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Commonwealth parliamentarians help local MPs and clerks to differentiate between good and bad laws

Commonwealth parliamentarians help local MPs and clerks to differentiate between good and bad laws

A delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s branch in the United Kingdom arrived earlier this week in Namibia for a three-day training programme to improve the ability of Namibian parliamentarians and parliamentary clerks to scrutinise legislation.

Lead by Sir Peter Bottomley, the UK delegation comprises Baroness Barker from the House of Lords, Dr Rupa Huq, a Member of Parliament, Mariam El-Azm, the Deputy Head of International Outreach in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Yashasvi Chandra, the association’s Africa Programme Manager, and Nick Walter, a Justice Committee Clerk in the House of Commons.

The British High Commission in Windhoek said that by the end of the training, participating National Assembly members will have improved their technical skills to examine legislation by making comparisons to the UK system. During the training, local lawmakers are taught how to examine the process of making and scrutinising legislation in Parliament, addressing questions such as what constitutes good legislation and how must it be scrutinised.

The programme is part of a longer term Parliamentary Partnership Programme between the UK and the Namibian Parliament expected to run until 2019.

Sir Peter commented, “Legislative scrutiny is one of the cornerstones of good democracy. It provides detailed scrutiny on government laws and improves legislation for the benefit of the country. Effective legislative scrutiny is a key part of an elected member’s job. We are delighted to work with Members and Clerks of the Namibian Parliament to deliver this programme.”

Some Namibian Members of Parliament soon will attend the Westminster Seminar on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure and the Westminster Workshop on Public Accounts Committees in London to improve their skills and knowledge. This visit is also coordinated by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK.

In a statement, the association said it works to encourage parliamentary diplomacy and build parliamentary capacity on behalf of the UK Parliament across the Commonwealth.

Pictured from the left, Mariam El-Azm, Deputy Head International Outreach, CPA UK, Yashasvi Chandra, Africa Programmme Manager, CPA UK, Baroness Barker, House of Lords, Nick Walter, Justice Committee Clerk, House of Commons, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, House of Commons, and H.E. Jo Lomas, British High Commissioner to Namibia.



About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

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.