Sanlam Investments Namibia says it has now deployed an initial N$150 million through the Sanlam Namibia Unlisted Debt Fund, launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, into Namibian companies excluded from traditional banking.
According to Sanlam Investments analyst John-Morgan Bezuidenhout, the fund is designed to provide funding to small and medium enterprises, supporting economic growth in Namibia.
“The Sanlam Namibia Unlisted Debt Fund provides offshore and local investors with the opportunity to earn annual returns that target prime plus two percent.
The fund not only benefits investors with attractive returns but also helps talented Namibian entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses,” he said.
Sanlam Investments has set an ambitious goal of growing the fund to multiples of its initial size, he said.
The company was aiming to address obstacles for ordinary Namibians to participate in local financial markets, with a lack of opportunities rather than finance having been identified, he said.
“Despite being blessed with abundant natural resources and attracting foreign investment, Namibia has struggled to attract capital for projects that could lead to inclusive gross domestic product growth. Many companies, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have faced funding challenges, hindering economic progress,” Bezuidenhout said.
“Sanlam Investments aims to change this narrative by focusing on inclusive growth through its innovative approach.
Namibia has long faced significant challenges concerning youth employment, income inequality and low levels of productivity. Recent research by Statista and Piketty highlights the country’s high Gini coefficient, indicating that Namibia’s income inequality is among the highest globally, only second to South Africa. Sanlam Investments is taking proactive steps to promote inclusive growth and economic opportunities for all citizens,” he said.
Bezuidenhout said Sanlam Investments has over the last two years funded projects that promote low-cost medical care, enhanced food sustainability, the adoption of renewable energy sources and provision of affordable housing.
“The company’s contribution to the private sector extends to targeting key sectors in the economy ripe for funding,” he said. – The Brief
Source : NAMIBIAN