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Agribank loans show marked improvement

Agribank’s CEO Amb. Leonard Iipumbu reflects on the achievements the bank went through for the year 2014

The Agricultural Bank of Namibia’s approved loans to farmers increased by 51% to N$386 million this year from N$256 million recorded last year resulting in the expansion of the total loan book by an estimated 21% to N$2.3 billion. According to Agribank these figures show an increased demand for Agribank products and a remarkable growth of the institution and a major highlight of the banks achievements for the year 2014. Agribank loans to small scale farmers increased by 159 % to N$75 million under the National Agricultural Credit Program (NACP) in 2014 compared to to N$29million from 2013, which in turn created and maintained 1,458 permanent and 2,916 temporary jobs.

“The uptake of loans under this programme remains high and continues to benefit the majority of communal farmers for sustained socio-economic development,” said the Agribank’s CEO Amb. Leonard Iipumbu. Other highlights of the achievements attained by Agribank during the year 2014 include the extended loans under the National land Reform Programme (NLRP). Iipumbu said “Loans extended under NLRP have also seen a growth of 125% to N$157.7 million for 24 farms, purchasing 141,430.39 hectares of commercial land.” According to Iipumbu, Agribank also responded positively to the worst drought in 30 years by providing relief to about 142 clients with a total of N$41 million spent under the drought Relief Scheme that Agribank launched last year and this is another highlight of the what Agribank did in 2014. Again in 2014 Agribank also focused on post-settlement support. Said Iipumbu, “during the year under review, the Bank approved a total of N$9.8 million under the post-settlement support funding benefiting 81 resettled farmers.” “To date N$53 million has been disbursed benefiting more than 738 resettled farmers,” he added. Another milestone Iipumbu felt the bank had achieved  in 2014 is notably farmers support project. Under the Farmers Support Project, the bank contributed N$5 million in addition to GIZ’s N$5.6 million during the financial year to contract 34 mentors for training and mentoring services to farmers country-wide. “As a result, 830 farmers south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence and 296 farmers in the Northern Communal Areas received training by September 2014,” added Iipumbu.
 In terms of product development Ipumbu said Agribank plans to improve product and service delivery to clients, in particular small-scale farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs in 2015. Ipumbu extended gratitude to government ministries. Urging all clients with approved loans from those yet to take up their loans before mid-March 2015.

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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.