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Many farmers will lose everything– Harald Marggraff, NAU

“The current drought in Namibia is a serious concern and affects every person in this country, from farmer, to industries and consumers,” said Gunther Ling, Managing Director of Namibia Dairies, at a recent meeting with Namibian farmers.

The Namibia Agricultural Union’s (NAU) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sakkie Coetzee, echoed these sentiments and cautioned that should the drought persist, it would have a negative impact on the livelihood of every Namibian, and ultimately the economy at large.

Coetzee explained that as a result of the poor rains, there was very limited, and in some cases, no feed available for farm animals, which has in turn caused for an increase of at least 20% on feed costs over the past few months. On a year-on-year basis, feed cost has seen an increase of 50% since July last year.

“Maintaining feed supply thus becomes a very costly exercise, which is why we recently saw the increase in the price of maize and pasta.  The unfortunate reality is that food prices are bound to increase drastically, and the cost of putting food on the table will increase. Farmers are just not in a position to absorb these crippling costs,” he said.

Stressing the direness of the situation facing farmers, local farmer Roelie Venter said,: “When we have a short period of drought, grass usually grows out of reserves when rain is received, however, because this drought has been prolonged, even the reserves from which new grass usually sprouts, are dying. So while we have to deal with the immediate impact of increasing feed costs, we also worry about the longer term environmental impact of this prolonged drought.”

According to the NAU’s Commodities Manager, Harald Marggraff, there is a real risk that some farmers will lose everything.

Said Marggraff, “Many farmers are on their knees, praying for some rain. I don’t think people realise how serious the matter is. And the ripple effect it will have on the supply chain, will be a very unpleasant affair, for everyone”.

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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.