DBN Widens Footprint in Erongo Region

The Development Bank of Namibia officially opened an office in Walvis Bay earlier this month that will cater for the financial needs of the Erongo Region.

The office augments the bank’s operational reach. In addition to its Windhoek headquarters, it also has an office in Ongwediwa.

Present at the ceremony, Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila talked about the importance of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), and said that DFIs play the role of providing finance to priority sectors and underprivileged clients. This, she said, gave the DFIs a double bottom line of development impact, as well as to make finance available.

She said that DFIs had to balance their development mandate with prudent, shrewd long-term investment strategies that ensure that they remain profitable in a manner that sustains their ability to provide finance that is beneficial to development. Said the minister, the accountability measures required of traditional commercial banks were not reflective of the scope of reporting required by DFIs, and she also noted the importance of development impact reporting as a measure of DFIs successful fulfilment of its mandate. On the quality of DBN, the minister noted that DBN was 12th among the top 20 DFIs in Africa as rated in the third Peer Review of African DFIs by the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AAFDI). She said this achievement was a feather in the cap of DBN.

At the same event, the Chief Executive Officer of DBN, Martin Inkumbi, said that the opening of the Erongo office was expected to have far reaching impacts on development in the country.

He noted that development of the Erongo Region will have impact on all other regions. The Erongo Region, Walvis Bay in particular, is a gateway to the rest of the country. It also contains the largest concentration of mining activities, a key driver for the economy and development. Inkumbi also pointed to the potential for developing manufacturing in the region, as well as further tourism development. Inkumbi said that DBN has a g track-record of providing finance to the Erongo Region, and that the new office would accelerate further provision of finance by providing immediate access to entrepreneurs and local authorities. Figures released by the bank show that N$500.5 million has been approved for finance in the Erongo region since 2005, and that this has had impact on 995 new jobs and 1,541 temporary jobs. Of the finance, 89 per cent was allocated to previously disaantaged locals.

Source : Namibia Economist