Swakopmund all set to host SADC Development Finance Network meeting

Niël Terblanché

Local development finance institutions (DFI), namely, Agribank, Development Bank of Namibia, Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, and the National Housing Enterprise, will host the 2023 SADC-DFIs network forum meetings in Swakopmund.

The engagements under the SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (SADC-DFRC) are scheduled to be held from 6 to 9 June 2023.

The theme of the forum meeting is ‘Balancing DFI developmental mandate with sustainability’.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, will officially open the event at the coast.

The objective of the forum meeting will be to discuss and share experiences on how DFIs have been able to mobilise appropriately priced (low-cost) capital to meet their developmental mandates and close existing market gaps, particularly in such sectors as SMMEs and infrastructure development that, due to several factors such as high risk and long project gestation periods, have traditionally been shunned by commercial banks.

The forum will also discuss available resources to DFIs on the domestic and international capital markets, nature, conditions of access, and climate change financing institutions such as the Green Climate Fund among others.

The forum is also set to determine how DFIs have fared under different forms of regulation and governance structures and how these impact their sustainability, and what would be best practices in these areas.

To address DFI sustainability and effective mandate execution, the forum will draw speakers from MFIs, ICPs, DFIs, and regional organisations that focus on DFI regulation and governance, among others. Panel discussions consisting largely of network member DFIs will constitute the main focus of the forum as this would present the opportunity to share information and experiences and the adoption of emerging best practices.

The DFRC is a lean organization staffed by professional staff in the strategic areas and employs a collaborative approach that involves the utilization of complementary external technical partners in its focal areas and serves as a facilitator and catalyst to DFIs, SADC governments, and other key development stakeholders.

Its mandate is to promote the effective mobilization of resources by the financial sector, in particular the DFIs, for investment in key areas with the potential to stimulate growth, generate employment and alleviate poverty, in line with the objectives of SADC under the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

Besides DFI CEOs and senior executives, the forum will also attract senior officials of regional and international DFIs, resource mobilization specialists, and government officials.

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