Indigenous cuisine manufacturer set to light up regional taste buds
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) this week said it will finance African Deli, a food manufacturing company with its plans to export ready-made traditional African cuisine to SADC countries.
DBN spokesman, Jerome Mutumba in a statement said that the start-up from Walvis Bay in the Erongo region will manufacture ready-made traditional African meals using beef, chicken, lamb and tripe which is commonly known as mogodu in South Africa.
“The Gauteng Province, with 8,3 million potential consumers, was identified as the ideal market penetration point,” he said, adding that the venture will pursue the rest of South Africa, followed by other SADC member states.
According to Mutumba, the DBN financing includes plant works and equipment and Africa Deli approached the Bank with an impressively researched proposal, in terms of in-depth consumer demand studies following recipe development.
In terms of product appeal, he said the product is targeted at the emerging middle class, who have strong links to traditional culinary culture, but limited time for the lengthy preparation process required for traditional meals. Africa Deli’s products are packaged in microwaveable pouches, which saves a considerable amount of time in preparation of the meal.
Talking about African cuisine in retail, Mutumba pointed to the researched fact that chakalaka as an example of successful uptake of a traditional African dish.
“Africa Deli’s range of meals can add to the range of products. Ready meals have been dominated by European and Mediterranean culinary styles, and the Bank is proud to be associated with an addition to the range of African foods available on shelves,” he said.
Concerning the location of the factory in Walvis Bay, Mutumba said the location is ideal as it provides access through SADC corridors, as well as maritime shipping routes. The set of industries in Walvis Bay also provide an excellent ecosystem for African Deli, with transport and logistics featuring strongly in the Port’s favour.
Mutumba said that the company is a perfect example of DBN’s financing ambition seeing as Walvis Bay is also well-positioned to receive unprocessed ingredients required for manufacturing of the meals. Manufacturing has been singled out as one of the key elements of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Meanwhile, he encouraged other entrepreneurs in the Erongo region to approach the Bank’s office in Walvis Bay to discuss their ambitions and find out about the Bank’s requirements.
In the period between 2004 to January 2017, the Bank has provided more than N$4,4 billion in finance to the region.