Hellen Amupolo, previously acting director of the investment department of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), has been officially promoted to director.

Since joining the Bank in 2008, Amupolo has been instrumental in establishing the Ongwediva branch and has played a leading role in developing pioneering financing models for renewable energy and the provision of affordable land and housing through public-private partnerships (PPP).

Amupolo’s career trajectory at the Bank began as a business analyst. As she progressed, she became Northern Regional Portfolio Manager, then Senior Portfolio Manager: Infrastructure and Utilities. Immediately prior to her appointment as Chief, she held the position of Senior Investment Manager. Prior to joining DBN, she served as Acting Chief Economist for the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Market Analyst for South Africa Breweries.

Amupolo is a Chartered Development Finance Analyst, with a BA in Economics from the University of Namibia and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch. Additionally, Ms. Amupolo’s education includes exposure to a number of structured finance and investment banking engagements during her banking career.

Talking about the role of DBN’s investment department, Amupolo said it finances large companies with an annual turnover above N$10 million and infrastructure. Infrastructure, whether for energy production and distribution, water, telecommunications and transport, creates the necessary foundation on which large companies and SMEs can anchor their economic activities.

The Department of Investment’s main focus areas include transport and logistics, tourism and hospitality, and manufacturing, areas identified in NDP5 as critical to the growth of the Namibian economy. The Department also funds initiatives that address structural needs of the economy, such as private solar power generation, and sociological issues such as the provision of serviced land and affordable housing.

Going forward, Amupolo said the Bank is consolidating financing for renewable energy and water infrastructure under its Climate Adaptation Facility. The Bank is also considering new funding programs, and announcements would be made if and when they become feasible.

In addition to her role as Head of DBN’s Investment Department, Hellen Amupolo is also Chair of the Investment Committee of Momentum Metropolitan Namibia, sits on the Board of the Roads Authority where she is Chair of the Audit Committee, and she is a member of the Public-Private Partnerships Committee and the Public Procurement Review Committee of the Ministry of Finance.