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) 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.