The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has made a donation of N$50,000 to Hope Village in Greenwell Matongo, Windhoek. The amount will be used to erect two Veggietunnels to cultivate vegetables, irrigation for the tunnels and supplies to establish cultivation in the tunnels.
Speaking about the donation, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said not all projects are able to benefit from the commercial approach that the Bank takes. To support projects of that do not qualify for traditional loans, the Bank sets aside a portion of its profits for corporate social investment.
The Hope Village Veggietunnels are what the Bank considers an excellent investment. Although DBN will not measure it in terms of financial returns, the Veggietunnels will create significant benefits for the children of Hope Village, the community of Greenwell Matongo and the future of Namibia.
By growing its own food, Hope Village will reduce its requirement for financing from external sources, and will be able to have greater security by providing sound nutrition for its family in a sustainable manner. Teaching children how to grow their own food, he added, makes them sustainable in later life. With the knowledge that food can be grown at home, the Bank hopes that they can become future producers for themselves, for their families, friends and communities.
Hope Village says that, in addition to food for the children, surplus produce will be sold to the community of Greenwell Matongo, and the project will create employment opportunities.
Inkumbi said a large part of urban Namibians do not have access to agricultural land or the means to produce food, and many lack the skills. Their experience of agriculture is that it is an exchange of cash for bags of fruit and vegetables. If the cash or produce is not available, nutrition is restricted.
He went on to say that DBN has implemented an environmental and social management system that promotes the wellbeing of people and the environment. The donation is informed by the Bank’s concern for both those aspects, now and in the future.
Inkumbi concluded by saying that DBN expects more from the future, and the donation is an expression of that hope.
In the wake of recent reports of lapses in repayment of debt on small and medium enterprise loans issued with the purpose of enhancing Namibia’s development, economic activity and prosperity, DBN Senior Communication Manager Jerome Mutumba has clarified important aspects of mutual responsibility for lending and borrowing, which must be factored into the concept of development finance.
Mutumba says that there is a distinction between finance for development and commercial finance. Finance for development will typically be allocated with the goal of supporting and enhancing economic activity, while commercial finance will have the goal of achieving returns for the lender, without the narrower requirement of producing development. Both, however, will have the prerequisite of returns to capital, in order to sustain their operations. In the event of loans which are not repaid, both development and commercial finance will fail.
In making the choice between sources of commercial or development finance, the borrower will envisage the same outcome, regardless of the source of finance: a viable enterprise that will be a source of personal growth and income. The choice of lender, on the other hand, may influence the terms of the loan in favour of the borrower. A development finance institution (DFI) may, for instance, accept a greater degree of risk, offer capacity development services to borrowers and, under exceptional circumstances, offer flexibility on contracted terms of repayment.
In order to qualify for a DFI loan, the borrower has to recognise the goals of development finance, and ensure that she or he can fulfill those requirements. The first cut decision of development finance will be a clear indication that the borrower can satisfy the terms of the loan. If not, the borrower will not be able to satisfy development goals, such as employment, development of capital, economic activity and other factors.
As a lender, the DFI will have the additional consideration of its own sustainability. It has the moral and economic obligation to preserve its own capital, as well as collect interest, which will be used to sustain and grow its operational capacity, by providing more loans to a greater number of borrowers.
In this way, the agreement between the borrower and the DFI must be mutual, to produce the best possible outcome for both.
Mutumba points out that as the benefits of development finance are allocated from a common resource, such as the national coffers, with the broader goals of development benefits that extend beyond the owner and the DFI, the finance is at the heart of an ubuntu in which the benefit extends beyond the two parties to the loan. Both entities have to be aware of the ubuntu.
Talking about the successful approach of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), Mutumba says the Bank not only ensures the integrity of its lending through governance, but also through cooperation with borrowers after the amount has been disbursed.
Governance surrounding the lending process is exercised through a stringent due diligence process prior to approval of loans, which includes factors such as qualification and skills, and willingness to offer collateral, in addition to the standard elements of business planning and development impact.
