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 produce 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.
Mutumba says 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 says 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 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 Erongo to approach the bank’s office in Walvis Bay to discuss their ambitions and find out about the bank’s requirements.
Mutumba 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 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 N$451 million to the electricity sector and N$197 million to business services.