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Does long distance education work?

Gideon Nangolo

Education comes in many forms, but here in Namibia we all still aspire to attend some form of tertiary education at a residential insitution. UNAM and then the Polytechnic spring to mind.
These institutions are however not the only road to education and self-development. Especially for people that are already working and for some reason did not have the opportunity, money or time to follow the proven path to academic education straight out of high school. I am one of those people. Having a full time job as a Supervisor in the Immigration Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, means it is not easy to find the time to actually pursue outside interests, especially something as time-consuming as studies. This means that self-improvement becomes more difficult and in turn qualifying for promotions becomes harder. But, to not study, means not to become better educated and miss out on promotions. This is where academic institutions like Southern Business School Namibia come along and play an important role. People often do not think and realise that long distance learning is a real viable option, providing you choose a properly accredited institution. SBS is one of these institutions.

My journey of tertiary education has meant that I have been able to achieve the position of Supervisor and I plan to continue to study and make promotions.
Starting my studies, I enrolled with SBS and earned a Certificate in Management. This made me eager for more and a Diploma in Management and advanced Management soon followed. Studying from home and at my own pace suited me fine and I was very proud when I was able to achieve an Advanced Diploma in Management. I managed to gain my Bachelor of Business Administration Honours Degree and am actually close to receiving my Masters of Management. It has been very intense, with lots of long study hours, but the way the courses are set up, really makes it a worthwhile endeavour, with the added bonus of receiving an NQA certified degree at the end. The access to education and courses, in my own time and at my own pace means that I can now realistically think about studying for a PhD as well as possibly becoming a university lecturer. Not only that, but distance education has also given me new opportunities beyond receiving a promotion. SBS has equipped me with the necessary knowledge and skills to start my own business called ‘Think Tank Academy’. In this business, I am responsible for assisting final year students from various colleges and universities countrywide as well as students who are experiencing difficulties with their academic research project (Mini-Thesis). Studying and improving myself academically has really become a passion and through SBS Namibia I have been able to go further and faster than I imagined and I am not finished yet. There are lots of ways to educate yourself, but long distance learning is a great format and works well here in Namibia.

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.