The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) have signed an agreement under which AFD will provide €300,000 (just over N$5 million) in grants for two research programs DBN. These programs are; investigate opportunities in the areas 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 that the DBN is not only a source of funding, but also a knowledge bank and a brain trust for the development of economic activities. “While the bank may have the financial and administrative capacity, the development impact depends on the ability to mobilize financial resources in an informed and effective manner,” Inkumbi said.
He then expressed his gratitude to AFD, Ambassador Minot and the French Republic.
Inkumbi also explained the need for research: “In terms of low-cost housing, the bank will seek to understand market barriers to the development of low-cost housing programs, ways to incentivize the construction of low-cost housing programs, low prices and the right financing products for individuals. buy such properties.
In the area of women entrepreneurs, he noted that DBN is exploring dedicated funding and support programs required for women entrepreneurs. As such, Inkumbi explained that the research will enhance DBN’s impact by creating market profiles of the women’s segment, developing bespoke products as well as understanding barriers to the economy.
For his part, Minot said he was honored to witness a new stage for Franco-Namibian cooperation. He said that although AFD has been active in Namibia since 1998, this is the first time that a project will be carried out in cooperation with DBN. Minot added that he was looking forward to engaging in new opportunities to strengthen ties between the two countries. He also insisted on France’s commitment to target, through cooperation, key issues and sustainable development goals such as SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities and SDG 5 on gender equality. men. The Ambassador noted that in 2021, the French Embassy in Namibia launched the Fem-Tech project to support and develop innovative Namibian female tech entrepreneurs.
While AFD has among its strategic priorities the development of access to affordable housing and the empowerment of women, the delegation is delighted to contribute to this new project. AFD’s Deprince insisted on the future of this partnership because the results of the studies and analyzes financed could make it possible to develop new financial products to meet the needs identified within the project.
AFD implements the French development and international solidarity policy. Through its financing for NGOs and the public sector, as well as its research and publications, AFD supports and accelerates transitions towards a more resilient world.