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Ohlthaver & List taps into skills development

Ohlthaver & List taps into skills development

The shortage of skills in Namibia have been emphasized several times not only by government, but also the business and private sector at large. This is a concern that the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group hold dear to heart and take very seriously, as skills shortage has proven to be detrimental to the growth of the local economy.
The O&L Group, through its purpose ‘Creating s future, enhancing life’ thus remain committed to its value ‘We Grow People’ and create ample platforms for growth and development opportunities for not only O&L employees, but any Namibian who has shown dedication and excel as individuals in their specific fields of study.
One of these platforms is the Talent Attraction Program (TAP) which aims to attract high-potential and talented Namibian graduates at tertiary education institutions that could be considered for the programme and subsequent employment. The TAP programme focuses on attracting and retaining dynamic Namibian graduates who display the passion and potential to be developed into future Leaders of the O&L Group.
The programme recruits high-flyers who can be fast-tracked to develop into positions that are essential for the long term sustainability and strategy of the company.
TAP was introduced in 2008 and has been successfully implemented and so far employed a total of 54 participants over the past eight years.
Objectives of the TAP programme include to provide valuable development and work experience to participants to enable them to become competent and self-driven in their careers; to ensure that participants experience a sense of belonging to the O&L Group; to ensure job security and employee retention, and to ensure that they are exposed to value adding projects within the operating companies.
Group Manager: Organizational Development, Jenine Van der Westhuizen said, “The Talent attraction programme has been very successful in the past three years with an 80% retention rate. Candidates have already proven themselves to be successful in their development and careers. In a country like Namibia with a shortage of specialized skills, it is important to contribute to skills development and create opportunities for skills development that are beneficial for both the organization and the employee”.
Meanwhile , another significant developmental programme within the O&L Group is the Exponential Training (XT) Programme currently running at one of the Group’s subsidiaries, Dimension Data – an Information and Telecommunications service provider.
Christian Mücke, Human Resources Manager at Dimension Data Namibia said,“As a Namibian managed IT company, we recognize the fact that the development of young talent to fill positions within the IT sector is critical to the sustainability of the ICT industry and of our company. Dimension Data has thus developed a programme whereby 6 individuals with the required academic qualifications and attitude are accommodated in an internship programme over an 18-month period.
The programme was started in April 2015 with the objective to provide students the opportunity to be trained and developed according to best practices. This objective will be met by selecting candidates with the required personal traits and competencies, training them within a Microsoft or Cisco framework and giving them exposure to a world class working environment.
Other project as well include, Kraatz Marine – another subsidiary of the O&L Group which annually takes 12 to 16 students from the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) under its wing in aid of developing their knowledge and skills and preparing them for the real working environment.
The Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia Trainee Managers & Retail Trainees programme is also part of the company’s initiatives to grow competent future leaders of the business, thereby ensuring that the future demands of the business, in terms of manpower capacity are met.

About The Author


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


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.