Mutumba stresses that development finance is a privilege, and that not all applications can succeed, only those that deliver the greatest impact in terms of the Bank’s mandate. Although the Bank may receive many good applications it regretfully has to reject some in favour of those that are the best of the best.
Due to the quality of assessments of applications for finance, the diligence process will identify areas of risk. In these cases, DBN recommends mitigatory measures to applicants, or rejects the application. Where a project is judged to have remarkable development benefits, the Bank may choose at its own discretion to assist the applicant with development of the proposal through its Project Preparation Fund.
Post-lending, Mutumba says that the Bank maintains relationships with borrowers. In addition to monitoring of repayment, visits can be used to ascertain that the application of capital disbursed by the Bank is used for the purpose for which it is intended.
When enterprises do experience difficulty, this is generally, rapidly identified by the Bank, at which stage the Bank will approach the borrower to examine the source of the impairment and try to rectify the situation, rather than proceed to declare the amount a bad debt and recover it through a legal process.
The Bank, he says, does not have the intention to immediately recover its capital, rather to strengthen and improve the enterprise to preserve the development impact that was presented in the successful application.
Mutumba goes on to say that when the Bank has experienced difficulty with loans, it is often as a result of a lack of administrative skills and capacity. The Bank, he says, has taken steps to rectify this with the implementation of a client development function which provides capacity building in the form of mentorship and coaching, through a network of experts in various fields on business management.
Mutumba concludes that the Bank’s track record shows that the partnership between it and its borrowers is sound, and provides developmentally beneficial results. However, he challenges stakeholders to use the Bank’s anti-fraud mechanism, if they believe there are irregularities in transactions.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO Martin Inkumbi has announced the Bank’s new positioning, “Expect more.” He says the new positioning statement reflects both the Bank’s transformation, as well as its ambition for the future.
In terms of the transformation, Inkumbi says the Bank has grown substantially since its inception, and evolved.
In terms of size, the Bank is now custodian of assets of approximately N$11 billion, a resource which is continually deployed to nurture larger scale projects consisting of enterprise and / or infrastructure. The Bank, Inkumbi says, is expected to play a larger role in finance for development, based on its growing capacity.
He adds, that the Bank has made significant progress in sourcing capital through issues notes and lines of credit from the external private sector and institutional entities.
Concerning evolution of the Bank, Inkumbi says that DBN has adopted mechanisms such as an advanced enterprise-wide risk management framework, as well as an environmental and social management system that better enable it to manage the risks inherent to financing startups in a dynamic economic environment. He adds that the Bank is currently implementing a treasury function to further strengthen its liquidity and capital raising capacity.
In this case, he explains that stakeholders and borrowers may expect more by virtue of a deeper pool of capital, but should also expect robust risk management, in keeping with the Bank’s objective of maintaining financial sustainability. The Development Bank is a national asset, Inkumbi adds, and has the duty to preserve and sustain itself, as well as grow.
In terms of its impact on enterprises, Inkumbi says, in addition to the ability to finance larger projects from a deeper pool of assets, the Bank now gives more support to its borrowers and potential borrowers who require such support through a formalized mentoring and coaching program. He describes this as a combination of advisory services prior to landing, and capacity strengthening and development through a network of business experts.
He says that each enterprise and project is regarded not just as a financial asset, but also as an asset for the Namibian economy, and so the Bank’s philosophy is to provide the additional support in order to mitigate risks that arise after lending, and ensure the long-term viability of the initiative that the Bank finances.
Internally, Inkumbi says he believes that the new positioning will have a galvanizing effect on staff. The Bank, he says, provides an exceptional environment for personal development, and this has been the basis for a high degree of motivation, and high level of expertise. The Bank’s staff are driven by the concept of personal excellence, however, he believes that the new positioning will drive members of the team to expect even more from themselves.
Asked how he sees the future of the Bank, Inkumbi states that the Bank will strive to respond to the priorities of the Harambee Prosperity Plan as well as the expected Fifth National Development Plan. The Bank, he says, also responds to emerging economic priorities, such as the need to provide social infrastructure such as affordable residential land and housing in line with the Government’s development programs. The Bank’s future will be guided by the needs of the nation, and the goal of sustainable development. In light of this, he concludes, the best forecast for the Bank is to expect more.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Communications Manager Jerome Mutumba has announced that the Development Bank of Namibia has provided finance for African Deli, a start-up food exporter at Walvis Bay, in the Erongo Region.
