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Online tender information not new on market

The Editor
Your front page article headlined ‘…bridges digital divide’ on 12 December 2014 is a poorly disguised advertorial promoting a foreign-owned operation entering the tender information dissemination sphere.
It is bringing nothing new or special to the market.
Instead, it is replicating what others have been doing for years – with an exorbitant pricing model obviously  aimed at extracting maximum profits from Namibia’s tendering community.
The whole locally–owned ‘Namibia Tender Bulletin’ and ‘Tender Exchange’ would therefore appreciate similar prominent exposure in your newspaper.

The ‘ Tender Bulletin ‘ was established in 1992, as Namibia’s only procurement publication of record, providing up-to-date, comprehensive tender information, promoting public procurement transparency, while the ‘ Tender Exchange ‘ has been operating since 1998, providing a 24/7 dedicated e-mail tender information service to hundreds of subscribers locally and internationally.

Your reporter’s claim that the “traditional business model for tenders” is fully paper- based, as claimed by new “ digital start -up”, is therefore false and misleading.
Since ‘ The Economist ‘ was kind enough to publish the subscription rates for the new service provider, may we point out that subscribers to the ‘Tender Exchange’ continue to receive email tender information – after 16 years – for a fraction of the newcomer’s fees from as little as N$414.00 annually – about one Namibia dollar a day. In fact, subscribers to the ‘Tender Bulletin’ get limited email coverage free of charge.
The newcomer also promises “opening prices” of tenders submitted.
The ‘Tender Bulletin’ has published bids on publicly announced tenders for the past 22 years, while our electronic database is a valuable business resource, regularly utilized by our subscribers and third party researchers.
Both the ‘ Tender Bulletin ‘ and the ‘ Tender Exchange’ have built up a reputable track record over decades, and while we are not afraid of competition, we insist on fair business practices, especially from your publication, claiming to be the ‘Custodian of Business Intelligence’.
We’re looking forward to your positive response, failing which we will avail ourselves to the Media Ombudsman.
David Pieters & Anita Schmid
Publishers and owners of Namibia Tender Bulletin & The Tender Exchange

About The Author

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

Promotion

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.