The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has provided an additional N$150 million for Erongo RED. The amount is being used to finance additional second phase electricity distribution requirements for the Swakopmund mass housing development, and for the waterfront.
Erongo RED previously used N$250 million from DBN to finance its first phase project to upgrade aging distribution infrastructure to Walvis Bay.
Talking about the need for the loan at the signing ceremony that took place on 24 May 2018, DBN Chief Executive Officer, Martin Inkumbi says high quality power supply to the Erongo Region is of national importance. He motivates this by explaining that Erongo is currently a major transport and logistics gateway to Namibia by virtue of the port of Walvis Bay. Mining, another major industry, also underscores the importance of the region, and its contribution to the economy. He adds that the region is also a major attraction in terms of tourism, which contributes to the national revenue.
He goes on to say that economic activity in the region is dependent on electricity. Without suitable distribution infrastructure, the region will not be able to attract additional enterprises and grow.
Speaking about the individual use of the finance, Inkumbi says that distribution of electricity to families and individuals in affordable housing is a basic necessity for socio-economic wellbeing. Viewed in an economic light, Swakopmund must be able to attract and retain employees, in order for new enterprises to open and existing enterprises to grow. In this way, the upgrade to the distribution network will have an immediate impact and will secure the future.
On the topic of the waterfront development, Inkumbi says it has created jobs during its construction phase, as well as permanent jobs, in addition to being a locale for enterprise. In order to attract commercial investment, Swakopmund, and Erongo RED, have to show demonstrate their commitment to providing enterprise, and investors, with the necessary infrastructure.
Inkumbi goes on to say that although the Bank is widely known for financing renewable sources of energy such as Omburu Photovoltaic Park and the Ombepo Wind Farm, the Bank is also committed to financing the infrastructure for traditional sources of energy.
Where there is sufficient energy, there is an environment that is conducive for enterprise, as well as for acceptable standards of living, he explains. The combination of infrastructure and enterprise are fields which the Bank actively nurtures with finance, and the Erongo Region is a good example of how finance can stimulate development and economic activity. The Bank has approved loans of more than N$4.6 billion to the Erongo since its inception
Inkumbi concludes by urging other regions to approach DBN with plans for infrastructure. The Bank, he says, has the capacity as well as the mandate to provide finance for growth.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO, Martin Inkumbi, has announced that the Bank will provide N$1 million to sponsor the multidisciplinary MA in Development Studies, to be offered at the Oshakati UNAM campus.
Talking about the need for development at the launch of the programme, Inkumbi said development addresses the inequities of the past as well as preparing for future needs.
He said Namibia still has to address economic structural issues that have excluded the majority of Namibians from formal economic activity, and reduced them to subsistence activities. On the other hand, Namibia has forecasts of economic requirements brought about by population growth, and the need for competitiveness, locally, in the SADC, in other African economic blocs, and in global economies.
He went on to say that the Bank has to respond to national plans, such as the Harambee Prosperity Plan, NDP5, as well as other economic development directives from the government. Yet although its activities are directed by its mandate, the Bank has a responsibility to interpret the various needs and respond to them in a manner which provides the best possible outcome in terms of development impact.
The MA course, he elaborated, represents a deepening of the pool of knowledge with which the Bank will engage in future. Graduates and those who audit the lectures will add to the shared development knowledge base and will be able to contribute to formation of common goals. The graduates will also constitute a deepening of the pool of human resources for all development institutions in Namibia, as well as for the commercial sector.
Inkumbi said the Bank expects the MA in Development Studies programme to take a lead in the discipline of economic development and transformation, and to lead the way to new and innovative development thinking, strategies and plans that will improve the economy and give additional impetus to social development.
He continued by saying that the Bank expects the graduates to better understand the Bank’s decisions through understanding of formal theories and fields of development. This will lead to a greater understanding of DBN’s priorities in allocating finance.
In conclusion, Inkumbi commended UNAM and the initiators of the course, and called on them to also make segments of the course available as short courses to enhance the skills and business knowledge of entrepreneurs and of individuals occupied in specific fields of development.