Namibia aims to accelerate its industrialisation agenda and diversify its export market targeting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) markets.
This follows the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding targeting export trade inked by the Namibia Trade Forum (NTF) and Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), a joint statement released Tuesday said.
Through the MoU, NTF will assist export-oriented enterprises and start-ups to apply for DBN finance and the MoU will also cover enterprises engaged in internal trade, the statement added.
Namibia’s Deputy Director for International Trade and Commerce in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Ndiitah Nghipondoka-Robiati said at a time when Namibia and the African continent are working towards greater integration this MoU strengthens the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and allows Namibia to accelerate its industrialization agenda and diversify its export market.
She reiterated that SMEs are the backbone of most economies and are a key source of economic growth dynamism and flexibility, so SMEs must engage in programs that foster entrepreneurial thinking and enhance entrepreneurship.
Commenting on the agreement, Stacey Pinto, NTF CEO said the NFT should be the first stop for SMEs intending to export goods or services to AfCTFA countries.
Meanwhile, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said the MoU should be a model for coordination with the ability to assist finance for manufacturing, food processing, and agriculture infrastructure with the goal of local and AfCFTA trade.
He cautioned that although AfCFTA represents a potential boom for Namibian exporters, it also opens Namibia to imports, so it is important for Namibian SMEs and manufacturers to be competitive in both local and export markets.
Namibia’s earlier this month launched its National Strategy for Implementation of the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA, and the associated Action Plan.