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Resource-strapped Benguela Current Commision meets in Swakopmund

Resource-strapped Benguela Current Commision meets in Swakopmund

12 December 2016 – Hon Bernard Esau, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources said last week as he became the new chair of the Benguela Current Commission (BCC), “the full potential of the Commission is limited as member countries are now classified as middle-income countries, making funding more difficult. Raising resources among the three members states is needed for the continued existence of the Commission as most development partners are either cutting back on their support or pulling out altogether.” The annoucement was made last week at a Benguela Ecosystem conference in Swakopmund.

On the benefits for Swakopmund, the new chairman said the Commission will soon need more office space as the organisation expands.

I am happy to report that the Headquarters agreement will soon be signed by the Namibian Government and the Commission” Esau said, adding that the new research vessel, Dr. Fridtj of Nansen will be available to Commission in collaboration with the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) Nansen programme.

Because nature knows no boundaries, it is a vision that enables us to work together that has bridged political and physical boundaries that exist amongst us” Esau said on the challenges to ensure sustainable use of ocean resources to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. Under the EAF Nansen programme, the vessel will also be used for climate change observations to track and mitigate unpredictable changes in the marine ecosystem.

I take over captaincy of this distinguished Commission, knowing very well the open and rough waters that lie ahead” Esau said on furthering the objectives of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). This, he said, will take a concerted effort after inheriting an ecosystem which was misused and mismanaged before.

The Benguela Current Commiccion is the first organisation in the world to have a convention based on the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) concept. At the Swakopmund conference, delegates covered the Commission’s vision of a Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem that sustains livelihoods for all the member states. The Commission comprises South Africa, Angola and Namibia.

For the next two years, Esau intends to place special emphasis on developing mechanisms for sustainable co-existence of the various economic uses of the marine ecosystem, including fishing, mining, transport and tourism.

The Strategic Action Programme (SAP) 2015-2019 signed in Namibia in 2014 in line with the Commission’s mandate to ensure that this ecosystem remains productive and sustained for generations to come.

We also committed ourselves to a multi-sectoral collaboration where environment, fisheries, transport, minerals and energy are working together to protect, preserve and utilise our ecosystem sustainably while unlocking the economic potential, and realising the socio-economic benefits” said Esau.

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Musa Carter

Musa Carter is a long-standing freelance contributor to the editorial team and also an active reporter. He gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation and research. For the digital Economist, he promotes targeted content through various social networking sites such as the Economist facebook page (/Nameconomist/) and Twitter.

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.