The financial industry has grown at a fair clip over the past decade or so in Africa, and one of the nations that can now boast of a highly evolved finance industry in Namibia. However, such development does not take place in a vacuum, and there needs to be institutional support in place so that the industry can evolve. In the case of Namibia, support was provided by the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), and it continues to be the most important factor behind the financial services evolution in the country.
The DBN is a relatively new bank and was only founded back in 2004. At the time, it was a small operation and had a small operation consisting of one employee, its CEO. At the time, no one could have predicted the sort of effect DBN was going to have on the financial landscape of the country. However, as of the conclusion of the financial year of 2019, the bank boasted of as much as N$ 9.7 billion worth of assets under its control. At the same time, the number of employees at the bank has risen steadily and now stands at 105.
That being said, it should be noted that the DBN got massive backing from the Ministry of Finance, and the current CEO of bank Martin Inkumbi said as much. While talking about the bank’s growth, Inkumbi stated that initially, the bank had been capitalized by the ministry. However, he went on to add that the lion’s share of the bank’s current asset base is made up of loans, and it is a good thing for a developing country like Namibia. If there is the availability of credit, then there is always a chance of growing an economy quicker. The bank’s pioneering work in this regard must be commended.