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 SADC, in other African economic blocs and in global economies.
He added 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 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 said the bank expects 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 individuals occupied in specific fields of development.