Development Bank seeks to stimulate growth in Erongo

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Erongo portfolio manager Simeon Unotjari Kahona announced that the bank is seeking opportunities to stimulate more demand for finance in Erongo Region.

In terms of the bank’s additional focus on infrastructure and business projects, as identified in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), DBN will seek out projects promoted by 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 Erongo.

Talking about the requirement for energy, noted in HPP, Kahona says the bank has advanced N$280 million to Erongo RED to ensure supply of electricity, and financing was advanced for the Arandis solar project, while DBN 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 go hand in hand with socio-economic development if greater levels of economic activity are to be of benefit to citizens of the region.

Kahona says the region has the potential to strengthen its own internal economy to serve the needs and wants of enterprises. The bank believes there are more opportunities to finance the 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 there is potential in Erongo to fulfill regional demand that can extend nationally and further into the SADC market.

Kahona says 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 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 the allocation of N$451 million to the electricity sector and N$197 million to business services.

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