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Climate change negotiations – Africa demands action and sincerity

By Neto Nengomasha
Southern African News Features SANF 16 no 53, November 2016

The ongoing climate change negotiations in Marrakesh, Morocco provides an opportunity for Africa to present its common position with clear priority areas on climate resilience.
The position by Africa is similar to that of southern Africa which favours adaptation over mitigation and it highlights that the measures for achieving this include finance, technology transfer and capacity building.
One of the critical issues Africa wants discussed at the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the need for developed countries to fulfil their financial pledges on climate resilience.
Article 9 of the Paris Agreement states that “developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.”
The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), held earlier this year to prepare for COP 22, reaffirmed the position that developed countries have an obligation to provide adequate, predictable and sustainable climate finance to assist developing countries in respect to both mitigation and adaptation activities.
However, although the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 clearly highlights the need for efficient access to financial resources through simplified approval procedures and enhanced support for developing countries, past experience has shown that developed countries are failing to live up to their commitments.
Since the establishment of the Green Climate Fund, Africa has been facing a major challenge of accessing financial resources for resilience, mainly as a result of stringent conditions imposed by developed countries.
African Development Bank president, Akinwumi Adesina said the existing climate financing architecture does not provide the finance that Africa needs.
“Much more needs to be done to increase Africa’s access to climate finance,” he said.
Adesina pointed out that although Africa contributes less than three percent of the global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, the continent continues to suffer the most from the effects of climate change.
The deputy director responsible for climate change issues in the Zimbabwean Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Veronica Gundu said simplified access to the Green Climate Fund by developing countries forms the core of issues that Africa wants discussed at COP 22.
AMCEN, therefore, is pushing for the development of a concrete roadmap for developed countries to deliver on their pledge to provide US$100 billion annually by 2020 for climate resilience.
The ministers, however, noted that the US$100 billion is well below the scale of financial resources required to implement the convention and Paris Agreement.
In particular, Africa wants developed countries to provide finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building to enable countries to adequately address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts.
Africa is also calling for deeper cuts in emissions beyond 2020, and want developed countries to take the lead in this regard so that the world can be on a pathway consistent with the pledge for temperature increases that are below 1.5°C.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, which is 30 days after the date on which at least 55 parties to the convention deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with UNFCCC Secretariat.
For the Paris Agreement to come into force at least 55 parties – which should account for more than 55 percent of the total GHG emissions – should have ratified the agreement.
As of 9 November 2016, a total of 102 Parties had ratified the agreement.
In southern Africa, all the island states have already ratified the Paris Agreement. Mauritius was the first to deposit its instrument of ratification on 22 April 2016, the same date when the agreement was opened for signature, with Seychelles ratifying a few days later, on the 29th of April. Madagascar deposited its instruments of ratification and acceptance on 21 September.
The short time these island states have taken to ratify the agreement demonstrates the urgency required to take action so as to respond to the devastating impacts of climate change.
Other countries that have ratified the agreement in SADC are Namibia and Swaziland, which both deposited their instruments of ratification on 21 September while South Africa ratified on 1 November.
COP 22 comes at a time when southern Africa has just experienced one of the worst droughts which was severe and widespread in the 2015/16 agricultural season. According to the SADC Regional Situation Update on the 2015/16 drought, at least 39 million people, about 13 percent of the population of the region, are food-insecure this year as a result of the poor farming season. Shortened by Ed.

About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

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.