The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has provided an additional N$150 million for Erongo RED. The amount is being used to finance additional second phase electricity distribution requirements for the Swakopmund mass housing development, and for 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.
Talking about the need for the loan at the signing ceremony that took place on 24 May 2018, DBN Chief Executive Officer, Martin Inkumbi says high quality power supply to the Erongo Region is of national importance. He motivates this by explaining that Erongo is currently a major transport and logistics gateway to Namibia by virtue of the port of Walvis Bay. Mining, another major industry, also underscores the importance of the region, and its contribution to the economy. He adds that the region is also a major attraction in terms of tourism, which contributes to the national revenue.
He goes on to say that economic activity in the region is dependent on electricity. Without suitable distribution infrastructure, the region will not be able to attract additional enterprises and grow.
Speaking about the individual use of the finance, Inkumbi says that distribution of electricity to families and individuals in affordable housing is a basic necessity for socio-economic wellbeing. Viewed in an economic light, Swakopmund must be able to attract and retain employees, in order for new enterprises to open and existing enterprises to grow. In this way, the upgrade to the distribution network will have an immediate impact and will secure the future.
On the topic of the waterfront development, Inkumbi says it has created jobs during its construction phase, as well as permanent jobs, in addition to being a locale for enterprise. 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.
Inkumbi goes on to say that although the Bank is widely known for financing renewable sources of energy such as Omburu Photovoltaic Park and the Ombepo Wind Farm, 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 explains. 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
Inkumbi concludes by urging other regions to approach DBN with plans for infrastructure. The Bank, he says, has the capacity as well as the mandate to provide finance for growth.