The Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service has received a soft loan of N$8 million from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) to finance 28 rural youth enterprises from all parts of the country.
“Whenever we have the opportunity to empower young people to contribute positively to national development, it makes us proud,” said Deputy Sports Minister Emma Kantema-Goamas.
Beneficiaries were selected from an initial pool of 121 rural youth enterprises, which Kantema-Goamas said were part of a sustainable youth entrepreneurship program that was established under the first Harambee Prosperity Plan ( HPPI).
The program, she said, focused on youth entrepreneurship as an important pillar for growth.
DBN’s small and medium enterprise (SME) finance manager Robert Eiman said the bank’s initial involvement started with the 121 rural youth enterprises – an exercise that involved providing management training business and technical support worth N$1.2 million.
“This exercise also involved helping young people identify potential business ideas in their constituencies and develop business plans,” he added.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who carried out the official handover, explained that the project aims to create a minimum of 1,210 new direct, permanent and sustainable jobs for young people.
She pointed out that the development of rural youth enterprises is generally part of the country’s national development goals to grow the economy, create jobs and reduce poverty and inequality.
Regarding the financing of the 28 beneficiaries, she noted that their activities were in leather goods, dressmaking, cleaning detergent manufacturing, retail and bakery, internet cafe, printing, brick making, carpentry and carpentry, event management, welding and fabrication, auto mechanics. and the supply of building materials.
According to Eiman, the financing for the 28 grantees is in line with one of the main objectives of the Bank, which is to provide financing to young entrepreneurs. He added that DBN believes that rural businesses are key to Namibia’s future prosperity and food security.
“Having the beneficiaries come from rural constituencies will help achieve development impact in rural areas,” Eiman explained.
One of the 28 beneficiaries, Antonios Negumbo, said he believed the project faithfully reflected the government’s commitment to youth employment and poverty reduction. He also suggested that the initiative has broadened recipients’ understanding of business.
“I am confident that we will apply the skills learned through the capacity building program provided to us, which will enable us to grow our businesses and provide employment to other young members,” Negumbo said.