The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with pan-African finance organisation, Letshego, to increase access to affordable housing finance for thousands of Namibias with the potential to expand its partnership to other countries.
IFC’s US$50 million (over N$734 million) financing facility to Letshego’s subsidiary in Namibia will extend access to affordable housing finance for over 4 000 Namibians.
The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. The corporation works in more than 100 countries, using capital, expertise and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, it invested US$22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. The IFC also works with partners across Africa to help increase access to affordable housing including supporting the development of sustainable and responsible mortgage markets.
“Our strategic purpose is clear – we want to improve lives across the communities where we operate. Increasing access to simple and appropriate financial solutions, for more individuals and small business owners, will enable us to deliver on this promise. By partnering with global institutions like IFC, who share our vision of achieving social impact through sustainable commercial strategies, we can unlock exponential value and potential for us to do more. This is truly an exciting partnership. We appreciate the support, synergy and partnership that IFC brings to our strategy,” said Andrew Okai, Group Chief Executive, Letshego Holdings Limited.
Although 78% of Namibians have a bank account, only 12% of households have mortgage-financed homes. The majority of Namibians do not qualify for mortgages from commercial banks because they are often unaffordable.
“By supporting partners like Letshego to increase the availability of affordable housing loans, we hope to enable more individuals to access quality housing in Namibia,” said Adamou Labara, IFC’s Country Manager for Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Commenting on the partnership, Ester Kali, Letshego Namibia Country CEO added, “Thanks to digitalisation, Letshego Namibia is rapidly diversifying our product offering, increasing the range and choice of financial solutions available to our Namibian customers across our country. Affordable housing is another way we are demonstrating our promise to improving lives – helping customers build their personal assets to increase long-term value, along with financial stability. We are delighted to partner with IFC to launch this exciting new Letshego offering”. Letshego Group is an African retail services organisation with operations in 11 markets in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Letshego Group is an African multinational, first opening its doors in Botswana more than 21 years ago by offering loans to government employees. Today, the Group has over 3 000 employees comprising more than 21 nationalities, and supports public and private sector individual customers, as well as micro and small entrepreneurs. Letshego Namibia opened its doors in 2002 as Edu Loan Namibia, providing consumer and micro-lending services. Letshego Holdings Limited successfully floated their IPO on the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX) through a nationwide campaign called “Ekwafo Letu” that offered a rare opportunity for customers, staff and Previously Disadvantage Namibians to own shares on the NSX.