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Kunene is classified as one of Namibia’s least developed regions. Highlighting the need for regional development, Governor Josua Hoebeb, said that the well-being of the population of Kunene hinges on development of towns in the region.
“Businesses cannot grow if the towns do not grow. There needs to be enabling infrastructure and services, like adequate water supplies, to support industries,” he remarked.
The bank visited Outjo, Khorixas and Opuwo to explore untapped opportunities together with towns’ business communities, and to meet clients and local authorities. The town councils identified tourism, mining and agro-processing based on livestock farming as sectors with potentially high regional development impact.
Mining prospects include base metals and semi-precious stones. Tourism opportunities are driven by attractions such as desert-dwelling black rhino, desert elephants, the Himba and Damara groups and attractions such as Twyfelfontein, the UNESCO World Heritage site. As the region falls between the coast and Etosha National Park, it is a natural through route that can be developed further for tourism purposes. Agro-processing has the potential to serve the region.
In order to foster SME and other enterprise in the region, DBN held information sessions for prospective clients in the three towns, and hosted a workshop for entrepreneurs presented by SMEs Compete. The team also visited current DBN clients to assess their progress.
Talking about meetings with the town councils, DBN CEO David Nuyoma said, “We recognise the need for dialogue with key stakeholders in order to contribute to development. That is why we meet with elected representatives in the areas we visit. We set out to learn, in order to offer products that will serve the needs of all communities in the country.”
He added: “DBN strives towards having an equitable distribution of projects throughout the country because its mandate is to contribute to development in the entire country. Familiarising ourselves with economic conditions in towns across Namibia, is therefore a priority.”
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