Regional cooperation was thrown out of the window when Fidelity Printers and Refineries, which is 100 percent owned by Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, failed to win a contract to print Namibia’s new currency, the N-dollar.
The contract was instead won by a Swedish Company AB Tumba Bruk which will print N$1 billion worth of the new currency in N$10 and N$50 and N$100 notes.
The Namibian dollar will trade at par with the South African rand when it comes into circulation next year.
The contract is to be funded out of the R22million three-year Swedish aid programme to the Bank of Namibia, the country’s central bank, whose current acting Governor, Erik Karlson, is Swedish.
Namibian Finance Minister, Gert Hanekom , dismissed speculation that the triple coincidence of having the Swedish government funding the project, the winning of the tender by a Swedish company and the fact that the central bank governor is Swedish could have influenced the awarding of the contract.
Fidelity Printers and Refiners were the only African company contesting for the tender. Others were BA Banknote International, Harrison and Sons, Thomas de la Rue and Company and Trademark Design, all from the United Kingdom.
Banque de France, Giesecke and Devrient of Germany, Norges Banks Seddeltrykkeri of Norway, Joh. Enschende en Zonen of the Netherlands, Orell Fussli Graphic of Switzerland, and Sirecox of Spain were also contesting.