29 Aug 2019 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 29 AUG (NAMPA) Cabinet has approved the establishment and operationalisation of a skills-based lending facility for the youth that will ensure increased access to affordable finance for potential and emerging entrepreneurs.
Chief Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Finance, Tonateni Shidhudhu told Nampa upon inquiry on Wednesday the facility is critical for job creation, self-employment and economic growth.
It will target professionals such as plumbers, mechanics, electricians and boiler makers but will also benefit medical doctors, pharmacists, engineers and other professions.
The decision was taken during the latest Cabinet meeting held on 21 August 2019.
The Ministry of Finance was directed to oversee the facility, while the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) will administer it.
Shidhudhu said the facility will not comply with some of the DBNs usual loan conditions, such as collateral and own equity contribution.
The loan amount to aspiring Namibians will range between N.dollars 150 000 and N.dollars 1 million, repayable over a maximum of five years.
A skilled youth with a viable business will qualify even when they do not have collateral or capital to contribute, he said.
He added that as per the recommendation by the Cabinet Committee on Treasury and input by stakeholders, the facility will see artisans benefiting from higher coverage of about 60 per cent than professionals with 40 per cent.
The facility will cater for youth aged from 18 to 35 and people living with disabilities.
He further said it will cover both start-up and existing businesses, provided they are viable.
Shidhudhu indicated that the ministry will now work on the implementation and operationalisation of the facility.