One million Innovation Award goes to Namibian food manufacturing project
Good Business Award winner status to Namibia Plastics and Puma Goreangab Waterfront Service Station
Winner of N$1 million in the Development Bank of Namibia 2018 Innovation Award, VNA Native Foods provided a plan to manufacture powdered soup made from African spinach. The product will provide and additional outlet for local agriculture, contribute to agri-industry and be an alternative to imported powdered soups. The Deputy Minister of Finance, Natangwe Ithete, presented the Award, alongside Chairperson of the DBN Board, Tania Hangula.
Talking about the Award, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said the Bank believes that innovation can bring about new products, new business concepts and new enterprises or even industries, which will create employment opportunities, economic growth and economic diversification. He encouraged Namibians to think and act innovatively.
Explaining the Award entry requirement, Inkumbi said the Bank asked entrants to show that they have done the business planning and cash flow projections, that they have thought their innovation through from beginning to end, and that they can launch their innovative business concept in a relatively short period of time, or that they have launched it already.
First runner-up in the Innovation Award, Aqua Greens Namibia, provided a plan to grow food using aquaponics, and farm fish, enhancing food security. Second runner-up Braveart Website proposed a website specializing in Namibian stock photography. This will improve marketing potential for Namibian photographers.
Winner of the Good Business Awards large enterprise category, Namibia Plastics manufactures packaging for leading Namibian brands, contributing to Namibia’s drive towards industrialisation through manufacturing, and substantially reducing import requirements for packaging.
Talking about the nature of the Good Business Awards, DBN Chairperson Tania Hangula said the Bank believes that their borrowers’ success are the Bank’s successes. Borrower success creates an enterprise environment as well as socio-economic development which lies at the heart of the Bank’s vision of national development.
Hangula added that the Bank forms an understanding of client business models, monitors loans and stays in regular contact.
First runner-up in the Development Bank of Namibia 2018 Good Business Awards large enterprise category, Nampro Fund is an investment fund established in 2010 to support SME suppliers that require funding to execute value adding contracts. Partial funding for on-lending to SMEs was provided by DBN.
Second runner-up in the Development Bank of Namibia 2018 Good Business Awards large enterprise category, OLC Arandis Solar is the first solar energy farm to sign a power production agreement with a RED, in this case Erongo RED. Established by Olthaver & List and Cronimet Mining Power Solutions, the company partners with the Women of Destiny Trust to provide benefits to women and children.
Winner of the Development Bank of Namibia 2018 Good Business Awards SME category, Puma Goreangab Waterfront Service Station refuels approximately 2,000 cars daily, provides retail facilities for the communities of Goreangab, Greenwell Matongo, Hakahana, Wanaheda and Otjomuise and provides more than 50 jobs. Banking facilities provide deposit facilities for informal traders and micro enterprises in the vicinity of Eveline Street, as well as general banking for the communities.
First runner-up in the Development Bank of Namibia 2018 Good Business Awards SME category, Ondangwa Airport Lodge focuses on business travel and, in addition to accommodation, also provides facilities for conferencing and events, effectively strengthening the business environment in Ondangwa.
Second runner-up in the Development Bank of Namibia 2018 Good Business Awards SME category, Roadhouse Guest House creates additional capacity on the route between Etosha National Park and north-eastern Namibia, and has created permanent jobs in Omuthiya.
The winners of the large enterprise and SME categories won awards of N$150,000 and N$100,000 respectively, which will be reapplied to the businesses.
While lauding the winners, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Natangwe Ithete said that the Government, through its policies, has put in place an institutional environment which provides finance for infrastructure, larger enterprises and SMEs with the aim of promoting economic activity and inclusivity. He urged project promoters to familiarize themselves with the opportunities provided by the Government and make the best possible use of them.
Development Privately owned solar generation is a significant force for the future of Namibian enterprises, says Development Bank of Namibia Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Jerome Mutumba.
There is a current moratorium on implementation of new solar photovoltaic feeds into the national electricity grid, but solar photovoltaic plants can still lend impetus to Namibia’s drive for industrialisation.
To explain this, Mutumba notes that the majority of Namibia’s electricity supply is imported, and that this limits confidence of investors. Mutumba cites a report by Musa Carter in The Economist newspaper of 25 October 2017, which states that a group of unidentified investors decided against establishing manufacturing facilities in Namibia due to concerns over electricity.
