DBN finances PowerCom's Namibian mobile project

Guaranteeing that suppliers are paid is a key factor in any contract, as PowerCom Namibia knows. To ensure that PowerCom can press forward with its contractual obligations to supply 95% of Namibia with mobile coverage within five years, letters of credit are needed for the equipment involved to be shipped into Namibia. The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is stepping in to ensure that this major contract can go ahead.

Six months of guarantee to the tune of US$4.23 million is the facility being extended by DBN. A further sum, being put forward for three other projects, totals US$886,000. DBN is highly supportive of all the projects in question but singles out the coverage of 95% of Namibia's populated areas by mobile telephony because of its positive economic implications.

Length of PowerCom's licence is 15 years. The mobile operator is also upbeat as DBN will follow the original shareholding by becoming a new source of finance. One area of disappointment is that PowerCom has admitted that it has not met its early December deadline for rolling out its service. The Christmas break is now the starting-point, as the company's Managing Director was always determined not to launch until he was certain the system was absolutely reliable.

* The remaining US$886,000 million of support will be split among Edu-Loan Namibia (US$674,000 for loans to 230 Namibians), Enviro-Fill Namibia (US$141,000 to extend the life of a landfill site near Windhoek) and Wendjizuva Pharmacy (US$70,000 to purchase new stock).

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