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Feeding programme to be expanded

The Namibian School Feeding Programme is considered as one of government’s strategies to address the inequalities in education and expanding educational opportunities for disadvantaged Namibians.
The Ministry of Education in collaboration with various ministries and international bodies such as the World Food Programme (WFP), The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Partnership for Child Development Organisation this week held the School Feeding Programme Case Study inception workshop.
Speaking at the workshop, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education Alfred Ilukena said  government recognises the potential of the school feeding programme in relieving short term hunger for orphans and vulnerable children as well as contributing to increasing their enrolment, attendance and level of concentration in class.
According to Ilukena, when the Ministry of Education took over the management of the school feeding programme from the World Food Programme in 1996, only 78 000 children were enrolled into the programme.
“Sixteen years later, the programme has evolved into one of the largest national food safety nets programes entirely managed by government,” he said.
The current programme is now reaching over 265 00 orphans and vulnerable school learners, representing over 50% of children attending primary school education.
Ilukena said it is important to recall that the significant steps made by the programme are also the result of a number of national government policies and strategic plans that provided the framework for the implementation of school feeding in the country.
He, however, noted that despite the positive achievements made so far in advancing the programme, there are still some challenges ahead such as meeting the resolutions made at the National Conference on Education last year and expanding the programme.
“This expansion is critical in ensuring that all vulnerable children are facilitated to access education and a nutritious meal at school.”
Some key areas to be investigated by the study are, amongst others, institutional capacity for the implementation of an expanded school feeding programme,quality checks and quality assurance mechanisms in place to ensure that the supplier provide quality products to beneficiary schools.
Speaking at the same workshop, Jennifer Bitonde, the World Food Programme officer in charge said that the planned study will also offer an opportunity to document the historical transition process and the characteristics of the school feeding programme that will serve to provide guidance to other countries implementing school feeding programmes.

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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.