According to Paul Egelser, a Research Economist at the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), N$562.6 million has been approved by the bank to finance a diversified portfolio of enterprises and projects in the transport and communication sector, in support of enterprise development. He said "this is necessary to create an enabling environment for businesses and individuals to thrive in the Namibian economy" adding that the importance of this sector cannot be over stressed. It impacts positively on jobs and it has multiplier effects with enhanced benefits for different sectors in an economy.
Talking about the reason for the range of projects, Egelser said that an enabling environment for enterprise is of particular importance. "Although it is possible to foster enterprises with finance, it is equally important to ensure that enterprises have the capability in terms of infrastructure, logistics and communication."
He underscored this by pointing out three key sectors targeted for development by the bank: transport, infrastructure and communication. "These areas should form part of the integral components of enterprise support," Egelser said.
"You need to look at the enterprise in a context of its environment. If you have a manufacturing enterprise in a region or town, that enterprise will need maintained roads for transport, transport capability, communication, ICT and good logistics. This web of requirements is fertile ground for enterprise development and project finance, all of which contributes to the economy." he said to illustrate his point.
Corridors and communication between the towns or regions, he said, also hold economies of scale for development as they serve more than one centre. "A road, for instance, benefits more than one centre. The intra-regional trade creates opportunities for different economic clusters, and this has a multiplier effect on the development dollar."
Sectoral allocations in support of enterprise include transport and logistical services, telecommunications, maintenance of infrastructure and port infrastructure.
According to the bank's statistics, the largest regional allocations have gone to national projects (56,1%), Erongo (21,5%), Kavango (10,4%) and Khomas (6,4%).
Approvals to develop the enterprise environment have had a direct impact on 7,381 jobs, broken down into 477 new jobs, 1,684 temporary jobs and 5,220 jobs retained.