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Japan grows in Africa

In 2013 Japan’s prime minister Shinzō Abe announced a whopping US$32 billion five-year support for Africa’s development projects.
Before Mr. Abe’s announcement, Japan’s many interventions in Africa were mostly under the radar, attracting little fanfare. For example, not many know that Japan’s cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) in the continent rose from US$758 million in 2000 to US$10.5 billion in 2014, according to Forbes, a US publication. Indeed, Japan was Africa’s largest Asian economic partner until 2000, when China took the lead.
By launching in 1993 the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) with the United Nations Development Program and the UN’s Office of the Special Advisor on Africa, Japan pioneered efforts by Asian countries to engage directly with African leaders.
The Chinese followed in 2000 with the launch of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), while India joined the bandwagon in 2010 with the India-Africa Business Forum (IBF).
Often attended by a majority of African leaders, as well as investors and development experts, these gatherings have been opportunities to negotiate international trade and to attract investors and official development aid (ODA).
Japan’s decision to hold the sixth TICAD in Kenya in August, the first ever in Africa (previous conferences were all held in Japan), will likely stoke global interest in Japan-Africa relations. A prior visit to Africa by the prime minister in 2013 (with stops in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Mozambique), the first by a Japanese leader since 2005 and the first ever to a francophone country, highlighted Africa’s investment opportunities, particularly for Japanese companies.
The prime minister’s visit also triggered a scrutiny of Japan’s strategic intent and its policy towards Africa, with Stratfor, a US-based geopolitical intelligence firm, explaining that Japan is making investment forays into Africa because it is experiencing “resource insecurities” even as its “economic growth challenges have become more urgent after the 2011 disasters and nuclear shutdown.”
Unlike China’s and India’s, the majority of Japan’s flows to Africa continue to be “focused on development assistance rather than on commercial investment by Japan’s private sector,” noted Harry Broadman, director of US-based Johns Hopkins University’s Council on Global Enterprise and Emerging Markets in Baltimore, Maryland.

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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.