African Deli will manufacture ready-made traditional African meals using beef, lamb and chicken. This will include beef and lamb matangara, which is known as mogodu in South Africa. The DBN finance is being used for plant and equipment.
Says Jerome Mutumba, Africa Deli came to the Bank with an impressively researched proposal. In terms of in-depth consumer demand studies, and following recipe development, Gauteng Province, with 8,3 million potential consumers, was identified as the ideal market penetration point, with the rest of South Africa, followed by SADC member states, as next steps in the company’s expected expansion.
In terms of product appeal, Mutumba says the product is targeted at the emerging middle class, who have strong links to traditional culinary culture, but limited time for the lengthy preparation process required for traditional meals. Africa Deli’s products are packaged in microwaveable pouches, which saves a considerable amount of time in preparation of the meal.
He goes on to say that ready meals have been dominated by European and Mediterranean culinary styles, and the Bank is proud to be associated with an addition to the range of African foods available on shelves. Talking about African cuisine in retail, he points to chakalaka as an example of successful uptake of a traditional African dish. Africa Deli’s range of meals can add to the range of products.
Concerning the location of the factory in Walvis Bay, Mutumba says the location is ideal as it provides access through SADC corridors, as well as maritime shipping routes. The set of industries in Walvis Bay can provide an excellent ecosystem for African Deli, with transport and logistics featuring strongly in the Port’s favour. Walvis Bay is also well-positioned to receive unprocessed ingredients required for manufacturing of the meals.
Mutumba notes that the company is a perfect example of DBN’s financing ambition. Manufacturing has been singled out as one of the key elements of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP). As African Deli is both a manufacturer, and exporter, and will require inputs from local agriculture and agri-industry, as well as transport and logistics, the benefits of financing the company will spread to other sectors of the economy.
He encourages other entrepreneurs in the Erongo region to approach the Bank’s office in Walvis Bay to discuss their ambitions and find out about the Bank’s requirements.
Mutumba concludes by saying that Erongo is a region that keeps on giving to Namibia’s national economy, and the Bank treats it as a gateway for development in light of this. In the period between 2004 to January 2017, the Bank has provided more than N$4,4 billion in finance to the region. In line with its national gateway status, the majority of that finance, N$3,3 billion was allocated to transport and logistics. This was followed by allocation of N$451 million to the electricity sector and N$197 million to business services.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Erongo Portfolio Manager, Simeon Unotjari Kahona, has announced that the Bank is seeking opportunities to stimulate more demand for finance in the Erongo region.
In terms of the Bank’s additional focus on infrastructure and business projects, identified in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), the Bank will seek out projects promoted by private entrepreneurs, through public private partnerships (PPPs), as well as projects identified by the regional council and local authorities. However the Bank will also seek to finance projects that are unique to the economy of the Erongo region.
Talking about the requirement for energy, noted in HPP, Kahona says that the Bank has advanced N$280 million to Erongo RED to ensure supply of electricity, financing was also advanced for Arandis solar project and is also engaged in project finance to secure bulk fuel supply for Namibia.
Among the additional projects that the Bank envisages financing are local authority projects, through PPPs, to develop serviced land, for affordable housing. Kahona adds that the Bank will also finance social infrastructure in Erongo, noting that economic development should walk hand-in-hand with socio-economic development, if greater levels of economic activity are to be of benefit to citizens of the region.
Kahona also says that the region has the potential to strengthen its own internal economy to serve the needs and wants of its enterprises. The Bank believes there is more opportunity to finance light engineering industry that services marine enterprises and the transport and logistics sector, the developing energy sector, and the marine products processing subsector. These projects should have an annual turnover, or projected annual turnover, of N$10 million or more.
