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Harambee tackles poverty in multiple ways

Harambee tackles poverty in multiple ways

Stating that social progression is the cornerstone of his newly defined Harambee Prosperity Plan, the President, HE Dr Hage Geingob elaborated on the detail of his ambitious plan during his State of the Nation address earlier this week in Parliament.
Presenting the Mass Housing scheme in a down-tuned more realistic framework, Dr Geingob said Harambee rests on a four-pillar framework. His government aims to build 20,000 houses, service a minimum of 26,000 plots and build 50,000 rural toilets by 2017. The President also alluded to improving the efficiencies of state-owned enterprises, unlocking their value and thus relieving the burden on the national fiscus. This ties in with remarks made by the Minister of Finance, Hon Calle Schlettwein earlier this year in his budget statement when he said the option to partly list state-owned enterprises on the Namibian Stock Exchange, is being investigated.
Harambee is a Swahili word meaning to pull together in the same direction. The President uses the concept to encourage Namibians to work together for a common purpose. The President further said, Harambee will not replace any national development roadmap but will complement long-term national goals for prosperity such as vision 2030.
To combat hunger, a number of plans including emergency relief, improving agricultural productivity and introducing food banks were mentioned and will be implemented. The youth are the biggest winners in the State of the Nation address with the President pledging to establish an enterprise development scheme which will provide access to finance. It also envisages the establishment of information enterprises for the rural youth to create income-generating opportunities.
The pillars of social progression comprise the elimination of poverty and hunger; the fast-tracking of urban land servicing and housing; the improving of sanitary conditions; the reduction in infant and maternal mortality; and, finally, the acceleration of vocational technical skills.
Furthermore, government funds, grants and schemes targeted at the youth will be ring-fenced under the Youth Enterprise Development Fund to focus on entrepreneurial start-ups with innovative funding mechanisms such as venture capital and collateral-free lending.
To fund Harambee, the President promised to widen the tax base and include the informal sector. Another contentious solution is the possibility of establishing a state lottery.
Commenting on the subject, Financial Analyst Suta Kavari explained that the establishment of a state lottery to supplement State revenue and ring-fence income for poverty eradication and social developmental programmes, which was alluded to, should be approached with caution.
“A lottery is essentially another form of gambling, it is a regressive tax on the poor. The poor are the most avid buyers of lottery tickets, and a lottery ticket costs disproportionately more to a poor person than it does to a rich person.” said Kavari.
Kavari explained that instead of taxing the informal sector, plans should be introduced to help incentivise more entrepreneurs saying that the Harambee Plan is an ambitious and commendable plan which sets out clear targets and deadlines.

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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.