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Usakos proposed as new dry port

The Annual Transport and Logistics workshop held in Swakopmund showcased this week how a dry port for Usakos has the potential to turn the idle town into a logistic and transport hub with N$2 billion output.
In a presentation on the potential economic and financial benefits of the Usakos dry port, Transport Economist, John Saunderson said that the envisioned study will take 3 to 6 months to complete as part of a wider national logistics plan.
The consulting firm, Amir Consulting Services is set to determine strategic and optimal locations and Public Private Partnerships to carry out similar transport and logistic infrastructure projects to power Sub-Saharan Africa. The study, Saunderson said will need a considerable buy-in of about N$7.5 million from stakeholders, mostly state-owned players such as TransNamib and NamPort who already have existing infrastructure near Usakos.
Usakos has always been a throughway to the west coast due to the impassable steep geographic relief obstructing access to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
Saunderson said that the study will address access and mobility issues related to the transport and logistics industry.
Usakos is strategically located on the confluence of the Trans-Kalahari Corridor and the Trans-Caprivi Corridor. It has been a cargo consolidation and deconsolidation point since the sixties when it became the locus of massive investments in railway infrastructure. TransNamib’s strategic Kranzberg station where the northern line splits from the western line, is just 10km outside Usakos.
On his contribution, Saunderson said “Our work is used for environmental impact assessments, benefit-cost studies, and project planning and prioritization programmes.”
Walvis Bay Corridor chairman, Bisey Uirab believes that a regional logistics hub for Sub-Saharan Africa can only yield maximum returns if it takes place in a coordinated way.
This, Uirab said, requires rolling out port, airport, rail and road infrastructure development in tandem to complement one another and to avoid certain segments of the network being unable to cope with increased demand.
For Namibia, with its meager population, to tap the potential of a 300 million market of people the country must position itself as a logistics hub, taking into consideration the landlocked countries around Namibia. Uirab urged stakeholders particularly in Namibia and Botswana as the immediate beneficiaries of the dry port, to fast tract the rail link.
The importance of public and private sector players in Public Private Partnership should not be overlooked as key drivers in making Namibia the preferred hub for Sub-Sahara Africa, Uirab stated.

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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.