Investment board in digital development deal with Estonia

Nangula Uaandja

The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) has entered a strategic N$3 million partnership with the Estonian Centre for International Development (EstDev), to benefit micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Namibia.

According to a statement issued by the NIPDB yesterday, the partnership would culminate in the development of a digital capacity and skills development strategy for Namibian MSMEs, which would define and outline support measures for their benefit.

“We are very pleased to embark on our collaboration with the NIPDB. EstDev and the NIPDB share the same motivation to deliver change. We also share the same vision to support Namibian MSMEs and start-up ecosystems.

“For Estonia, Namibia has special meaning,” says Nelli Timm, EstDev’s regional adviser for Africa.

“We both gained independence at the same time, we are both small and agile, and share similar values on human rights and democratic governance.

“It is no wonder Namibia is one of the African countries Estonia has prioritised for its development cooperation,” he says.

According to the ‘2022 Digital Financing for Sustainable Development: An Assessment and Strategy for Namibia’, which was commissioned by the government with technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme, MSMEs in

Namibia grapple with the need for digital adaptation, sustainable innovation and consistent growth.

The partnership between the NIPDB and EstDev, a government-funded entity for managing and implementing Estonia’s international development cooperation and humanitarian assistance projects, is a determined step to enhance and elevate the capabilities of the MSME sector in Namibia in areas such as online banking and e-commerce, the use of mobile apps to streamline their activities, and online market research.

The partnership, which stems from strategic meetings between EstDev and the NIPDB in Estonia in May, will materialise in three key projects, the first of which will kick off at Swakopmund in November.

Speaking during the announcement of the partnership, the NIPDB’s executive director of MSME development, innovation and acceleration, Dino Ballotti, said the NIPDB’s mission to Estonia earlier this year offered a comprehensive view of a dynamic technology and innovation ecosystem.

“The insights gained and connections forged during this visit are now yielding positive results, as we’ll see Namibian MSMEs benefiting from Estonia’s experiences and lessons,” he said.

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