The MoU is specifically geared to identify opportunities to promote development in manufacturing, primarily through financing of Namibian enterprises that are members of the NMA. Additional features of the memorandum include that the two entities refer clients to one another for possible and relevant assistance.
Speaking on the MoU, and its significance, Communication Manager Jerome Mutumba said that the manufacturing sector is identified as a key sector in the 4th National Development Plan, and is one of the core components of the Bank’s financing priorities, alongside transport and logistics, and tourism.
Mutumba said that development of manufacturing is a challenge, as the high cost of establishing manufacturing entities makes it a daunting prospect for many entrepreneurs. He said that a relationship with NMA is viewed as extremely beneficial as there are plenty of opportunities for growth and expansion of existing manufacturing enterprises in Namibia.
Mutumba said the bank’s positive experience of providing finance for manufacturing shows that there is demand for locally manufactured products. He said local manufacturing enhances the Namibian supply chain by making use of local raw materials, providing the security implicit in local suppliers, warding against currency fluctuations entailed in imports and by creating economies in transport and logistics.
He further noted that in addition to direct finance for expansion, the bank could also entertain applications for financing of management buy-ins and other shareholding in order to increase capital availability for manufacturing expansion. Additionally he said that new or prospective manufacturers could cooperate with NMA to understand the requirements of and develop proposals for financing from DBN.
Talking about the importance of the sector, Mutumba concluded that the Bank also views manufacturing as a critical link in developing mass employment, and a route to development of a pool of skills that will not only serve the individual manufacturer, but the country in its entirety.