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Amarula trains new nature guides

These Namibian students were trained as Nature Guides to help them enter the job market as guides specialising in ecotourism.

Opening the tourguide field to a wider discipline and more jobseekers, Amarula, the famous Marula liquer, took a handful of Namibians on a training course to obtain a formal qualification as tourguides with a focus on ecotourism. This training was sponsored by the Amarula Conservation Trust, the corporate social investment vehicle of Amarula, the drink. The Trust funded 16 enthusiastic wildlife and outdoor lovers from communities in Namibia and Botswana, providing an opportunity to pursue the career of their dreams. 

Lodges and camps in Botswana and Namibia set the scene for the EcoTraining 33-day Nature Guide Course, perfect for the start of a career in the eco-tourism industry. Through this programme, the Trust strives to showcase its care for nature and members of local communities by providing training to enter tourism as a source of employment. “Knowledgeable, skill competent and ethical guides play an important role in the foreign tourist experience – we simply wish to up-skill, give back and create excellent memorable experiences” said Philip Basson of the Amarula Conservation Trust. The selected students from the local communities as well as from various lodges in Namibia and Botswana were those who were employed as waiters, workshop assistants, security guards and bartenders at these establishments.  According to Clinton Phillips of EcoTraining, “The criteria for the delegates were simple – they needed to be linked to potential employment, demonstrate a passion for wildlife, a willingness to improve their own education and an ability to give back to their communities. The training was done at the EcoTraining camp in the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana, at Erindi and at Wilderness Safari’s Damaraland Adventure Camp. The EcoTraining Nature Guide Level 2 course included lessons on botany, ecology, geology, climate, astronomy, mammals, birds, guiding principles, 4×4 vehicles, game driving, laws and regulations of Botswana and Namibia pertaining to parks and reserves as well as tracking, conservation and habitat management. Okwa Sarefo, the Safari Guide instructor said “the passion of these learners for wildlife and their commitment to the course were amazing.  They would stay up late into the night, talking about what they had learned that day.  They enjoyed learning about the ecological functioning of nature and how each organism contributes to the ecosystem.  They were one of the best group of students we have ever had.” “The programme started in Botswana a few years ago and since then reached out into South Africa and Namibia. When these students return to their establishments they will be employed as field guides, opening up new job opportunities for those who fill their vacancies and further developing local employment,” said Adéle Ankiewicz, Amarula global marketing manager and spokesperson for the Trust. Intended to advance eco-sustainability and provide critical employment skills, the course is aligned to the new National Guide Qualifications of Botswana and Namibia and is accredited under the Botswana and Namibian Qualifications Authority.

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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.