Women and youth loan scheme to encourage enhanced financial inclusion launched
Agribank this week launched a women and youth loan scheme, with relaxed conditions to encourage participation and enhanced financial inclusion.
Agribank’s spokesperson, Rino Muranda, said the purpose of the scheme is to promote financial inclusion, economic empowerment, employment creation as well as to stimulate Namibia’s economic growth.
“Eligible candidates that are set to benefit from this scheme are women and young Namibians or permanent residents aged between 18 and 35 years,” he added.
The entry age is capped at 18 years and in case of partnerships, 80% of partners should be between the age of 18 to 35 years in order to qualify. In case of limited companies, 80% of the directors are required to be between the same age threshold, while the age limit for women as well as professionals in the agriculture and related fields is not limited.
Other requirements of this scheme include business registration, licenses or permits as well as certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association and identification documents for all the directors. New and existing businesses are eligible, subject to financial viability and development impact.
The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Emma Theofelus at the launch commended Agribank for initiating the scheme noting that these financial solutions are developmental in nature and government as the shareholder of Agribank is pleased with the move.
“It is pleasing to know that Agribank has taken a bold step to encourage women and youth by designing a scheme that furthers the objectives of financial inclusion as you all are aware that agriculture is the backbone of our economy and source of sustenance of many livelihood in Namibia,” she added.
Meanwhile, the target group, can benefit from all Agribank loan products with the exception of debt take-over and debt consolidation, but preference will be given to climate resilient projects, agro-processing, poultry and intensive farming projects.
Currently the majority of women in Namibia are unable to access affordable financing for farming purposes, while current financing for the youth is not at an optimal level.