By Business Reporter
ECONOMIC Planning Minister Obeth Kandjoze, Southern Africa regional director of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Bruno Deprince, and French Ambassador to Namibia Claire Bodonyi on Friday signed a EUR400,000 grant that will be used to promote the emergence of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Namibia.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Kandjoze welcomed AFD’s support to develop PPPs in Namibia while highlighting the critical role of such partnerships to Namibia.
“Through its Public-Private Partnership framework, the government of Namibia views PPPs as critical to addressing existing infrastructure and service needs. This is in line with the country’s economic transformation policy that aims to create growth and job opportunities that will lift the income and quality of life for its citizens,” Kandjoze said.
Also speaking at the event Ambassador Bodonyi said: “Today’s agreement is another step in the cooperation between our two countries. It is the first financing agreement between the Republic of Namibia and the French Development Agency, since its establishment in Namibia in 1998, and we hope it will be followed by other ones in the near future. It perfectly illustrates our government’s new vision for solidarity investments.”
AFD’s three-year grant will be used to identify potential PPP projects to be developed in order of priority; to build the capacity of public and private sector professionals in charge of implementing PPP projects; to conduct pre-feasibility studies for PPP projects; and to develop a PPP toolkit dedicated to public and private entities in charge of structuring PPP projects.
“AFD is looking to further develop its activities to contribute to the country’s development priorities. In the near future, we will bring a full time AFD presence in Windhoek. This will allow us to strengthen our relationships with local institutions and pursue our discussions with our counterparts to support Namibia’s economic transformation. This shows our commitment to accompanying Namibia in its path to sustainable economic development,” Deprince said at the event.
AFD’s relationship with Namibia dates back to 1997, when the agency started the identification of potential projects and areas of work in Namibia. It went on to grant a EUR35 million loan to NamPower in 2008 to develop its high tension transmission line to Zambia through the Caprivi Link.
Earlier this year, AFD launched its SUNREF programme in partnership with the Environment Investment Fund of Namibia. Through its partner banks, FirstRand Namibia, Bank Windhoek and Nedbank Namibia, SUNREF offers financing to support private sector’s investments in the areas of sustainable agriculture, sustainable tourism, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
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