Advancing beneficial ownership transparency in Namibia

  • Publication date: 12 February 2024
  • Authors: Christopher Barwa, Karabo Rajuili
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The series of events gathered almost 150 participants, including representatives of implementing agencies, government data users, the private sector, industry bodies, and non-profit organisations

In November and December 2023, Namibia’s Financial Intelligence Centre, in partnership with Open Ownership (OO), held a series of engagements in Windhoek, Namibia to raise awareness and build the capacity of stakeholders on beneficial ownership transparency (BOT) in Namibia, as well as map out the next steps for the key implementing partners. In August 2023, Namibia enacted new legal provisions for the collection, storage, and publication of the beneficial ownership (BO) data of companies, close corporations, and trusts. The engagement sessions included stakeholders such as trust and company service providers, government data users, financial sector representatives, and civil society. Key government agencies included the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the Master of the High Court (MoHC) responsible for the BO trusts registry, and the corporate registry, the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) responsible for the BO companies registry.

OO has been working closely with Namibian government agencies since July 2022 to advance BOT as part of Namibia’s efforts to tackle financial crime and corruption, and address actions from the September 2022 Financial Action Task Force Mutual Evaluation Report.

Trust and company service providers consultation

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The workshop provided an excellent platform for participants to share valuable insights, concerns, and suggestions on the current BOT framework

The FIC and OO first stakeholder outreach workshop was a hybrid event, with over 50 representatives of trust and company service providers (TCSPs). The FIC, BIPA, and the MoHC together with the OO team and an expert from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative facilitated sessions on international standards, BO requirements for TCSPs, and understanding the relevant legal aspects for corporate vehicles, data submission procedures, and use cases.

“Trust and company service providers play an essential role in enforcing BO rules and guarding the economic and financial system from criminal abuse.” – Sol Krause, Financial Sector Specialist, Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative

The session helped to increase the technical capacity of TCSPs on updated BOT requirements. The workshop also served as a platform to gather valuable insights, concerns, and suggestions on the current BOT procedures and development of ICT infrastructure.


In this video, TCSP representatives share their thoughts on BOT frameworks in Namibia and how they can apply learning from the workshop in their institutions.

Key takeaways

  • Participants noted a need for enhanced collaboration between implementing agencies and TCSPs to ensure effective implementation of BOT.
  • Participants emphasised the importance of refining laws, particularly in defining access to beneficial ownership information (BOI) and beneficial owners, with a specific focus on foreign entities.
  • Participants called for the design of user-friendly systems to streamline the collection of BOI, reduce duplication of submissions, and improve compliance.
  • Stakeholders also called for activities to increase awareness of BOT implementation among TSCPs.

Training for government data users: Law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies

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Participants discussed practical examples of how BO data has been used in corruption and money-laundering cases

OO’s second workshop in December 2023 gathered some 50 government data users, including law enforcement authorities and anti-corruption agencies. Participants increased their understanding of BOT and learned about the guidelines, standards, and methods for accessing BOI.

“Our stakeholders are now very informed and have a better understanding of the beneficial ownership concept. Our competent authorities [and] our law enforcement agencies now appreciate the importance of collecting and the usage of this information.” – Maggie Likoro, Compliance Manager at BIPA

Key takeaways

  • Participants recommended clarification of the definition of competent authorities in the law.
  • Participants expressed a need for capacity building to streamline access to information via the existing systems.
  • OO gained insights into data users' needs, aiding in refining implementation plans.
  • Data users improved their understanding of BOT and requested additional practical sessions from OO.
  • Participants recognised the importance of inter-agency collaboration, coordination, and partnerships for effective BOT implementation.


In this video, Zenobia Barry, Acting Director General of the Financial Intelligence Centre, summarises Namibia’s BOT progress and touches on the value of the workshop series.

Workshop for civil society organisations and non-profits

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Participants shared ideas on how collaboration and coordination among key actors could be improved

The final session brought together industry bodies, local civil society organisations, and non-profit organisations, featuring presentations by OO staff, BIPA, and the MoHC.

Key takeaways

  • Participants identified the need for increased awareness and more engagement among relevant stakeholders.
  • Participants also identified the need for system integration to ensure effective BOT implementation.
  • Participants expressed a desire for more collaboration between key implementing agencies.
  • Participants stressed the importance of real-time access to BOI and requested that financial institutions be given access to the BO register.
  • Non-profits highlighted their need to understand donor information in order to reduce risks.


In this video from the workshop for civil society organisations and non-profits, partners and participants share reflections on Namibia’s BOT journey and the workshop series.

Implementation roundtable: Mapping out the path ahead

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Participants discussed the legislative progress, next steps, and expected milestones relating to BOT implementation

In November 2023, the FIC and OO hosted a roundtable discussion on BOT implementation with representatives from key agencies, including the MoHC and BIPA.

Key takeaways

The agencies discussed Namibia’s BOT progress, challenges, and opportunities. During the session, a clear path forward for the key partners was mapped out, including areas where OO could provide technical assistance. This included verification methods for BO data submitted, support to external contractors developing BO registers for the FIC and the MoHC, along with guidance to improve compliance.

Next steps in Namibia

The workshops provided a platform for diverse stakeholders to gain theoretical and practical insights into Namibia’s progress on BOT implementation and to map out the next steps.

“The workshop’s added value for this work is immense. With the changing of the laws, it’s mostly theoretical, but what was needed was the practical application of the law. With this week’s sessions, I can see the lights going on [for] participants; this is what we needed.” – Zenobia Barry, Acting Director of the FIC

The workshops addressed the immediate concerns of key stakeholders and set the tone for a more collaborative approach in the progression of BOT in Namibia. In this regard, OO remains a major technical partner to the Government of Namibia.

Publication type
Blog post

Country focus