects including the implementation of Basel II, the unbundling of Momentum Life from FNB Group, the restructuring of the short-term insurance business, the implementation of the FNB BEE transaction and the issuing of the FNB bonds. I returned to Deloitte in October 2012 as a Partner, responsible for a multiple portfolio of audit and advisory services. In January 2014, I was appointed as Country Managing Partner for Deloitte Namibia.

Who inspires you in business? And why?

Junius Mungunda, my predecessor at Deloitte. He is a go-getter who believes that nothing is impossible.

Which Boards do you serve on?

I don’t serve on any company’s Board, because of my current role as a Partner at a professional services firm. However I provide advisory services to a number of Boards.

What is your view on Corporate Governance in Namibia?

Corporate Governance is still evolving in Namibia. The adoption of the NamCode by the NSX was a great step for Namibia. However a lot still needs to be done to improve on corporate governance for State-owned enterprises. I am however very encouraged by the work and direction that the Ministry of Public Enterprises is taking with regards to the governance of SOEs.

What is your preferred management style?

I am a democratic leader, because I have learned through experience that “I will not always be the smartest person in the room”. However, I am always aware that as a leader, I sometimes need to take the ultimate decision and full
accountability for that decision. I am also a firm believer of
empowering people.

What do you do when you are not working?

I like spending time with my family, travelling and just like many Namibians, I also enjoy farming.

What are you reading at the moment?

BEE 20 years later – The Baby and the Bathwater by Phinda Madi. I like this book, because it is well balanced and critical assessment of the implementation of Black Economic Empowerment legislation in South Africa. With the proposed NEEEF Bill currently under discussion, I think there is a lot that we can learn from this book, in terms of the “good, the bad and the ugly’ of an empowerment legislation so that we don’t make the same mistakes in Namibia.

What is your favouriteleadership quote?

I have many, but my two most favorites are:

“It always seems impossible
until it is done” by Nelson Mandela

“Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve, its
leadership” by Ralph Marston




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