WALVIS BAY -The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) intends to open a branch in Walvis Bay by early next year.
The announcement was made last week by Martin Inkumbi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, during a consultative meeting with stakeholders, entrepreneurs and businesses at Walvis Bay. Inkumbi said the current expansion of the Erongo Region, especially Walvis Bay as well as numerous requests from entrepreneurs at the coast to expand the banks operations to the Erongo Region has prompted DBN to branch out. DBN fosters, empowers and finances business ventures whether large or small, private or in the public sector. The bank also provides finance for private sector start-ups and expansions, equity deals, bridging finance, enterprise development finance, trade finance, small and medium size enterprises, public private partnerships, public sector infrastructure, local authorities, and bulk finance to responsible micro-finance providers.
“Apart from that we want to bring our services closer to the Erongo Region as well as to complement the business and economic expansion of the town,” he explained during the interactive consultation in Walvis Bay. The DBN board already approved the proposed branch. Moreover, the DBN will soon approach the municipality of Walvis Bay to obtain land for the envisaged project. “The Erongo Region is the second largest region, in terms of our clients. Apart from that it was part of the DBN’s plans to expand to all regions in order to enhance our services and limit the handling time of loan applications and approvals. Walvis Bay is also one of the key economic areas where expansion, industrialisation and employment creation is encouraged,” Inkumbi noted. He added that the region has great potential, especially with the upcoming developments such as the port expansion and the envisaged logistics park. According to DBN statistics, the largest regional allocations have gone to the Otjozondjupa Region representing with 26.3 percent, driven by DBN’s investment in Ohorongo Cement.
Projects with national impact received 21.6 percent of funding, the Khomas Region received 14.7 percent of funding and the Erongo Region 10.2 percent. Moreover, the DBN has spent approximately N$559.6 million in funding manufacturing businesses in the country since the bank’s inception in 2004. This is 17.4 percent of a total of N$3.2 billion in approvals made since the bank opened. The DBN reckons that financing approvals for manufacturing businesses have had an impact on 5 053 jobs, broken down into 2 154 new jobs, 1 752 temporary jobs and 1 147 jobs retained. About 79 percent of the funding was allocated to previously disadvantaged Namibians.