In terms of local consumer demand, Kahona announced N$25 million in finance for local food manufacturing, for African Deli, an enterprise established to manufacture instant meals with an African flair. This, he says, shows that there is potential in Erongo to fulfill regional demand, that can extend nationally and further into the SADC market.
Kahona concludes by saying that Erongo is a region that keeps on giving to Namibia’s national economy, and the Bank treats it as a gateway for development in light of this. In the period between 2004 to January 2017, the Bank has provided more than N$4,4 billion in finance to the region. In line with its national gateway status, the majority of that finance, N$3,3 billion was allocated to transport and logistics. This was followed by allocation of N$451 million to the electricity sector and N$197 million to business services.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Communication Manager, Jerome Mutumba, has announced that a team from the Bank will be visiting Otjozondjupa to stimulate demand for finance in the region, as well as to visit DBN customers. The team will be led by DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi.
DBN recently announced its additional focus on infrastructure and business projects which are aligned to the pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP). The visit is intended to shed further light on opportunities for finance for the sectors, which include energy, water, transport, and ICT. The Bank will seek to finance projects in these sectors, promoted by private entrepreneurs, through public private partnerships (PPPs), as well as projects identified by the regional council and local authorities.
Talking about the value of development finance for Otjozondjupa, Mutumba says that the region has the potential to become a hub of economic activity and a major source of value to the economy of Namibia. He says that not only does the region act as a link between the productivity of Erongo, Khomas and the northern regions, but it also has the potential to provide goods and services for the regions around it.
He cites the example of Ohorongo Cement, in which the Bank holds shares. Although conventional wisdom would seek to place a large manufacturing enterprise such as Ohorongo in the Khomas or Erongo Regions, the company uses the central location of the Otjozondjupa Region to reach multiple regions with a reduced logistical chain, and makes use of the local resource. This, in turn, has stimulated the region with employment, and associated economic activity.
Mutumba adds that the region has the potential to strengthen its own internal economy to serve the needs and wants of its inhabitants. The Bank, he says, is also seeking to finance Otjozondjupa projects with an annual turnover of N$10 million or more in the fields of manufacturing, transport and logistics, and tourism.
The Bank is targeting Otjozondjupa loans for agri-processing, tourism, and manufacturing enterprises that will create mass employment.
In the period between 2004 to January 2017, the Bank provided N$615 million in finance to the Region. The largest allocation went to Otjozondjupa’s manufacturing sector, at N$243.36 million, which includes Ohorongo cement. This was followed by N$187.4 million for construction, and N$145.1 million for electricity. The allocation to electricity includes the successful Omburu Sun project, which pioneered solar energy production through the independent power production model that is currently being rolled out across Namibia, as well as its sister project, Osona Sun.
The Bank will conduct information sessions to familiarize stakeholders on its activities, and how to apply for larger enterprise finance. These will take place on Monday, 27 February, at Okahandja Country Lodge, from 16h00 - 17h00, Tuesday 28 February at Out of Africa in Otjiwarongo, from 11h30 - 13h30, and Thursday, 2 March at Peace Garden Lodge in Grootfontein from 11h30 - 12h30.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO, Martin Inkumbi, has announced that the Bank is prioritising infrastructure and business projects which are aligned to the pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
The priority infrastructure areas, to which the Bank may contribute with finance, are energy, water, transport and ICT. The Bank will consider projects in these areas, promoted by private entrepreneurs, through public private partnerships (PPPs), as well as public institutions such as SOEs.
He illustrates the difference by pointing to finance for Erongo RED to secure power supplies at the coast as an SOE, and finance for Omburu Sun Energy as a utility owned and operated by a private sector entity.
Inkumbi says the prioritisation is not a shift away from the Bank’s focus on key sectors identified by National Development Plan 4 (NDP4), but an additional focus for the Bank. The Bank will continue to provide finance for larger enterprises, with annual turnovers of more than N$ 10 million, in the key NDP4 sectors of manufacturing, transport and logistics, and tourism.
He adds that the Bank’s historical track record closely matches the requirements of HPP. The Bank, Inkumbi says, has been active, since inception, in HPP priority areas such as social progression (the 3rd Pillar of HPP) through financing the delivery of serviced land and housing, and improvement and expansion of education and health services, through finance to private educational institutions and private medical services providers.
