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Tourism tells its incredible story looking back 30 years

Tourism tells its incredible story looking back 30 years

The tourism industry came out in force last week for a two-day deliberation and celebration of the numerous achievements of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) over its incredible 30-year journey, as the most representative industry body for this vital economic sector.

The association’s Chief Executive, Gitta Paetzold said “for the first time, this two-day event was completely sold out, and is generally described as very successful, inspiring and forward-thinking, while the special Gala night allowed for some nostalgic reflection on the history of HAN.

The industry get-together comprised the association’s annual general meeting, the HAN Tourism Trade Forum, and the Gala dinner where numerous people who has walked the association’s full journey, were present.

Warming up for the climax, professional business coach, Saffron Baggally took the delegates on a mind-expanding tour of the limitless potential of tourism to be an even bigger growth catalyst in a fast changing world.

For the bigger picture, the Chief Executive of the Southern African Tourism Services Association, David Frost explained how legislative and political decisions influence the regional tourism sector.

During the trade forum it was the turn of HAN members to strategise on marketing and operational issues to ensure both growth and sustainability.

At the end of the very productive two days, everybody who is anybody in tourism, converged at the Safari Hotel for the auspicious and glamorous Gala evening where awards and accolades recognised the contributions of both individuals and establishments.

TOURISM Personality of the Year

In the lead-up to make this all-important announcement, the recipient’s immense contribution, through his own effort and that of his company, his consistent support of the Namibia brand, and his generous financial support to a plethora of local projects, were named as the reason why Wessie van der Westhuizen, the Chief Executive of Namibia Breweries Ltd, was chosen unanimously as the Tourism Personality of the Year.

HOTELIER of the Year

While many outstanding individuals were nominated for this award, it became obvious during the adjudication process, that an extraordinary large number of colleagues all named one specific individual. This is Tristan Böhme of Okonjima Lodge who is universally appreciated in the industry for his unwavering commitment to keep Namibian tourism at the highest possible standard.

HAN Personality of the Year.

Specifically mentioning her unlimited ability to spread enthusiasm to her staff, this award went to a woman who is an icon in the industry. During her career she has served at a large number of establishments, always remembered by her staff for her unique approach and her caring disposition. It was thus no surprise when Anett Kötting, the General Manager at Hotel Zum Kaiser in Swakopmund was named the HAN Personality of the Year.

Eco Awards

These special awards to companies and establishment, recognised the leaders in the hospitality trade by awarding desert flowers similar to the star rating system for hotels.

For Accommodation:

Two Flowers: Auas Safari Lodge.
Four Flowers: Chameleon Backpackers and Guesthouse, Wilderness Safaris Kulala Adventure Camp, Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala Lodge.
Five Flowers: Gondwana Namib Desert Lodge, Grootberg Lodge, Hoada Campsite, Meike’s Guesthouse, Onjala Lodge, RiverDance Lodge, RiverDance Campsite, Wilderness Safaris Damaraland Adventure Camp, Wilderness Safaris Damaraland Camp, Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp, Wilderness Safaris Doro !Nawas Camp, Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge.

For Touring:

Five Flowers: Abenteuer Afrika Safari.

Finally, the Gala evening paid tribute to the larger-than-life personalities who have shaped HAN and the industry at large.

Singled out for their enormous contribution and effort were HAN founding Chairman, Johnnie Hamman, his Vice, Tom Mutavdzic, the first Secretary, Tim Parkhouse and the first Treasurer, Ria von Seydlitz.

The Hospitality Association of Namibia has been sponsored over many years by Namibia Breweries Ltd, Standard Bank Namibia, Bannerman Resources, Marsh Namibia, House of Wines and the national carrier, Air Namibia.

Pictured are the recipients of the three HAN awards for individuals, from the left, Tristan Böhme of Okonjima Lodge (Hotelier of the Year), Anett Kötting, the General Manager of Hotel Zum Kaiser (HAN Personality of the Year) and Wessie van der Westhuizen, the Chief Executive of Namibia Breweries Ltd (Tourism Personality of the Year).



About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. Daniel Steinmann is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored hundreds of journalism students as interns and as young professional jourlists. He regularly helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to

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.