Officially inaugurating the office, Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes described the town as a microcosm of Namibia, pointing to its tourism and hospitality industry, transport and logistics as well as manufacturing and light industry.
However, he pointed out that Walvis Bay also reflects the poverty experienced in Namibia. He said there is a need for a balanced approach to development.
He went on to describe the needs of the coastal town that would improve the socio-economic wellbeing of residents, especially the expansion of residential areas to Farm 37 to alleviate population pressure in Kuisebmond and Narraville.
That expansion, Forbes said, should include provision for medical, educational, commercial and recreational facilities.
In his opening address, chairperson of the DBN board of directors Sarel van Zyl described Erongo as a very important region for economic activities. It holds the Port of Walvis Bay, one of the most significant points of entry into Namibia.
It is an important hub for intra-regional trade, a major source of industrial and commercial output, and of course, a very popular tourism destination, not only for local and regional tourists, but also for international visitors from all over the world.
Through its economic activity, Erongo supports a large concentration of Namibia’s population, all of whom are beneficiaries of development.
Since its early inception, Van Zyl continued, the bank has been actively engaged in finance for the region. Early projects included Aqua Utilities to semi-purify water for Walvis Bay, as well as cranes for NamPort.
The bank has also made extensive investments in the Erongo tourism and hospitality industry.
The bank thus recognised the need for operational capacity in the region by opening an office in 2014, and to address expectations of substantial growth, they have now developed this larger office.
Talking about Development Bank activity in Erongo, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said the region is the second-largest beneficiary region after the Khomas region. However, factoring in finance for the NEF strategic fuel storage facility of N$4.2 billion, this region received the highest amount of finance in Namibia.