Talking about other aspects of transformation entailed in HPP, Inkumbi says although the Bank seeks returns to sustain its activities through repayment of finance with interest, as well as capital preservation through the requirements of collateral and /or guarantees, it also contributes to socio-economic transformation through its corporate social investment programme without expectation of returns.
Asked about financial sustainability in light of the current realignment of fiscal resources by the Government, Inkumbi says the Bank is one of the agencies that can fill the temporary gap in provision of finance, provided that projects are in line with the focal areas of HPP.
He goes on to say that project planning and implementation timelines, justify immediate contact with the Bank. The Bank has its own processes and expertise for assessment of large scale infrastructure. By approaching DBN early, project initiators can ensure that financial resources are available, when required, and that the Bank can assist with risk mitigation with the experience that it has developed through financing multiple large-scale projects and enterprises over the years.
Inkumbi concludes by saying that the Bank provides access to services not just in Windhoek, but also in the hub economic centers of Ongwediva and Walvis Bay. He encourages project initiators to make use of DBN’s open doors to further Harambee with projects that fall within the Prosperity Plan’s focal areas.
Be seated for development. The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) recently donated 215 chairs to Schlip Primary School in the Hardap Region. The Bank has financed numerous schools at primary and secondary levels. It also provided finance for the International University of Management, IUM. Where possible, the Bank makes social investments in education as well. Speaking at the handover, the Bank’s Public Relations Officer, Di-Anna Grobler said that when the Bank makes donations of this nature, it gives without expectation of repayment, but it expects a return in the improvement of educational outcomes.
Namibia is currently facing multiple economic challenges. Drought, in some parts of the country, volatile commodities markets, the changing market dynamics of our neighbors, Angola and South Africa, and a temporary period during which government spending priorities are being realigned are some of the uphill scenarios facing the country. In such a dampened economic environment the challenges facing enterprises are to sustain and strengthen assets and equity on balance sheets, and sustain operations.
It is in times like these that entrepreneurs and business promoters ought to take stock of their circumstances and map out a sustainable growth trajectory for their enterprises. The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) advocates sound business administration. Strong administration is the basis for disciplined spending, and servicing of debt and other commitments. If commitments are not met, and if the administration is not sound, enterprises run the risk of losing capacity in a manner which will place them in difficult situations to offset their financial obligations in the medium to long-term.
This particularly includes robust cashflow forecasting and tracking to enable entities to identify challenges in advance and respond appropriately.
Cutbacks on unnecessary expenditure are a first response to circumstances, but must preserve operational capacity as well as the strategic assets in which an entity has invested. Ill-considered cutbacks will reduce the capacity of the enterprise with immediate effect, and will also have a long-term impact on viability.
Unless the enterprise has developed a cash reserve, growth should be a secondary consideration, and approached with caution. The primary consideration should be capital preservation and retention of current capacity.
Strong relationships with existing customers will be an asset. Although the first instinct of the entrepreneur will be to maximize profit, the soundest approach is to offer value and understanding in order to preserve existing cashflow.
The same applies to business-to-business (B2B) transactions and relationships. Supplier networks should leverage their understanding of shared outcomes and offer one another, value in order to preserve the viability of the B2B network.
In order to preserve and even strengthen capacity, DBN encourages equity participation transactions between enterprises where cash flow is required. In this manner, enterprises with strong reserves can grow their balance sheets, while enterprises that have underdeveloped reserves can build their own balance sheet.
This approach must be considered on a long-term basis, rather than as a short-term measure to bridge gaps. In addition to the long-term nature of the equity transaction, the Bank advocates common purpose of the enterprises and complementary corporate philosophy and management skills and capacity.
In this regard, DBN may consider financing of equity participation, which may include management buy-outs to leverage capacity of employees.
In terms of infrastructure, the current national investor initiative proposes to place the development of infrastructure, and its operation, in the hands of public private partnerships (PPPs) or purely private entities. The Bank will consider financing of particularly operating capital for Namibian holders of equity, where the entity is engaged in the development and servicing of projects identified in terms of the initiative.
