Nampro launches stakeholders report
The Namibia Procurement Fund (Nampro) this week launched its stakeholders report as well as its new website at an event attended by various stakeholders from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.
Speaking at the event, deputy minister of trade and industry, Tjekero Tweya, said as a minister charged with matters of trade and industry, he is fully cognisant of the challenges faced by the SME sector.
“It pleases me to see a player such as the Namibia Procurement Fund, making genuine efforts to empower SMEs in becoming equal and notable players in the mainstream economy of Namibia and beyond,” Tweya said.
The deputy minister further said he is pleased that the fund is offering structured short term trade finance in the form of working capital, purchase order and invoice discounting, financing facilities as well as bidding and performing guarantees and backing medium term asset financing in the form of operating leases to SMEs.
According to Tweya, commercial banks are renowned for being hesitant to provide SMEs with bridge financing, despite the demand for it being phenomenal. However, the architects of the fund has identified this critical gap and now offers SMEs with bridge financing,” he added.
“The fund’s focus on SME financing and capacity enhancement to be able to effectively deliver on supply contracts awarded is very much aligned to the government’s TIPEEG initiative launched last year, under which it supports appointing SMEs who can apply labour intensive approaches in infrastructure development programmes such as road construction and rehabilitation and other construction projects,” Tweya said.
He further said that such a unique facility, now enables SMEs that have been awarded tenders to easily honour their contractual obligations in this regard.
“It therefore, suffices to say that the establishment of the fund has become a key player in empowering our fast emerging and growing local entrepreneurs, who form an important backbone to our initiative as a government to stimulate economic growth and job creation, given the SME sector which contributes an estimated 12% to the national gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for around 20% of formal employment,” Tweya added.
In its 18th month since its inception, the fund has assisted in financing over 40 SMEs to the tune of N$150 million. These SMEs are located in nine out of the country’s 13 regions – this shows nation-wide access to finance.