Sunday, April 5, 2020

National Development Bank shifts focus

The National Development Bank (NDB) has instituted a new program entitled “Tswelelopele,” (roughly translated, “progress”) to encourage the development of human capital in Botswana. This new approach will help the bank to provide self-improvement opportunities for Batswana, while diversifying its portfolio to include a wider range of loans.

The new loans made available by the NDB will primarily target those seeking to acquire property and pay school fees. Starting on November 30th, NDB will offer home loans ranging from P20, 000 to P1.5 million for the purpose of purchasing existing property and plots and paying for home improvements. Additionally, the bank is offering loans of P10, 000 to P100, 000 to pay school fees, specifically targeting tertiary education.

Established in 1963 under an Act of Parliament, the NDB aims to contribute to the growth of the local economy through job creation, import substitution, and foreign exchange earnings, among others. Through this new program, the bank is providing a variety of different flexible loan repayment options to suit the needs of all Batswana. In particular, “Tswelelopele” will give many people access to capital who, until now, might not have considered taking out a loan.

In particular, the loans targeting school fees will help enable citizens who want to obtain the necessary skills to succeed in the competitive job market. The bank is even willing to give loans to Batswana who want to study abroad.

Furthermore, the bank’s Client Solutions Director, Babuluki Mojalemotho, expressed her hope that citizens would use this new program to purchase their own property, instead of continuing to rent. Rather than paying rent, one would pay interest on the loan. The difference is that owning property provides numerous other economic advantages that renting does not.

To promote its new services, the NDB representatives appeared on the call-in talk show Lifeline to inform the public and to answer any questions people might have about these new loan opportunities. As a result of the publicity, Mojalemotho reported an outpouring of enquiries about the new loans, even though applications will not be accepted until the November 30th start date.

Historically, the National Development Bank has been engaged in loans for agricultural projects. While they are still engaged in farm development, these new projects will help spread the risk among many different economic sectors, including retail, tourism, healthcare, mining, and manufacturing.

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