One of the Bank’s underlying strategies is to preserve the development impact of its customers, not just in terms of physical outputs, but also in terms of capacity for employment.
In this regard, DBN advocates close cooperation with its customers. Where a customer may be experiencing challenges to cashflow, the Bank will advise on mitigation measures. The Bank has a track record of providing turnabout strategies for its customers with the help of pooled consultants, and also has an operational function to draw on proven external advisory and mentoring capacity for larger enterprises.
The Bank encourages customers to approach it for mitigation measures, where appropriate, as additional debt or delayed repayment compounds repayment commitments in the long-term.
Although the Bank understands that there are challenges, these challenges can be overcome with sound administration and prudent approaches on the part of enterprises, as well as close cooperation with the Bank on mitigation measures where these are required.
The Development Bank of Namibia has announced the appointment of Saima Nimengobe as its Senior Manager: Risk & Compliance. Nimengobe’s appointment supports the Bank’s Enterprise Wide Risk Management Framework.
Based on the framework, the Bank manages inherent risks in its environment which are categorised as risks in the financial market, liquidity risk, operational risk and IT risk. The management of liquidity risk is necessary for ensuring that the Bank has sufficient resources to continue lending, and the management of operational risk prevents fraud, corruption and misappropriation. IT risk is managed to preserve business continuity and protect against breaches of the Bank’s IT integrity.
Compliance risk management quantifies capital, funding and liquidity, credit, country, market, operational, regulatory and business risk. A qualitative component ensures that the correct principles, policies and procedures are applied by the Bank and reputational risks are properly managed by means of adequate controls.
Talking about the importance of risk management, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said that the Bank manages risk in the interests of its own sustainability, as well as the security of its borrowers. The purpose of risk management, he elaborates, is to properly understand the risks that the Bank faces, and proactively and effectively mitigate against and adjust to risk.
Inkumbi added that risk management does not reduce the Bank’s operational capacity and activities, but rather empowers the Bank to engage in operations within acceptable levels of risk.
He said that in 2016, the Bank took steps to better manage the market risk inherent in treasury functions by familiarising itself with market risk management processes and systems, and identifying specialist human capital requirements, as well as beginning the process of recruiting those skills on a permanent or outsourced basis.
He went on to say that the Bank also added an environmental and social management system in 2016 to ensure that its finance does not have harmful social and environmental consequences.
Inkumbi welcomed Saima Nimengobe, who joined the Development Bank of Namibia as Senior Manager: Risk & Compliance, to the team, saying that her skills and knowledge will greatly enhance the Bank’s effectiveness and sustainability.
Nimengobe holds an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch (USB), which she attained in 2012, a Bachelor of Accounting from UNAM, a postgraduate certificate in compliance management and several certificates in project, risk and compliance management.
She was previously employed as Group Enterprise Risk Manager at the Ohlthaver & List Group, and Risk Manager at Namibia Breweries. She has extensive experience and knowledge in developing and embedding risk policies, enterprise-wide risk management, including governance compliance, and financial evaluation for investment purposes.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced the winners of the 2016 Good Business and Innovation Awards. The event took place at the Safari Convention Centre in Windhoek, and was presided over by the Minister in Charge of National Planning, Hon Tom Alweendo.
The Good Business Awards recognise a combination of good business practices and contribution to development by larger and emerging enterprises who are DBN clients. The Innovation Award recognises innovative enterprises and initiatives that have the potential to transform Namibian enterprise and socio-economic issues.
In addition to business practices and development impact, recipients of Good Business Large Enterprise Awards were judged on resource utilisation.
The recipient of the Large Enterprise Award was The Delight Hotel in Swakopmund, a member of the Gondwana Group, developed by Bahnhof Properties. The hotel is using Namibia's beauty and the scenic environment of the Erongo Region to strengthen tourism in Namibia. The 54-bed hotel creates additional tourism capacity for the region, as well as providing opportunities for tourist enterprises such as restaurants, shops and activity operators.
