Windhoek — Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Jerome Mutumba, has announced that the bank will visit larger centres in Kunene to stimulate demand for development finance. The visits commenced in in Khorixas yesterday (July 9), and will continue to Outjo and Kamanjab today and will end tomorrow in Opuwo.
Talking about the Kunene Region, Mutumba said it is a model for what development can achieve, and the bank's finance can assist the region to develop further. To illustrate, Mutumba points to transformation of Khorixas through enterprise. He says the bank will seek to further stimulate enterprise in all four towns.
The bank has placed a high priority on development of affordable land and housing, as well as associated social infrastructure such as privately owned medical facilities, and schools, and so will open its doors to enquiries about projects of this nature.
Mutumba identified local retail and wholesale operations, as well as small manufacturing enterprises, as additional drivers of development. These, he said, can serve local communities, as well as the tourism trade and tourists.
He added that the bank also sees opportunities in conservancy lodges. He explained that these lodges bring direct benefits to small communities that are not easy to reach with finance in towns. In addition to revenue for the communities, they also create opportunities for employment, either at lodges or for local guides.
In terms of infrastructure, Mutumba says that there is clear economic potential in improving road infrastructure. A town or community that is reached by a good road becomes more economically viable for enterprises, and the pace of economic activity increases.
Mutumba challenge entrepreneurs and authorities of the Kunene Region to approach the bank for finance. The region has the potential to become a powerhouse in Namibia's broader economy, he says.
However, he continues, in order for the bank to fulfil its role of nurturing Kunene with finance, entrepreneurs and local authorities need to approach DBN with viable business plans and project proposals.
The purpose of the visit to Kunene is to provide information on the bank's offering and requirements, so that applications have a greater possibility of success.
Mutumba concluded by urging entrepreneurs and local authorities to attend the information sessions. The sessions, he said, are first steps to bridging the gap between ambition and finance.