The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) have signed an agreement under which AFD will provide a N$5 million grant to two DBN research programs studying opportunities in areas of affordable housing and the development of Namibian women. contractors.
The agreement was signed by the Managing Director of the Development Bank, Martin Inkumbi, the French Ambassador to Namibia, HE Sébastien Minot and AFD’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Bruno Deprince.
Talking about the research, Inkumbi said the institution is not only a source of funding but also a knowledge bank and a brain trust for the development of economic activity. Although the bank may have the financial and administrative capacity, development impact depends on the ability to mobilize financial resources in an informed and effective manner.
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, and appropriate financing products for individuals. to buy such properties.
The Women Entrepreneurs domain studies dedicated funding and support programs required for women entrepreneurs. The research will strengthen DBN’s impact by creating market profiles of the women’s segment, developing tailored products and understanding barriers to economic inclusiveness.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minot said he was honored to witness a new milestone in Franco-Namibian cooperation. Although the AFD has been active in Namibia since 1998, this is the first time that a project will be carried out in cooperation with the DBN.
He is eager to seize new opportunities that will strengthen the ties between the two countries. Minot insisted on France’s commitment to target key challenges and sustainable development goals such as SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities and SDG 5 on gender equality through cooperation. In 2021, the French Embassy in Namibia initiated the Fem-Tech project was created 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. Deprince also insists 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.
(Fltr) HE Sébastien Minot, French Ambassador to Namibia, Martin Inkumbi, Managing Director of the Development Bank, and Bruno Deprince, AFD Regional Director for Southern Africa.