Development Bank looks at projects in the north-east to boost financially
The Development Bank of Namibia is currently visiting the regional capitals of north-eastern Namibia in order to stimulate demand for development finance.
The visits kicked off in Rundu on 5 February and will end on 9 February in Katima Mulilo.
The Bank’s Senior Manager: Corporate Communications, Jerome Mutumba said that the Kavango West, Kavango East and Zambezi regions hold significant opportunity for development, in terms of infrastructure and enterprise, adding that demand for finance can be strengthened, based on demand from local authorities and entrepreneurs, respectively.
“Calls for finance from the regions are low in relation to their potential for economic activity. Since inception, there has been no call for finance for tourism and hospitality. This flies in the face of the combination of tourism and hospitality potential, and the Bank’s ability to provide tailored finance, which is flexible, and meets the needs of the tourism industry in other regions of Namibia. The same is true of other sectors,” Mutumba said.
In reaching out to the north-eastern regions, Mutumba said that the Bank is not only showing its capacity to provide finance, but also challenging entrepreneurs to come forward with their business plans and translate them into operational opportunities with the aid of the Bank’s finance.
“The three regions are connected by the Kavango River, and this offers opportunities for coordination of activities which the Bank may finance. Tourism might explore and further develop the river as a travel route which can add value to tourism in the three regions. The riverine fishing industry is a source of fish regarded as a delicacy in many restaurants across Namibia. This indicates the need to explore potential for processing and packaging the fish,” Mutumba added.
Mutumba goes on to add that Nkurenkuru is a particular hotspot for development. As a recently proclaimed regional capital, the centre offers numerous opportunities for further development. This includes excellent possibilities for tourism and hospitality, wholesale and retail, and social enterprises such as private schools and private medical facilities.
On infrastructure finance for north-eastern Namibia, Mutumba said that the Bank is one of the central agencies tasked with contributing to development of infrastructure.
In this light, he encouraged local authorities in Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West, to approach the Bank.
“The construction of a road stimulates wellbeing and enterprise at either end, and at all the centres alongside it. Servicing of land, and construction of housing, are important elements in the quest to improve social wellbeing, he continues. Local authorities can draw on the Bank’s expertise in the field of infrastructure financing as a pathway to development,” he stressed.
Mutumba concluded that local authorities and entrepreneurs should view the Bank as a partner in achieving the goals of development of their respective regions.
“In order to develop the three regions, the Bank sees potential for cooperation and, consequently, expects more applications from the regions,” Mutumba added.