Germany loans Namibia N$ 2 Billion aimed at road infrastructure

Martin Endjala

The German government has committed around two billion Namibian Dollars for the upgrading and rehabilitation of road infrastructures in Namibia.

The loan agreement was signed on 13 December 2022, between the Finance Ministry and the German development bank KFW.

The German Director to Namibia, Beatrice Lucke during the signing ceremony emphasized Germany’s continued support and long standing commitment in ensuring that road infrastructure in Namibia is prioritized.

“Just looking at the road rehabilitation, I think there is a long standing cooperation in this sector. About 1800 kilometres of road have either been upgraded or rehabilitated between the partnership of Germany and Namibia, which is a very significant number,” she added.

Lucke said that the partnership is a long standing cooperation and it shows efficiency between the two countries.

These projects are said to be co-financed by German Development Cooperation, through the KfW Development Bank, via concessional loans and are intended to fund the construction and rehabilitation of key water and road infrastructure in Namibia.

The Roads Authority Chief Executive Officer Conrad Lutombi said that the concessional loan of 20 Mio EUR (373 million NAD) to the Namibian Government is financed through the KFW Development Bank and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and will be used for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the B2 section between Karibib and Usakos, and form part of Trans-Kalahari Corridor and the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Road.

He says the road rehabilitation contributes to the economic objective of having a well-functioning and high-quality transport infrastructure connected to the most important local and regional markets as well as to the port of Walvis Bay.

Furthermore, the road will be upgraded to a two (plus) one grade similar to Okahandja Karibib Road.

Lutombi further told this publication that they have commenced with pre-qualification valuations which ended last year November 2022, with finalization expected before the end of this month.

Tenders and step of pricing or bidding is also expected once valuations are completed with the month of February reserved for final completion of all relevant steps and ample time to bidders, he added.

Lutombi hopes that construction can commence in March 2022 as envisaged.

According to him, stretch of 33 km will be resurfaced and extended to allow for improved traffic flow and road safety.

Construction works are planned to start in the second half of 2023.

Local companies will be included in the construction, allowing Namibian SMEs to implement at least 25 percent of the contract amount, the agreement says.

The contractors have been trained throughout more than 30 years of cooperation in the transport sector between the two countries.

KfW has been supporting the expansion of the Namibian road network through grants for access roads and labour-based road construction since independence.

The labour-based construction approach creates jobs by training local workers and SMEs that can take up work in the road construction sector.

Additionally, the KfW has, since 2016 been funding the expansion and maintenance of major corridor roads through concessional loans.

Large parts of the main corridor roads are being rehabilitated and partly extended to contribute to the economic development of the country.

To date, the construction of more than 1800 km of roads has been co-financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW in close cooperation with the Namibian Government through RA.

Meanwhile, a concessional loan in the amount of 40 Mio EUR (N$ 746 million ) was also agreed, in helping to secure the Water Supply for the Central Area of Namibia through the construction of a second Direct Potable Reclamation Plant.

In addition, a second concessional loan to the value of 50 Mio EUR (N$ 932 million ) was signed to support the Namibian Water Sector Support Program.

By Observer