The north-central and north-eastern regions were last month on the menu for Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) visit in the quest by the bank to strengthen local business opportunities and deepen knowledge of the functioning of DBN financing.
The purpose of the visit was to create opportunities for local authorities and entrepreneurs to understand and make use of DBN financing, as well as to visit and keep up to date with the progress of projects financed by the bank.The regions targeted were Kavango, Caprivi and Otjozondjupa..
A total fund of N$ 353 m loans was availed by DBN, for the three regions from which N$50.5m is meant for Caprivi, N$ 103.74m for the Kavango region and N$ 198.8m to Otjonzondjupa region.
As stated by DBN CEO David Nuyoma, those visits were of a consultative approach to identify challenges in regions and promote cooperation with regional councils, town councils, NCCI branches and entrepreneurs to address those challenges.
The different regions were chosen due to their strategic locations that allow them to be an open window to external links for a better economic empowerment. Caprivi is on the border of different sub-regional countries such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Furthermore Kavango region has shown potential business growth intransport, export, agro-processing and retail sectors. It is also an opening to the Katwitwi border post that connects Namibia to southern Angola which is expected to give the region's transport, export and retail sectors a boost. Whilst The Otjozondjupa region offers opportunities for value addition to agricultural products, transport, infrastructural development, provision of goods and services, as well as increasing the number of leisure seekers and tourists as pointed out by Paul Egelser, DBN economist researcher.
The trip to the north-central and north-eastern regions is part of a series of trips planned by DBN with the aim of spreading the economy. The actions from DBN can be classed under one of the aim of the Vision 2030
The Vision 2030 points out that Namibia aims to become an industrialised and knowledge-based economy with the aim of achieving economic diversification and rapid growth to reduce widespread poverty and unemployment.
An earlier trip had been undertaken to the northern regions such as Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati in August 2011, followed witha visit to southern regions such as Karas and Hardap..
The visit to the southern regions focused on SME development and associated employment creation, but also considered opportunities in industrial processing of agricultural produce, mining and tourism. The Bank held public discussion forums in the four largest towns to inform potential clients about its activities, and to encourage dialogue. The towns were Lüderitz, Keetmanshoop, Mariental and Rehoboth.
NB: waiting for a comment from DBN PRO.