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.