Beefcor Meat Supplier, the first runner up, developed abattoir facilities for farmers near Okahandja, strengthening marketing facilities for cattle farmers, with an indirect impact of strengthening job security for farm workers. Omburu Sun Energy, the second runner up, was the first large photovoltaic plant in Namibia, with an output of 4.5 MW. The company generates and sells electricity in terms of an independent power purchasers agreement.
Good Business Emerging Enterprise Awards were rated based on permanent employment creation, in addition to good business practices and development impact.
Octagon Construction was the overall winner of the Emerging Enterprise Award. The company used DBN finance for suspensive sales agreements to acquire heavy construction equipment, which substantially reduces the cost of rental. At the time of the agreement, the company had a personnel complement of 29, with a requirement for a further 19 permanent employees. The company is expected to create up to 100 permanent employment opportunities. Octagon Construction, headquartered in Windhoek with a branch office in Ongwediva, specialises in roads, bridges, municipal infrastructure and housing developments.
First runner up Omaka Investment used DBN finance to construct premises for a building material warehouse in Outapi, operating capital, as well as acquisition of inventory and office equipment. An estimated 50 employment opportunities have been created. Second runner up, Usakos Service Station, used DBN finance to acquire the service station, associated businesses and land in a complete management buy-in. The enterprise is expected to create 50 new permanent jobs.
In 2016, the Innovation Awards sought out ideas with a strong manufacturing basis and those that could address current issues.
The overall winner of the Innovation Award was Kiyomisandz Beauty Products which develops innovative quality skincare and body products for men and women. Established by cosmetic and analytic chemist Sandra Mwiihangele, the company also provides contract services that assist with research & product development, stability testing, quality control, manufacturing and packaging.
First runner up was Green Life Trading, which manufactures plastic fence droppers from recycled plastic. The fence droppers, which can also be used in construction of traditional rural homes, address the problem of litter as well as degradation of trees, are more durable than wood. Second runner up was Dial-A-Water Namibia which provides technology to extract water from humidity in the air. The extractive technology is suitable for use in homes, villages and industry.
Speaking at the event, Minister in Charge of National Planning, Tom Alweendo said that although the country’s strategy of nurturing enterprise has produced tangible results, more must be done to establish enterprises. He said that although labour and capital are available, the entrepreneur acts as an important catalyst to give the necessary spark to economic activities through entrepreneurial decisions, and can play a pivotal role in economic transformation.
When more and more entrepreneurs emerge, Minister Alweendo said, more job opportunities are created for the unemployed. As time passes, these enterprises grow, providing direct and indirect employment opportunities to many more people.
Thanking the Development Bank of Namibia, he concluded by saying that the vision of a Namibian House where no one feels left out will be realised sooner than later.
In his introduction to the event, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said that the Bank recognises its best performers as a matter of accountability to its stakeholders, as well as to offer encouragement to its customers and future borrowers.
Inkumbi urged stakeholders to recommend the Bank to infrastructure developers and entrepreneurs as a means of obtaining enabling finance for projects and enterprises with a developmentally beneficial development impact.
Hanri Jacobs has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) in a selection process conducted by the Bank's Board of Directors. She succeeds Renier van Rooyen who left DBN to join the Corporate Advisory Reform Unit of the Ministry of Public Enterprises.
Jacobs will have oversight of the financial management, treasury and IT functions of the Bank.
Previously, she has served as Chief Financial Officer and then Acting Managing Director of NamPower. Thereafter, she joined Manitoba Hydro International, a transmission company, where she was an executive director for the company's Nigerian operation.
Regarding her appointment, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said the return of Jacobs to Namibia, and her capability and experience, will stand the Bank in good stead. He elaborated by saying that the Bank will draw on her knowledge and experience of large-scale infrastructure finance, structuring of corporate finance, as well as high-level corporate strategy and governance.
Jacobs obtained her B.Compt. in 1990, and her B.Compt. Hons in 1991. She is a registered Chartered Accountant and passed the examination of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
She has over fifteen years of financial experience in all levels of financial and management accounting and business processes, in addition to five years' SAP implementation experience.