By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with Letshego Africa to increase access to affordable housing finance for thousands of individuals in Namibia with the potential to expand its partnership to other countries.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has availed a $50 million financing facility to Letshego’s subsidiary in Namibia to finance affordable housing finance to over 4,000 Namibians.
“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 for Letshego Holdings Limited.
Despite 78 percent of Namibians owning a bank account, only 12 percent 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.
IFC works with partners across Africa to help increase access to affordable housing including supporting the development of sustainable and responsible mortgage markets.
Letshego Namibia CEO Ester Kali noted that affordable housing is another way “we are demonstrating our promise to improve lives – helping customers build their 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 organization with operations in 11 markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The International Finance Corporation is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. In 2020, the corporation said it invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries.