A private sector loan from the French development agency to NamPost in 2019 was followed this week with a further agreement for the amount of N$3.3 million as technical assistance to extend banking services to marginalised communities and individuals.
The emphasis is to make credit available to those people who do not qualify for loans through conventional financing channels by increasing financial inclusion and the implementation of microfinance best practices.
The agreement was signed in Windhoek between Agence Française de Développement and a financing subsidiary of Namibia Post Ltd, as part of a number of financing deals between the French agency and local institutions.
NamPost Chief Executive, Festus Hangula signed on behalf of NamPost Financial Brokers (PostFin), assisted by the the PostFin Board chairman, James Cumming and the company's Chief Executive, Patrick Gardiner. PostFin's business is dedicated to microfinance.
On the French side, the signing was witnessed by HE Sébastien Minot, the French Ambassador, and Bruno Deprince, Agence Française de Développement's Regional Director for Southern Africa.
According to a statement from the agency, "financial inclusion is important but large segments of the population have little or no access to financial services. While financial inclusion has increased remarkably in recent years, SMEs, workers in the informal sector and a large proportion of pensioners remain excluded from credit."
The agency said that the purpose of this loan is to improve PostFin's performance through consulting services, training and international peer-to-peer exchanges with a focus on gender mainstreaming and clients protection.
Amongst others, the funding will cover the following:
* Diagnosis and definition of an action plan in terms of client protection;
* Peer-to-peer exchanges with one or more African microfinance institutions;
* Participation in a micro-finance training programme called Boulder MFT; and
* Identification of financial products and services to meet the specific needs of women not covered by any other form of financing.