WINDHOEK, 29 MAY- The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has provided an additional N$150 million for Erongo RED, that will finance additional second phase electricity distribution requirements for the Swakopmund mass housing development, as well as the waterfront.
Erongo RED previously used N$250 million from DBN to finance its first phase project to upgrade aging distribution infrastructure to Walvis Bay.
At a ceremony on 24 May 2018, DBN Chief Executive Officer, Martin Inkumbi said high quality power supply to the Erongo Region is of national importance, explaining that Erongo is currently a major transport and logistics gateway to Namibia by virtue of the port of Walvis Bay.
He underscored that Mining was a major industry that gave importance to the region, due to its contribution to the economy. Furthermore, he added that the region is a major attraction in terms of tourism, which contributes to the national revenue.
Inkumbi explained that economic activity in the region is dependent on electricity, and that in the lack of suitable distribution infrastructure would culminate in the region’s inability to attract additional enterprises and grow.
Turning to the individual use of finance, Inkumbi said distribution of electricity to families and individuals in affordable housing is a basic necessity for socio-economic wellbeing.
He was of the view that Swakopmund must be able to attract and retain employees, in order for new enterprises to open and existing enterprises to grow. Only in such a way would the upgrade to the distribution network have an immediate impact and secure the future.
Inkumbi said the waterfront development had created jobs during the construction phase, in addition to being a locale for enterprise.
He advised that in order to attract commercial investment, Swakopmund, and Erongo RED, have to show demonstrate their commitment to providing enterprise, and investors, with the necessary infrastructure.
DBN, said Inkumbi, is widely known for financing renewable sources of energy such as Omburu Photovoltaic Park and the Ombepo Wind Farm. He then said that the Bank is also committed to financing the infrastructure for traditional sources of energy.
“Where there is sufficient energy, there is an environment that is conducive for enterprise, as well as for acceptable standards of living,” he explained.
“The combination of infrastructure and enterprise are fields which the Bank actively nurtures with finance, and the Erongo Region is a good example of how finance can stimulate development and economic activity. The Bank has approved loans of more than N$4.6 billion to the Erongo since its inception,”said Inkumbi.
He urged other regions to approach DBN with plans for infrastructure, pointing out that the Bank has the capacity as well as the mandate to provide finance for growth.