As part of their initiative to roll out offices in various parts of Namibia, the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) opened a new office in Rundu on 1 February, located on Eugene Kakururu Street in the MVA Fund office complex.
Rundu has a large population of more than 85,000 with a robust entrepreneurial culture, a high concentration of villages surrounding it which will benefit from development, as well as providing access to the broader populations of Kavango East and West and Zambezi.
Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication at the Bank, Jerome Mutumba said DBN expects interest in SME finance in particular. Of existing SMEs, Mutumba pointed to a thriving retail and light industrial environment which can be further nurtured with finance. He said the Bank expects that its finance for retail and commercial property will be in demand.
On the topic of finance for local authorities, Mutumba said there is ongoing activity in the field of housing provision, however this must be complemented with provision of affordable land.
"The population of the area is spread along the east-west axis of the Kavango, and stimulus for development of affordable land and associated housing projects will lead to the spread of enterprise. In this regard, the Bank is open for applications for finance in unproclaimed areas, with the proviso that project promoters provide guarantees, or that collateral in the form of fixed property be held outside of unproclaimed areas," Mutumba added.
Mutumba noted that tourism enterprise development, particularly in and around Rundu, will bolster Namibia's ability to offer a route into the Kavango Regions and Zambezi, adding that by upgrading and adding new hospitality and accommodation facilities, Namibia can better market Rundu - and potentially Nkurenkuru, capital of Kavango West - not only with more hospitality and accommodation, but also with a break in the long distance between Etosha and Katima Mulilo.
"Agricultural processing and industry is one of the Bank's emerging focuses. Adding value to agriculture makes the sector more sustainable, with benefits for those who use and remain on the land. This will not only alleviate urban migration, but will also provide incomes for youth and women, with potential graduation to the status of young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs. The desired overall impact is also food security. The fertility of the area along the Kavango holds strong development potential for the broader national economy, and should be the beneficiary of development finance," he added.
Caption: DBN Chairperson Tania Hangula and Reverend Dr. Samuel Mbambo, Governor of the Kavango East Region at the launch of the new DBN office in Rundu.