Windhoek — Having operated as the only commercial bank in Aussenkehr Valley in the //Karas Region for the past 13 years, Standard Bank has once again taken the lead to recently unveil a modern banking facility to the tune of N$4.5 million.
The new Aussenkehr branch was officially opened by Standard Bank's chief executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda and the owner of Aussenkehr Farms, Dusan Vasiljevic, last week
Aussenkehr valley is a leading exporter of table grapes to major world markets. The area is also home to up to 20,000 inhabitants who work in the grape industry.
With currently over 2,000 hectares of grape farming production in the valley, Mungunda noted that this was a successful example of private sector investments driving the emergence of new economic activities and growth in the country.
"The valley of Aussenkehr has grown and is growing fast and is a welcomed development for foreign exchange earnings, creation of employment and the creation of downstream economic activities such as retail sector. It also means that critical amenities and services such as housing, roads, schools and banking services have to follow these developments," said Mungunda.
He thanked the investors in the Aussenkehr valley for their pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit in developing a new industry and economic sector from scratch. Mungunda noted that grape production and grape farming gives an example of the new approach to Namibia's potential in terms of agricultural and food production.
He cited that in complimenting the private sector's drive, over the last two years Standard Bank has identified the need to establish new banking facilities in other towns like Okongo, Karibib, Gobabis, Omuthiya and Okakarara.
"As a bank, we need to provide inclusive banking by supporting these economic activities and the customers migrating to Aussenkehr. It is for this reason that we saw the need of opening our first branch here in an old warehouse building in 2004," Mungunda added.