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.
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.
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.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) recently donated N$50,000 towards construction of a school hall for Romanus Kamunoko Secondary School in Rundu. The school currently has to rent larger premises when its learners are required to sit for exams.
Talking at the handover, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said that he and many of his colleagues attended schools with limited facilities. However with determination to learn, they were able to rise to the challenge of learning, and improve their prospects in life.
Addressing the learners, Inkumbi said that the outcome of diligent study would lead to a higher quality of life in adulthood. He told the learners that although they should set aside some time for relaxation, they should place a high degree of emphasis on their studies.
He added that learning was a partnership between the parent, the teacher and the learner, and that all three should be actively engaged in the education of the learner. He said that parents and carers should take an active interest in the progress of learners, and endeavour to assist if learners fell behind.
Inkumbi concluded by saying that he hoped that some of the learners would join the Bank as valued, knowledgeable employees.
In addition to finance provided for private tertiary, secondary and primary educational facilities, the Bank provides support for public sector schools through its social responsibility programmes, including assistance with upgrading of hostel facilities for one school, and support to a school damaged in flooding in the north.