AfDB seminar kicks off in Windhoek

27 Oct 2014 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 27 OCT (NAMPA) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) should develop a mix of competitive financing instruments beyond lending to ensure affordability and long-term financing predictability.
This was said by Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in a speech read on her behalf by her special advisor Paul Hartmann during the opening of a two-day seminar on the financial products and services offered by the AfDB here on Monday.
The AfDB is a multi-lateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries.
The minister said the bank should also be perceptive to issues such as the exploitation of the existing financial systems and infrastructure to promote local ownership to lessen local capacity under-utilisation; and realising capital market development through participation in local market activities.
The bank should also be on outlook for issues of accelerating private sector support, which she said has to date not been optimised.
It is thus now an opportunity for policy-makers, public institutions, the private sector and other key stakeholders in economic development to be informed about the work of the bank, and what it offers.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stressed that the seminar is being held at a time when Namibia is embarking on ambitious transformation programmes aimed at preparing the country to the level of an industrialised nation by 2030.
“Namibia needs partnerships which can help to transform our production structures and address challenges of infrastructure in order to achieve accelerated and sustainable growth by addressing challenges of an infrastructure deficit and insufficient diversification of industrial output,” she said.
The minister further noted that the government remains committed to maintaining sound macro-economic and fiscal prudence fundamentals, which are core to macro-economic stability and creditworthiness.
This is essential for creating a conducive environment in which the private sector can play a critical role as main driver of economic growth, efficiency and value- addition in the country.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stated that with its mass domestic market, Namibia's economic development hinges heavily on regional economic integration, adding that the country has adopted a strategy to use its strategic location to establish itself as a regional transport hub by investing in infrastructural development, especially in those related to logistics, with the aim of reaping the benefits of deeper regional integration.
She then noted the AfDB's support to Namibia on infrastructural development, particularly in the road and rail sub-sector, adding that the traditional mode of cooperation has been through lending and technical assistance to the government.
“A new welcome development in our cooperation with the AfDB has been the bank's lending to the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) for the upgrade of the Walvis Bay port.
The bank's support to Namport is expected to treble the container-handling capacity at the port of Walvis Bay, thus helping to realise our aspiration of being a regional logistics’ hub,” she continued.
Over 40 African countries are members of the AfDB, and Namibia became a member in 1990 upon independence.
The seminar aims to share the bank's wide range of products and services available to support the socio-economic development of African countries, including Namibia.
Over 30 policymakers, representatives of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), the private sector and non-State actors are attending the seminar.
It ends on Tuesday.