WINDHOEK, JAN 25 – Previously Acting Head of the Development Bank of Namibia’s (DBN) Investments Department, Hellen Amupolo, has been formally promoted to Head. Since joining the Bank in 2008, Amupolo was instrumental in establishing the Ongwediva branch, and she played leading roles in developing pioneering financing models for renewable energy and delivery of land and affordable housing through public private partnerships (PPPs).
Amupolo’s career trajectory at the Bank began with the position of Business Analyst. As she progressed, she became Northern Regional Portfolio Manager, then Senior Portfolio Manager: Infrastructure and Utilities. Just prior to her appointment to the Head position, she held the position of Senior Investments Manager. Before joining DBN, she held the positions of Acting Chief Economist for the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Market Analyst for South Africa Breweries.
Amupolo is a Chartered Development Finance Analyst who holds a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Namibia and a Masters in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch. Moreover, Ms Amupolo’s training includes exposure to a number of structured finance and investment banking interventions during her banking career.
Talking about the role of the DBN Investments Department, Amupolo said it finances large scale enterprises with annual turnover exceeding N$10 million and infrastructure. Infrastructure, whether for energy generation and distribution, water, telecommunication and transport infrastructure creates the necessary base on which large corporate and SME enterprises can anchor their economic activities.
Key focal areas for the Investment Department include transport and logistics, tourism and hospitality, and manufacturing, areas identified in NDP5 as critical for growth of the Namibian economy. The Department also finances initiatives that address structural needs of the economy, such as privately owned solar power generation, and sociological issues such as provision of serviced land and affordable housing.
Going forward, Amupolo said the Bank is consolidating finance for renewable energy and water infrastructure under its climate adaptation facility. The Bank is also investigating new financing programs , and announcements would be made if and when they become feasible.
In addition to her role as Head of DBN’s Investments Department, Hellen Amupolo also serves as Chairperson of the Investment Committee of Momentum Metropolitan Namibia, sits on the Board of the Roads Authority where she serves as Chairperson of the Audit Committee, and she is a member of the Ministry of Finance Public Private Partnership Committee and Review Panel for Public Procurement. – NDN Staffer