Northern regions ripe with opportunities

Development Bank of Namibia’s (DBN) Communication Manager Jerome Mutumba singled out some northern regions, saying they hold exceptional opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Mutumba made the remarks last week as he called on entrepreneurs, and local authorities who are developing infrastructure to visit or make contact with the bank during the Ongwediva Trade Fair which will take place from 21 to 29 August 2015.

Mutumba said the northern regions, particularly Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto, hold exceptional opportunities for entrepreneurs, noting that manufacturing, transport and logistics, and tourism are particular fields of interest for the bank.

He was quoted saying in a statement that on the basis of the high population density, manufacturing for consumption within the four regions, can be stimulated. He also said that the Bank has a particular interest in agri-manufacturing to stimulate agriculture, and noted that the Bank has provided finance for operations such as milling, that make rural communal agriculture more sustainable.

Empathetic to the knowledge that financial assistant applicants often have time constraints, which render them incapable of visiting the bank whenever they want, DBN will have a stand at the trade fair where attendees can go and find out how to apply for finance, or discuss suitability of business plans.

He touched on various areas of interests, including intra-regional trading, tourism and infrastructure.

Based on local consumer needs, Mutumba noted that as well as the potential for trade in goods with southern Angola, the bank is also seeking opportunities to stimulate other forms of manufacturing. Intra-regional and cross border trade will also stimulate growth of the transport and logistics sector.

Touching on tourism, Mutumba said that there is potential for growth in the number of accommodation establishments catering to business and international tourism, and also potential for cultural tourism in the international markets.

On the topic of infrastructure development, Mutumba was quoted saying that there is a clear need for affordable residential land, and that water distribution infrastructure is also viewed as pressing by the bank.

He noted that the bank is continually engaged in the provision of finance for local authorities in the central northern regions.

Mutumba concluded by saying that the bank perceives the spread of economic activity and growth of infrastructure across all of Namibia’s regions to be critical for inclusive economic development, and repeated his call for entrepreneurs and local authorities to make the best use of the opportunity of the Ongwediva Trade Fair to familiarise themselves with DBN.