Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Communication Manager Jerome Mutumba has announced that the Bank is visiting southern Namibia to encourage borrowing to establish larger enterprises, SMEs and infrastructure. Information sessions are being held in Rehoboth, Mariental, Lüderitz and Oranjemund.
Talking about the Bank's view of Hardap Region, Mutumba says borrowing in the region has been at low levels since 2016, and the Bank’s visit is intended to stimulate demand. The region has potential for enterprise development, particularly in the form of secondary sector offshoots of the agricultural sector, such as agri-processing and food manufacturing. He adds that the Bank is also particularly interested in the NDP5 sectors transport and logistics, and tourism. He also says that the Bank will be seeking to source financing opportunities from local authorities, seeking to expand infrastructure in towns.
On the topic of finance for the //Karas Region, Mutumba says that levels of borrowing were reasonable in 2016 but low in 2017.
The Bank is particularly optimistic for the port of Lüderitz. Mutumba says that ports re traditional sources of activity for light and heavy industry, and that the Lüderitz mariculture and the fishing industries can also benefit from the Bank’s finance. Logistics, he says, is likely to grow in the near to middle-term on the basis of development of trade, and import and export activities, between Namibia and the northern Cape in South Africa.
Mutumba adds that the Bank expects a boom in Lüderitz in the middle to long-term, and that this will place pressure on the town’s infrastructure. The Bank’s finance for infrastructure will assist in alleviating needs for infrastructure, as well as stimulating the local construction industry.
Talking about Oranjemund, Mutumba says that the town is on the cusp of further development. The town’s economy has been driven by diamond extraction, but it can be further stimulated with SME activity in support of the diamond industry, as well as underexplored potential for tourism. The town also requires affordable housing, and the Bank can assist contractors with finance for construction activities.
Talking holistically about Namibia’s south, Mutumba states that the Hardap and //Karas regions are characterized by poverty, however this can be addressed with finance that stimulates enterprise and infrastructure development.
Mutumba explains that finance and enterprise go hand in hand. Enterprise requires infrastructure, and the construction of infrastructure is justified by the needs of enterprise. The Bank is looking for a healthy mix of financing opportunities for actors in both fields, and with its visit to the regions, is opening doors to them.
The Bank, and the nation, understand the need for transformation of regional economies, and is holding out a hand with flexible financing packages that will materially improve prospects for development. We expect more from Hardap and //Karas, and so entrepreneurs and town councils can expect more from DBN, he concludes.