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The coastal economy

The coastal economy
By Ogone Tlhage ogone@economist.com.na

By Ogone Tlhage
ogone@economist.com.na

I have in the past three weeks travelled to Swakopmund and must say that I am astounded by what I got to see. On the first occasion the shuttle drove in at just after eight and quite oddly, it was a warm evening. Not like anything I have experienced the coastal paradise to be.
Upon entering, we immediately turned right and made way for what I thought would be Henties Bay. We drove approximately 5 kilometres north and turned in finally only to be greeted by a row of fancy houses and a well to do shopping centre. It must probably be a good five years since I last set foot in Swakopmund, since, I am not one to rush over there when its December anyway.
In any case, the shuttle had to make rounds across town dropping of passengers before finally making way to a hotel where a media delegation would be sleeping over and finally, head south to Walvis Bay.
When morning broke, two other colleagues and I made way to the Areva Desalination Plant where we would spend our morning. Since it was now day, I had time to take in what was happening. Development after development. Shopping centres, houses, roads that were being rehabilitated, the list goes on and on and on.
I do not see an end in sight to what is happening and it can only be good for the entire coastal economy. And more encouraging, with the exclusion of the Husab Mine, what has lead this spur in growth? Take away the mining sector just for a minute, the marine economy and think desalination and what it can mean for other parts of the country, particularly Usakos, Karibib, Okahandja, Windhoek and even Otjiwarongo and Okakarara.
The impact is meaningful right? Add to that, Aveng Africa, operators of the contentious plant believe they can water Namibia affordably does it for a moment make you sad that despite the overwhelming potential, the plant or desalination plants Government through Namwater are not being utilised.
This has lead me to believe the coastal economy has announced itself and not just as a mining and or marine based economy, but one that has the potential for its influence to extend far beyond the reach of the Namib desert. And if it can happen in cold misty Swakopmund, imagine the possibilities that abound across other parts of the country. If we turn our attention to the south, we can one day utilise the abundance of sunlight to power a huge part of Namibia.
Luderitz too can play its role and allow for the establishment of wind farms. Flip as a node to the Port in the south, it may also give impetus to movement of goods and services out of Luderitz in droves we are yet to see and given its location to parts of northern South Africa and Botswana, the potential increases significantly.
But as has been mentioned by Aveng, the lack of a PPP framework is holding back a number of projects that can spur growth in the country and that is sad to note that Government has only recently begun putting work towards a framework.
Think of areas of the country that show great potential which may not need government intervention and the picture becomes clear. Well in my mind at least. I leave it there!

About The Author

Typesetter

Today the Typesetter is a position at a newspaper that is mostly outdated since lead typesetting disappeared about fifty years ago. It is however a convenient term to indicate a person that is responsible for the technical refinement of publishing including web publishing. The Typesetter does not contribute to editorial content but makes sure that all elements are where they belong. - Ed.

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.