Namibia: Cabinet Approves Youth Skills-Based Lending Facility

2 September 2019

CABINET has approved the establishment of a skills-based lending facility for the youth which will ensure increased access to affordable finances to potential and emerging entrepreneurs.

Tonateni Shidhudhu, the public relations officer in the finance ministry, revealed last week that the facility is critical for job creation, self-employment and economic growth.

He said it will target artisans such as plumbers, mechanics, electricians and boilermakers, but will also benefit medical doctors, pharmacists, engineers and other professionals.

The decision was taken during the last Cabinet meeting held on 21 August 2019, where the government directed the finance ministry to oversee the facility, while the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) was set to administer it.

Shidhudhu explained that the initiative will relax some of the DBN's usual loan conditions, such as collateral and own equity contribution, and the loaned amount to aspiring Namibians will range between N$150 000 and N$1 million, repayable over a maximum of five years.

"A skilled youth with a viable business will qualify, even when they do not have collateral or capital to contribute," he stated.

He added that as per the recommendation by the Cabinet committee on treasury and input by stakeholders, the facility will see artisans benefiting more from higher coverage of about 60% than professionals with 40%.

The facility will cater for youths aged from 18 to 35 as well as people living with disabilities.

It will cover both start-up and existing businesses, provided they are viable.

- Nampa

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