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Schoolwear retail outlet opens its doors

Namibia’s manufacturing capacity to participate in distribution and retailing needs to be accelerated to deliver equitable benefits of economic growth, additional job opportunities and equitable wealth sharing to all Namibians according to the Minister of Trade and Industry Hon. Calle Schlettwein. The minister said this at the official opening of the Schooltex and Sportwear retail outlet in Town Square in Windhoek earlier this week. Schooltex and Sportwear CC. is part of M&M Innovations, a Namibian garment manufacturing company of school, sport and safety wear owned by businesswoman Beauty Mathupi. The company was supported by the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the scheme aiming to encourage investment in value addition and local production as of the ‘Growth at Home’ strategy. Founded in 2001 with just six employees and lacking funding, the company now boasts a staff complement of 83 permanent staff, two factories, a dispatch factory and a warehouse. Schlettwein said, “Barely a year after the Ministry launched the ‘Growth at Home’ strategy we are already bearing fruits of its success by officially opening the first retail outlet that will sell locally produced garment under the brand, M&M demonstrated that with hard work, “Growth at Home” is achievable and can be translated into tangible results.”

He said that Namibia cannot afford to forgo economic gains and income as a result of the lack of value addition at home, export of job opportunities to countries were value is added, and the exposure to risks due to dependence on the exhaustible commodities and fluctuations in demand and price. Speaking to the Economist Mathupi said she was excited that her personal dream of being part of the industrialization of Namibia had been realised. “Its been a long time coming, as we had a lot of challenges that included the procurement of raw materials to make finished goods and also the market was not really responding well to our products as we did not have a retail shop.” “We sold our products directly to the schools which was a challenge as some of the parents were sceptical about buying uniforms directly from us,” she added. Mathupi said she feels the attitude towards her products will change now that she has opened a retail shop and even plans to open another shop in March next year.  The ministry has throughout the years supported M&M innovations with support services ranging from participation in international exhibitions, sourcing exposure to China for competitive industrial inputs, provision of production equipment and has through the Sites and Premises and rental support programme has secured a space for them to enter the retail market.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.