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Summit reaffirms the importance of SACU in deepening regional economic integration

Summit reaffirms the importance of SACU in deepening regional economic integration

The 5th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), held last week in Swaziland reaffirmed the importance of SACU as an organisation in deepening regional economic integration, industrialisation and economic diversification of SACU economies as a common goal.

The purpose of the summit was for the Heads to consider the Report of the Council, on the progress made on the implementation of the Roadmap to reinvigorate the SACU Work Programme that was endorsed by the Heads of State and Government, on 12 November 2015 in Windhoek.

The summit which was chaired by King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland, and was attended by, Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, Vice President of Botswana and Hon.Carl Schlettwein, Minister of Finance noted and endorsed the Work Programme, based on the outcomes of the 3rd Ministerial Retreat, which outlines detailed activities, key deliverables and the timelines within which the proposed activities will be undertaken.

The endorsed Work Programme is set to focus on the review and development of a suitable architecture for tariff-setting, rebates, duty drawbacks and trade remedies; a review of the Revenue Sharing Formula and the long-term management of the Common Revenue Pool; the establishment of a Stabilisation Fund and exploring the feasibility of a financing mechanism for regional industrialisation; and identifying financing options for regional projects; and Adopted SACU5/S/DC and the development of public policy interventions to promote and align industrial development and value chains.

At the event, delegates commended the Council of Ministers for establishing two Ministerial Task Teams on Trade and Industry, and on Finance, including the approval of their Terms of Reference, to facilitate the urgent implementation of the Work Programme.

SACU economies experience similar economic challenges, which can be better dealt in an integrated manner within the region. In this regard, the Summit directed the Ministerial Task Teams to prioritize industrial development and develop concrete cross-border projects to promote industrialization to ensure that the region is able to optimise economic benefits to withstand global economic shocks,” they emphasised.

Meanwhile, Botswana will be the Chair of SACU, effective 15 July 2017 to 14 July 2018, taking over from Swaziland.

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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.