Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Communications Manager Jerome Mutumba encourages local authority representatives and entrepreneurs to visit DBN at the Erongo Business and Tourism Expo taking place from 26 to 29 October. Although the Bank has offices in Walvis Bay, he says DBN’s presence at the Expo is intended to provide a convenient point of contact for visitors from other centres in the Erongo Region who do not regularly visit Walvis Bay.
Mutumba says the Bank views Erongo as a region with major potential for contributing to the development of Namibia's economy.
Mutumba identifies four enterprise areas where the region can be further strengthened: manufacturing, transport and logistics, light and heavy industry, and tourism.
In terms of manufacturing, Mutumba says there is room for growth and diversification of existing enterprises, as well as start-ups. He says that manufacturing can benefit from the Walvis Bay Corridor and trade with neighbouring countries. He identifies the Walvis Bay Corridor and the benefits of SADC regionalisation as a stimulus for enterprise growth in the transport and logistics sector.
Mutumba points out that support for operations of light and heavy industry will be required for growth of the Erongo mining sector, as well as the Port of Walvis Bay and associated marine activity. This will lead to opportunities for growth of existing industrial operations and start-ups.
Tourism, he notes, can be further developed through the establishment of additional enterprises in the accommodation and restaurant subsector. He says that although Walvis Bay and Swakopmund have a high degree of activity in this field, there is room for additional capacity in smaller Erongo centres and conservancies.
Talking about infrastructure, Mutumba urges local authorities to consider the necessity for forward-looking plans to accommodate population growth in the region, as well as the growth of enterprises. He points to water provision as one area that is currently receiving priority consideration. In addition, the servicing of land for affordable housing, the provision of electricity and the construction of roads are requirements for the sustainability of the region in decades to come.
Mutumba says that the Bank has a sound and sustainable pool of finance that can be brought to bear in the Erongo Region. The depth of the pool is illustrated by large-scale provision of finance for Erongo RED and The Delight Hotel.
DBN has a long and successful track record in Erongo. Mutumba lists N$1.934 billion in approvals to the region, and an estimated job impact of 1,703 new jobs and 2,424 temporary jobs. The largest beneficiary sectors in Erongo have been construction with approvals of N$848.4 million, electricity and water with N$454.57 million, real estate and business services with N$194.73 million and manufacturing with N$116.33 million.
Mutumba concludes by reiterating his invitation to local authorities and enterprises to visit the Erongo Business and Tourism Expo. The Bank opens doors to enterprise and infrastructure finance, and the Expo is one such door.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has released its annual results for the 2015 / 16 period.
The Bank amended its reporting period from the end of the calendar year to the end of March 2016 to coincide with the financial year of its shareholder, the government. The annual report for 2015 / 16 covers a 15-month period. Standard 12-month reporting will be resumed in 2017 reporting.
During the period DBN loans and advances grew to N$3.8 billion as at 31 March 2016, up from N$2.3 billion in 2014. The growth is primarily attributable to the increased scope and larger amounts approved per project.
Over the same period, net interest income grew from N$215.56 million in 2014 to N$339.78 million. Net income grew from N$147.25 million to N$208.76 million. The Bank reapplies the majority of its net income to lending in the interests of development.
For the period under review, the Bank maintained the quality of its loan and investment portfolio with bad debts of 4.1 percent, which is below the maximum budget percentage of 5.0 percent. This falls approximately 30 percent below the recommended level of bad debt of 6 percent advocated by the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI).
The Bank’s assets grew to N$4.59 billion as at 31 March 2016, up from N$2.92 billion at the end of 2014, an increase of 57.2 percent on the back of the high loan book growth.
During the period, the Bank in consultation with the shareholder, revised its lending and investment focus and ceased providing direct finance for small and medium enterprises to focus on the provision of finance for infrastructure and to enterprises with an annual turnover of above N$10 million, as well as business projects valued at more than N$10 million.
CEO Martin Inkumbi said that the shift in strategic focus was prompted primarily by the mandate of the SME Bank to provide finance to smaller enterprises. In addition, the shift is supported by a growing finance ecosystem of commercial lending activities and specialist private funds that finance SMEs. The benefit to the Bank, Inkumbi said, is that it can evolve into its new role as an impactful and effective financing agency for larger initiatives.
He added that the Bank has put in place a sound risk management system which envisages the requirements for preservation and sound management of its own pool of capital, as well as capital entrusted to it by the shareholder, private sector sources and external agencies.
In terms of organisational development, Inkumbi said the Bank is establishing an in-house treasury function to support its capital raising efforts and liquidity management. A post investment and loan monitoring function was created as part of DBN's credit risk management function to ensure appropriate utilisation of the Bank’s funds and to support ongoing risk management of enterprises and projects that the Bank has invested in.
Inkumbi concluded by noting that the Bank put in place an environmental and social management system, known as the ESMS, to mitigate harmful impacts that could emanate from the projects and business activities of enterprises it is financing. An environmental risk manager was appointed to oversee the function.
Solar power for the Otjozondjupa Region. The Development Bank of Namibia has followed up on the success of the Omburu Solar Park by providing finance for the 4.5 MW photovoltaic power plant near Okahandja.
Renewable energy finance powers Namibian energy sector
Development Bank of Namibia finance for Osona photovoltaic plant
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced that it has provided finance for another solar power generating facility, Osona Sun Energy, located near Okahandja. The plant, nearing completion, has a capacity of 4.5 MW.
The plant, which will operate in terms of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with NamPower, was developed by InnoSun. InnoSun, founded and headed by father and son team Grégoire and Thomas Verhaege, also constructed the Omburu photovoltaic park. Osona Sun Energy is owned by a consortium of investors comprised of InnoSun and Black Diamond Investments, a local BEE group that holds a 30 percent share in the company.
DBN Head of Lending, John Mbango, said that InnoSun and Black Diamond Investments have proven to be skilled and trustworthy partners for finance. The Bank, he says, closely considers the track record of all applicants. The fact that the establishment of the Omburu photovoltaic plant proceeded smoothly has given the Bank full confidence in InnoSun’s operational capacity.
Mbango also said that he was pleased that the partners chose DBN as the vehicle for finance.
According to Mbango, the Bank welcomes additional applications from enterprises that have used DBN finance to good effect. This open door policy encourages reinvestment of profits in related or other areas by enterprises that have proven their ability to prosper and contribute to Namibia's economic growth.
Talking about solar energy in Namibia, Mbango said that on the basis of the photovoltaic projects, the Bank has developed a strong body of knowledge on the business model and technology and skills required for a solar park. He added that the Bank will welcome applications from other projects in the same field, as well as other renewables, subject to demand and feasibility of PPAs with NamPower.
Mbango said that privately owned utilities are an emerging trend in provision of services, along with public private partnerships. He concluded that DBN will consider enterprise finance applications of this nature, but that these have to be accompanied by firm commitments from SOEs and / or local authorities acquiring the services of utilities.