The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced that it is visiting the Kunene Region from 22 August to 24 August to raise awareness of its financing opportunities.
The visit will be led by DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi.
Talking about the visit, Inkumbi said that networking events will be conducted to inform potential borrowers on the Bank's products and requirements for finance.
Inkumbi said that the Bank has taken note of the Kunene Region's drive for development, and that the Bank is undertaking the visit with the aim of providing financing support to enterprises and local and regional authorities.
He went on to say that the region is in an excellent position to further develop itself. He cited a need for development of roads, as well as power infrastructure to reach the region's community. In terms of enterprise, he added that the Bank believes that there is room for growth particularly in tourism, but that the Bank is also promoting itself to new enterprises which project an annual turnover of more than N$10 million, and existing enterprises seeking to expand.
He also said that the Bank is providing finance for serviced land, and that this will be prioritised for local authorities in Kunene as well.
Since its inception, the Bank has allocated more than N$76 million in finance to the region. Of this, approximately 68 per cent was allocated to construction and approximately 20 per cent to the hotels and restaurants sector. The Bank has also provided finance to small-scale manufacturing, small-scale mining and quarrying, real estate and business services, and wholesale, retail trade and repairs.
Inkumbi added that the Bank is aware that use its finance is subject to regional demand, however visits to regions are seen as key to stimulating demand. He concluded by saying that he hopes there will be notable growth in demand from the Kunene Region as a result of the visit, and urged entrepreneurs and local authorities to find out more about the Bank's products.
Networking events will be held in Khorixas on 22 August at 11h30 in the Town Council Chambers, in Outjo on 23 August from 10h30 at Etotongwe Lodge and in Opuwo on 24 August from 14h30 in the Ministry of Gender Hall.
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Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Chairperson Tania Hangula has visited the northern regions of Omusati and Oshana to assess the Bank's impact and familiarise herself with projects that the Bank is financing. She will then proceed to Erongo to familiarise herself with projects in that region.
Talking about her visits, Hangula said that the regions were singled out for their high potential to contribute to Namibian development in terms of their demographics. She noted that there was a requirement in both regions for infrastructural development, as well as construction. She added that the Bank is also seeking opportunities to provide finance, particularly in three key sectors identified by the Fourth National Development Plan: manufacturing, transport and logistics, and tourism.
Hangula added that the Bank also hopes to make impacts in priority development fields of water security, electricity generation and provision of serviced land.
She said that finance provided by the Bank in Omusati and Oshana was not an indication of the potential of the regions, and encouraged enterprises, state-owned enterprises, local and regional councils to approach the Bank. Hangula added that the Bank's finance is favourably geared to enabling projects with a beneficial development impact.
On the topic of Erongo, Hangula said that the region is in many ways a model for other regions across Namibia. She said that although the region possesses sea ports, long borders with neighbouring countries and multiple access points indicate the potential exists for greater levels of trade. She went on to say that primary sector mineral wealth in many regions could stimulate secondary and tertiary activity, as it had in Erongo.
Hangula also encouraged entrepreneurs to consider opportunities for intra-regional trade with other Namibian regions. There is ample opportunity for stimulation of economic activity within the borders of Namibia. In this regard she pointed to the impact of economic activity in Erongo on regions such as Khomas and Kunene. The Bank would like to see the same model emerge between regions such as Omusati and Oshana.
She described Erongo as a powerhouse in the Namibian economy, and said that DBN will continue to stimulate the region, in light of its contribution to the region. Her visit to Erongo, she said, is intended to cement relationships between the Bank and key enterprises and regional and local authorities, and identify new areas where DBN finance can have a beneficial impact.
On the topic of regional demand for finance, Hangula said that demand was greatest in Khomas and Erongo. She said that high demand in Erongo and Khomas is expected to persist, but that the Bank is currently seeking opportunities to stimulate all regions with finance offerings. The Bank, however, depends on demand for finance, so in order to foster inclusive regional participation, Hangula concluded by urging entrepreneurs and infrastructure project initiators to approach the Bank with applications for finance.
Hangula was appointed as Chairperson of the Bank's Board by Minister of Finance, Hon. Calle Schlettwein, with effect from 1 January 2016. She the Executive Director of Arandis Mining and Managing Member of Umoja Trading, which has interests in the petroleum industry and other Namibian business sectors.