Mutumba goes on to say that although we have various national development programmes and policies that give impetus to the country’ aspirations, if the critical component of electricity to power industrial processes is not available, or is priced too high, economic development predicated on industrialisation will experience a sluggish ascent.
Mutumba acknowledges that electricity tariffs need to be marked up to support development of generation capacity and infrastructure, with a view to long-term reductions in imports of electricity, but this also has to be balanced with the needs of industrialisation, which not only will address current needs of economic development, but also the needs of future generations.
The differences in tariffs across the regions obviously make countries which offer lower electricity costs and greater local generation capacity far more attractive to industrialists. If Namibia is to compete, a model has to be provided which is cost efficient for industrialists and gives them security of supply.
Mutumba advances a model in which enterprises can own their own distribution capacity in the form of renewables, particularly solar. To illustrate the model, he uses DBN-financed solar power facility Sun EQ, which provides electricity to Ohorongo Cement. The Sun EQ facility, he says, secures the supply of electricity under an offtake agreement with Ohorongo, and also gives both entities the ability to agree on rates that make Ohorongo sustainable.
In term of financing, Mutumba says that a facility of this nature may be financed over a period of 10 or more years, out of an estimated lifespan of up to 30 years. Although the repayment is required for the period of 10 or more years, this can be recovered from sales of electricity during that period, subsequent to which the cost of generation falls substantially, and the gains can be used either for growth or in anticipation of future replacement.
This model, he says, should be advanced to industrialists as a solution to Namibia’s power deficit. In terms of the model the industrialist not only profits and grows as a result of core business, but can also profit and grow from the subsidiary business of supply of electricity for operational needs.
Talking about scale, Mutumba says, the Bank is open to discussion about the scale of the plant. He suggests that if scale is a concern to a single enterprise, neighbouring enterprises may consider forming consortiums.
Although this may seem unusual, this model can already be seen in shopping centres where electricity is supplied to a spread of tenants from solar installations on roofs. There is no reason why, given a bit of thought and ingenuity, it should not be applied to industrial parks office parks and housing developments, Mutumba concludes.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO Martin Inkumbi recently donated on behalf of the Bank N$150,000 for construction of a dam for the Tegako 2020 Women in Business Co-operative. Tegako will use the dam for tilapia farming, as well as for irrigation of an orchard of 500 trees and vegetable plots.
Tegako 2020 Women in Business Co-operative is a group of visionary women from Olulongo in the Oshana Region. The Co-operative, which benefits widows, pensioners, orphans, those living with HIV and aids and others, engages primarily in traditional income generating activities, of which tilapia aquaculture is one.
Martin Inkumbi said, the Bank elected to finance the dam as DBN sees it as having good potential to uplift the livelihood of this group of rural women, their families and the surrounding community.
He said that the dam will provide food security to members of the Tegako Co-operative, and hoped that tilapia catches would be productive enough to also provide an income to Tegako, and make the Co-operative self-sustaining.
Inkumbi also linked Tegako to sustainable agricultural practices. He said that agricultural industry is vital to reduce rural poverty. Rural poverty leads to urban migration, which in turn leads to urban poverty. By promoting prosperity in rural areas and smaller centers the Bank strives to balance socio-economic wellbeing across the regions of Namibia.
Talking about the significance of dams, Inkumbi said that water storage represents a current resource for the economy but is also critical for providing a buffer against drought. The further value of dams lies in catering to the water requirements of future generations. In light of this, Inkumbi said, the Bank makes available finance for water storage infrastructure, such as dams and reservoirs, as well as water distribution infrastructure.
Noting that the Co-operative was established and is managed by women, he said DBN seeks to transform economic participation in favour of women. The Bank is well aware of the critical role of women in providing for their families and the benefits they bring to communities.
The Bank recognises that by providing finance for women entrepreneurs, it will strengthen their opportunities to spread the benefits of their incomes and give them the ability to create opportunities for other Namibians.
Inkumbi concluded by noting that the project fulfils four of the Bank’s six pillars of corporate social investment. The project, he said provides an exemplary means of poverty alleviation but also skills development, community health and environmental benefits. The Bank also provides funding for educational initiatives and improvement of the broader business environment.