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Less from tourism to GDP

As developed countries continue to be affected by global jitters, Klaus Schade, an independent economist said that Namibia can expect a decline in the contribution by the tourism industry to the 2012 GDP.
He said “although tourists from neighboring countries such as South Africa and Angola might still come to Namibia despite the prevailing global economic uncertainties, tourist numbers from Europe, the USA and other developed countries might decline or the visitors will have less money to spend.”
Schade said that as the economic unrest continues, the tourists will either stay for a shorter period of time in the country or cut down on their expenditure.
“Tourists might prefer to do self drives instead of tour operators, camping instead of lodges, self catering instead of dining in restaurants amongst other cutbacks,” he said.
Shade said that with the European Soccer Cup underway and as well as the Olympic games which will take places during the main European holiday season, this could divert potential visitors to Namibia.

But as a slight comfort, he mentions the recent depreciation of the Namibia Dollar as a positive factor saying that it will help stretch tourists’s holiday buck.
“The NAD has weakened against the USD, British Pound and Euro compared to a year ago and hence tourists from these countries get more NAD for their local currency which increases their disposable income in NAD,” said Schade.
Commenting on the cost of travel, he said that although the petrol price increment has affected transportation costs depending on the distance, the oil price has dropped and resulted in the announced price drop for petrol and diesel yet the fuel prices are still about a dollar higher then a year ago.
“Therefore higher fuel prices might not affect overall spending patterns of tourists as they already come with a certain expenditure budget.”
Meanwhile Schade said that there is a need to diversify the tourism industry to ensure a steady contribution to GDP and look at other ways to explore the possibilities of attracting conference and business tourists to the country.
He said that although such an initiative will requires investments into, for instance, a state of the art international convention centre, business tourists spend more money per day than conventional tourists and are not bound by major holiday seasons.”This could help keep a steady inflow of tourists in the country regardless of the ongoing global economic crisis. This can also help us fill low seasons, we need to ensure that we do not outprice ourselves and take into account the purchasing power of our visitors.”
Schade stressed the need for the country to market itself in other countries as well as to make tourists feel more welcome and at home so that these visitors will recommend the country to their friends.
“The tourism industry is a major contributor to employment creation since it is labour intensive. We need to invest in skills development in the hospitality and tourism sector in order to provide first class services.”
Schade said there is a need to showcase more Namibian products “from traditional food and drinks to  culture and crafts in order to make our country a unique and unmistakeable tourist destination.”

About The Author

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.