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“Workshop of the World” Manufacturing strategies to unleash a continent

Lusaka, Zambia, – Africa’s share of manufacturing in GDP is less than half of the average for all developing countries, participants in a panel discussion were told last week.
“Africa – Workshop of the World”, a panel discussion held during the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in Lusaka, looked at Africa’s enormous potential to boost continental manufacturing.
The event, organized in collaboration with the International Growth Centre (IGC), focused on discussing avenues for adapting Africa’s manufacturing strategies to unleash the continent’s potential for accelerated industrialization.
The discussion, moderated by Daniel Makokera, from Pamuzinda Productions, focused on analyzing the key constraints to the growth of African industries and debating what type of policy options should be implemented to stimulate manufacturing, firm growth, and job creation. Among the panellists were Celestin Monga of UNIDO, Paul Collier of IGC and Oxford University, John Page of IGC and the Brookings Institution, and Emmanuel Nnadozie, the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBD).
Page from the IGC said Africa needs to strategically link exports, geography and capabilities. He further described how such a strategic agenda for industrial development could look, by focusing on infrastructure, skills development, institutional support for foreign direct investment and special economic zones (SEZs), and mounting an “export push” by reducing the costs of entry and export.
Collier emphasized the challenge Africa is facing in sustaining its economic growth levels in a time where many of the previous catalysts for growth have disappeared. He stressed the importance of increasing the productivity and complexity of the African markets, by facilitating connectivity through infrastructure and density, in order to create jobs and sustainable growth.
The panel concluded that unleashing Africa’s competitiveness in industry requires strengthened efforts to enable reforms that actually matter for productivity and growth, such as supporting exports, building firm capabilities, increasing human capacity, and creating clusters such as SEZs. Lastly, the panel agreed that effective leadership will be crucial in building institutions that can sustain growth over the years to come.

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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.