French development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) have signed an agreement in terms of which AFD will provide funding of five million dollars for two DBN research programmes.
The agreement was signed by DBN Chief Executive Officer Martin Inkumbi, Sébastien Minot, French Ambassador to Namibia, and Bruno Deprince, AFD Regional Director for Southern Africa to fund investigating opportunities in the fields of affordable housing and the development of Namibian women entrepreneurs.
Speaking about the research, Inkumbi said the institution is not just a source of finance but also a knowledge bank and brains trust for development of economic activity. Although the bank may have financial and administrative capacity, development impact depends on the ability to bring financial resource to bear in knowledgeable and effective manner.
He went on to express his gratitude to AFD, Minot and the Republic of France for the initiative.
In addition, Inkumbi also explained the need for research, saying it will strengthen DBN’s impact by creating market profiles of the women segment, developing tailored products as well as understanding barriers to economic inclusiveness.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minot said it was an honour to witness a new step for the Franco-Namibian cooperation.
Although AFD has been active in Namibia since 1998, it is the first time that a project will be onducted in cooperation with DBN.
Furthermore, Minot said he is looking forward to engaging new opportunities that will strengthen the ties between the two countries. Minot insisted on France’s commitment to target through cooperation essential challenges and sustainable development goals as SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities and SDG 5 on gender equality.