Namibia Procurement Trust Fund this morning handed over a dividend cheque to the tune of N$7.1m to the Government Institutions Pensions Fund (GIPF).
The procurement fund has thus become the first one under the unlisted investment policy (UIP) to declare dividends to GIPF.
Having been contracted by GIPF in early 2010, its mandate would be to focus on providing short-term capital facilities and medium-term asset-backed financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with tenders from reputable institutions.
Chairperson to the GIPF Board of Trustees, Advocate Ellaine Samson, notes GIPF has thus far invested N$148m into this project.
“The idea is to play a catalytic role in enabling upcoming entrepreneurs to successfully take part in mainstream conventional business activities. We believe in doing so, we facilitate the multiplication of Namibian entrepreneurs who, in turn, create much needed jobs for the economy,” she says, adding, the aim of the UIP is to make meaningful contribution to the national economy through innovative ways while preserving members’ interests at all times.
The UIP was also established to contribute to the development of the Namibian capital markets with regard to unlisted investments. As such, GIPF has, since UIP’s inception, committed N$2.3b of which N$679m has already been injected into projects countrywide.
GIPF CEO David Nuyoma confirms about ten projects have been funded to date. Some of those include Desert Stone Trust Fund (N$12.5m), which deals with early stage venture capital/green field projects, development capital and buyout investments; Kongalend Renewable Energy Trust Fund (N$ 51.4m), which provides small loans for renewable energy; and Tunga Real Estate Trust Fund (N$141m), which focuses on property investments.
Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) CEO, Tarah Shaanika, stresses funding is a very critical ingredient in the makeup of any business venture: “NCCI is inundated with queries from businesses on a daily basis - particularly from SMEs - about possible sources of funding for their new business ventures or for the expansion of existing ones, etc.”
The multiple queries are, according to Shaanika, indicative of either shortage of funding sources or insufficient information about existing sources of funding to entrepreneurs.
GIPF, in partnership with the NCCI, today had an information-sharing seminar [in this regard] to disseminate information related to the fund’s resources, which have been placed in the hands of various fund managers to invest in unlisted ventures.