Windhoek-A visiting delegation of the African Development Bank (AfDB), consisting of 12 of the bank’s 20 board members, yesterday commended President Hage Geingob on the level of political stability in the country. The group also praised the government’s fiscal stance and fiscal prudence and pledged to support the Ministry of Finance’s macro-economic policies.
The visiting delegation forms part the ultimate decision-making body of the bank, which is tasked with stimulating sustainable economic development and social progress in its member countries, thus contributing to poverty reduction. The AfDB achieves this objective by mobilising and allocating resources for investment and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.
“We commend the Namibian government’s clear vision of establishing the country as a trade and logistics hub in the southern African region. We were particularly impressed with the Walvis Bay container terminal and the northern port. We also welcome the Harambee Prosperity Plan and look forward to more cooperation with Namibia,” said the visiting delegation’s spokesperson and executive director in the bank, Mohamed Zaghloul. He added that the delegation was in the country to confirm that funds they have made available are being used for the intended purposes. The delegation is also inspecting projects funded by the bank over the years and to further acquaint itself with the country and its policies.
In 2013 the AfDB and Namibia signed a N$2.9 billion sovereign guaranteed loan allocated to the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) to finance the construction of the new container terminal at Walvis Bay port and another agreement for logistics and capacity building complementing the port project loan. The project was approved by the AfDB in July 2013. Namibia’s then finance minister, Sara Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila, signed the loan guarantee and grant agreement on behalf the government in Windhoek while Namport CEO Bisey Uirab signed the loan agreement on behalf of Namport. Ebrima Faal, regional director of the AfDB’s Southern Africa Resource Center (SARC), signed for the bank.
In her intervention, Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila at the time stressed the importance of the project and its contribution to one of the key development goals (the logistics pillar) of the National Development Plan which aimed to position the country as a regional logistics hub by 2017. The AfDB has also invested millions of dollars in the Development Bank of Namibia.