Development Bank of Namibia secures US$323k grant funding from AFD for research programmes

NAMIBIA – French development agency (AFD), and Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) have signed an agreement in terms of which AFD will provide €300,000 (US$323,221.50) in grant funding for two DBN research programmes.

These programmes are investigating opportunities in the fields of affordable housing and the development of Namibian women entrepreneurs.

The agreement was signed by DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi, French Ambassador to Namibia Sébastien Minot and AFD Regional Director for Southern Africa Bruno Deprince. 

Commenting on the research, Inkumbi said DBN is not just a source of finance but also a knowledge bank and a brain trust for the development of economic activities.

“Although the bank may have the financial and administrative capacity, development impact depends on the ability to bring the financial resources to bear in a knowledgeable and effective manner,” said Inkumbi.

He went on to express his gratitude to AFD, ambassador Minot and the Republic of France.

Inkumbi also explained the need for research: “In terms of low-cost housing, the bank will seek to understand market impediments to develop low-cost housing schemes, means to incentivise construction of low-cost housing schemes and appropriate financing products to individuals to purchase such properties.”

In the field of women entrepreneurs, he noted that DBN is investigating dedicated finance and required support programmes for women entrepreneurs.

As such, Inkumbi explained the research will strengthen DBN’s impact by creating market profiles of the women’s segment, developing tailored products as well as understanding barriers to economic

Meanwhile, Minot said he was honoured to witness a new step for the Franco-Namibian cooperation. He said although AFD has been active in Namibia since 1998, this is the first time a project will be conducted in cooperation with DBN.

Minot added he is looking forward to engaging in new opportunities to strengthen the ties between the two countries. He also insisted on France’s commitment to target, through cooperation, essential challenges and sustainable development goals such as SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities and SDG 5 on gender equality.

The ambassador noted that in 2021, the French embassy in Namibia initiated the Fem-Tech project to support and develop innovative Namibian female tech entrepreneurs

As AFD counts developing access to affordable housing and women empowerment among its strategic priorities, the delegation is excited about contributing to the new project.

AFD’s Deprince insisted on the future of this partnership as the results of the financed studies and analysis could help develop new financial products to address the identified needs within the project.

AFD implements France’s policy on international development and solidarity. Through its financing of NGOs and the public sector, as well as its research and publications, AFD supports and accelerates transitions towards a more resilient world.

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