Namibia: On the Frontline of Development Finance

THE chairperson of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), Tania Hangula, recently visited the Omusati and Oshana regions to assess the bank's impact and familiarise herself with projects the bank is financing.

Her tour will also take her to the Erongo region. Talking about her visits, Hangula said the regions were chosen for their huge potential to contribute to Namibian development in terms of their demographics.

She said there was a requirement in both regions for infrastructural development, as well as construction.

She added that the bank is also seeking opportunities to provide finance, particularly in three key sectors identified by the fourth national development plan: manufacturing, transport and logistics, and tourism.

Hangula said the bank also had hopes of making impacts in priority development fields of water security, electricity generation and provision of serviced land.

She said the bank's finance is favourably geared to enabling projects with a beneficial development impact.

Talking about the Erongo region, Hangula said the region is in many ways a model for others across Namibia. She went on to say that primary sector mineral wealth in many regions could stimulate secondary and tertiary activity, as it had done in Erongo.

Hangula also encouraged entrepreneurs to consider opportunities for intra-regional trade with other regions. There is ample opportunity for stimulation of economic activity within Namibia, she said.

In this regard she pointed to the impact of economic activity in Erongo on regions such as Khomas and Kunene. The bank would like to see the same model emerge between regions such as Omusati and Oshana.

She described Erongo as a powerhouse in the Namibian economy, and said that DBN will continue to stimulate the region, in light of its contribution to the economy.

Hangula said that regional demand for finance was greatest in Khomas and Erongo. She said that high demand in Erongo and Khomas is expected to persist, but that the bank is currently seeking opportunities to stimulate all regions with finance offerings.

The bank, however, depends on demand for finance, so in order to foster inclusive regional participation, Hangula concluded by urging entrepreneurs and infrastructure project initiators to approach the bank with applications for finance.

Hangula was appointed as chairperson of the DBN by minister of finance, Calle Schlettwein, from 1 January.

She is the executive director of Arandis Mining and managing member of Umoja Trading, which has interests in the petroleum industry and other business sectors.

Source: The Namibian