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Navigating through noise in global commodities markets

Navigating through noise in global commodities markets

FNB Senior Economist, Namene Kalili brought his considerable insights to a local audience last week at a Global Markets seminar hosted by RMB Namibia. The seminar, drawing on the contributions of a number of experts, focused on the position of Namibian commodities in the face of global change.

Isaah Mhlanga, an economist from RMB SA joined Kalili to provide the audience with an economic overview themed, Navigating through the Noise, Economic Overview. Ettienne van Wyk, RMB’s Head of Commodities Trading provided a presentation on Structural Changes in Commodities.

In a panel discussion moderated by former FNB economist, Daniel Motinga, the experts looked at growth prospects for Namibia as a commodity-based economy.

Topics covered the global economic impact on local commodities and growth potential, opportunities in beneficiation, and balancing local ownership with the expectations of large multi-nationals that bring investment.

Financial institutions assisting with the mitigation of risks and enabling the opportunities for the commodities sector was also a key talking point. The panellists included Markus Lubbe: Acting CEO of NamDeb, Lauren Davidson: Economist at the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, Steve Galloway: Retired Geologist and investment banker, as well as van Wyk and Mhlanga.

Neville Ntema, Corporate Forex Dealer at RMB Global Markets said “In the greater scheme of things, commodities, raw or partially processed often are the most significant exports and revenue earners of developing countries and the revenue generated from these exports have a pivotal effect in those economies. Taking Namibia’s NDP series into consideration, we believe that all parties who are part of the application and implementation of the NDP’s need to come together to workshop around the potential solutions, which will lead to profitability and sustainability of both the economy and our respective businesses. Of course, with the world fast becoming a global village, Africa, let alone Namibia can no longer ignore the evolution of global commodity prices, demand and supply factors.”

“The way forward for commodity producers will require innovation, cost reduction and improved returns on investment” said Ntema, adding that beneficiation will raise the country’s competitiveness profile.

“In line with the NDP series, mining is a stepping stone to kick-start other business streams for the economy, as a form of downstream business when the miners start to add value to the resources they are mining. Thus far Namibia has dropped in ranking, from an investment destination point of view. However, acknowledging that mining is an anchor industry for FDI, beneficiation will potentially move the country up in the ranking of foreign direct investment destination,” he said.

About The Author

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.