Central bank avails N$50 million for SME financing strategy implementation
The Bank of Namibia provided an additional N$50 million for the implementation of the SME Financing Strategy launched by the Minister of Finance, Hon Calle Schlettwein, in November.
The strategy, comprising three facilities namely the Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Venture Capital Fund and the Mentoring and Coaching Programme was approved by Cabinet in June 2018, from where the finance ministry delegated the hosting and administration of these facilities to the Development Bank of Namibia.
In line with its commitment to support the Development Bank of Namibia, the central bank’s total financial contribution to the SME Financing Strategy stands now at N$70 million. In 2018, the Bank of Namibia availed an initial amount of N$20 million for the operationalisation of the strategy, in particular the Credit Guarantee Scheme facility, to complement the government’s budgetary commitment.
Last week, the Development Bank and Bank of Namibia signed an agreement for the utilisation of the funds to ensure that it is for the intended purpose and in an efficient manner in order to yield the required results of supporting local SMEs.
“The Bank of Namibia remains committed to the development and upliftment of the SME sector of the economy. The Bank is convinced that the sector is important for economic development as it has the potential to create employment and alleviate poverty” said the Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Iipumbu Shiimi, at the signing of the agreement.
Acting Chief Executive at the Development Bank, Hanri Jacobs said they have been hard at work over the past months to ensure that all mechanisms are in place for the operationalisation of the strategy.
“The Development Bank of Namibia has over the years prioritised its SME support efforts and this additional funding will go a long way in unlocking the potential of SMEs,” Jacobs said.