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Drones for development in Namibia

Drones for development in Namibia

The Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) from Namibia’s University of Science & Technology (NUST) earlier this week held their 16th innovation circle which was held under the theme “Drones for Development In Namibia” and was presented by Michael Nauta, a drone specialist and engineering student at NUST.
The seminar created a platform formed around a peer group of key players in the national innovation system. It focused on developing drones to facilitate quality of life in Namibia, and detailed on the opportunities and challenges of developing drones. In his opening remarks Nauta shared that his passion in aerodynamics begun during his studies in India in which he took part in a project titled ‘Project Disarm’.
Project disarm dealt with disaster management solutions through a series of technical innovations in the area of wireless networking and its application to enhance the preparedness of relief agencies and improve the use of smart devices for the better coordination of relief efforts. Nauta expalined that this innovation was quite successful thus he turned to his native country to enhance the development of such technology in Namibia.
Nauta elaborated that drones can be useful in multiple ways in Namibia, and noted using drones for bush encroachment as drones can be programmed with artificial intelligence and make accurate selections on which plants to eliminate. Surveying and land management, crop monitoring and farmland management and the use of drones for risky construction area inspections are also among the duties drones can provide for developing Namibia.
Nauta also stressed that although there are people capable of creating drones in Namibia there is a vast amount of challenges that halt it’s progress and noted that authorities are not so friendly, citing an arrest from police as a journalist video recording the June16th march by youth from the sky with his drone was arrested as it is considered a threat to national security.
He listed challenges such as legislature, funding, lack of skills, trade barriers, and bureaucracy as things that stand in the way of developing drones in Namibia. Nauta further noted that drones have endless possibilities as they can bring together people from different fields such as Designers, Engineers, Marketers, and Surveyors etc. “People can now gain access to never before utilized forms of advertising such as mounting a poster or advert on a drone and flying it around town to expose products to a wide variety of audiences.” Nauta shared.
With regard to the future of drones in Namibia, Nauta enthused “It is all up to you to utilize the information and technological breakthroughs given to you.” The Namibia Business Innovation Institute provides training, mentoring and business support to innovative entrepreneurs looking to establish their own companies as well as to researchers interested in commercialising their technology.

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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.