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Get rid of red tape

Government should introduce more policies to improve the investment climate in the country.
Speaking at the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (NCCI) national council meeting held in Walvis Bay last week, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahum, president of the NCCI said government should pay more attention to the improvement of the investment climate in order to increase foreign and domestic investment in the country.
“We need, for example, to look into the manner and pace at which we issue different licenses and permits so as to improve efficiency. We must abolish unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and make public services, in general, more efficient and admirable. The current [state of] service delivery in some public institutions leave so much to be desired and drastic improvements are required,” Namundjebo-Tilahum said.
On the contentious issue of work permits, she said the NCCI is now handling work permit applications on behalf of its members in order to make the process faster.
According to Namundjebo-Tilahum, the current system through which visas and work permits are issued, is not adequate and does not provide permanent solutions.
“We are determined to work with government to ensure that a new system is put in place which will ensure that businesses can have easier access to the use of expatriate skills which may not be available in Namibia,” she said.
The NCCI president further said there is need for greater unity within the private sector so that it has one voice on issues affecting the sector.
“Achieving greater unity within the private sector is very important in the creation of a business and investment environment which can make Namibia a competitive economy,” Namundjebo-Tilahum said.
Also speaking at the meeting, Cleophas Mutjavikua, governor of the Erongo region, said the private sector should play a role in the process of wealth creation by working towards a high performing and productive nation.
Mutjavikua added that business programmes and policies should address issues such as a percentage share specific to tenders won by foreign businesses.
“A very good example is the tender issued for deepening the Walvis Bay harbour that was given to the Chinese without a percentage prescription to the Namibian business people. There must be deliberate and transparent policies that ensure that the Namibian business community is benefiting percentage wise. It should not only depend on the goodwill of those who win the tenders. In addition, special programmes should be extended to drilling tenders for the mining companies, ore transportation tenders amongst others,” he said.
He said the extraction of resources has not benefited local people.
“It remains true that despite our resources we remain poor with terrible gap in terms of equitable resource distribution. Some of the companies definitely woke up and realised that resource extraction should go hand in hand with transparent distribution. In this boat Namibia has to move towards equitable distribution of resources,” Mutjavikua concluded.

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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.