DBN has created 56 000 jobs

By Hilary Mare

DEPUTY Director and Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Penda Ithindi has revealed that the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is a key agency in developing Namibia that has supported the creation of 24,000 new jobs and 32,000 temporary jobs since 2004.

Speaking at the recently held DBN Good Business and Innovation Awards, Ithindi also said that DBN has also approved N$15 billion development finance for infrastructure and enterprise activities over the 15 years of its existence.

In view of the nature of the Good Business Awards, DBN Chairperson Tania Hangula said the Bank’s main objective is to support economic and social development. It aims to achieve this goal through the provision of finance and business support to Namibian enterprises.

Long-term business sustainability, she noted, is important to ensure sustainable economic growth and social progress.

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Winners of the Bank’s large enterprise and SME awards represent this goal.

Through the Good Business and Innovation Awards, the Bank demonstrates commitment to support Namibian businesses who have demonstrated resilience and a winning attitude, Hangula added.

At the awards, winner of the Innovation Award, Pulsar Electronic Solutions proposed a smart metering platform to enable household and enterprise electricity users to control their electricity usage remotely using mobile devices. Although the Bank is actively engaged in financing additional generation and transmission capacity, it also recognises that streamlining and economizing electricity usage is an important factor in energy sustainability for Namibia.

Talking about the Award, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said the Bank’s experience is that innovation is not an instant, overnight phenomenon, but an exacting process of enterprise maturation to the point of bankability.

He added that Pulsar Electronic Solutions has earned the support of the Bank in the journey ahead and pledged support from the Bank to place the project on the path to enterprise success.

First runner-up in the Innovation Award, NamOceanic Kelp Production, proposed the manufacture of chicken feed from kelp.

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Chicken, is one of Namibia’s staples, and feed is currently imported.

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Second runner-up Primebiochar proposed a soil supplement manufactured from biomass obtained in bush clearing. The supplement will assist in retaining water in the soil and improve nutrient value of the soil for horticulture.

Winner of the Good Business Awards large enterprise category, WordPress prints newspapers and supplements, previously printed in South Africa and elsewhere.

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Among its goals, the Development Bank of Namibia provides finance for local manufacturers, with the aim of reducing imports from across the border.

Runner-up in the large enterprise category, Ombepo Energy constructed and operate Namibia’s first wind farm near Lüderitz in the //Karas Region. Ombepo Energy is a venture between InnoSun Energy Holdings and Lüderitz Town Council. DBN has prioritized energy and electricity, and has developed a strong track record in the field of renewable energy.

Winner of the Development Bank of Namibia 2019 Good Business Awards SME category, Ian Shuttle, provides transport services for other companies, shuttle services for hotels and chauffeur services. It employs more than 50 people. The Bank has identified SMEs as important sources of employment creation.

First runner-up in SME category, Blue Box Technology is owned by young entrepreneurs, provides digital retail media, event management and coin operated cellphone charging kiosks with secure lockers. The Bank has identified youth entrepreneurship as the breeding ground and basis for the future of Namibia’s economy. Second runner-up, Miiyelo Investment, provides automotive retail services in Otjiwarongo, focusing on sale of tyres, wheel balancing, tow-in services and it operates a car wash.