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Maiden appearance for Namibia at Global Impact Accelerator conference

Maiden appearance for Namibia at Global Impact Accelerator conference

FABlab Namibia and the winners of the 2017 #pitchnightnam, attended the global impact accelerator at the renowned SLUSH conference in Helsinki, Finland last week.

The event was created to fast track innovation impact across the globe and give Innovation hubs a chance to present themselves, meet like-minded people and organisations and engage with Venture Capitalists.

Namibia was represented for the first time ever at the SLUSH this year, this is testimony to the level of innovation and technological developments that has been pursued by Namibia University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) very own FABlab. Ms Kirstin Wiedow the director and co-founder of FABlab Namibia, as well as Mr David Shatiwa, BDS coordinator from the tangible Innovation arm of FABlab flew the flag for Namibia.

Namibia is being recognised and its star is rising on the global stage as a player contributing to local innovation. Further proof of this were the two local Namibian start-ups that had the opportunity to accompany Ms. Kirstin Wiedow and David Shatiwa to Helsinki, as part of their prize in the #pitchnightnam competition.

The two start-ups were Mr. Kaveto Tjatjara, whose innovation assists in providing decent ablution facilities for all Namibians without the need for water connectivity and the runner-up was Mr. Vincent van Wyk with his locally designed low-cost PC. Not only did they get to participate in the SLUSH event, they also had the opportunity through the SAIS funded programme to take part in a fully facilitated business match-making schedule with Venture Capitalists.

Namibia has risen 10 places in the Global Innovation Index over the past year and its through NUST’s FABlab that this rise has been made possible. As a key player, together with stakeholders and partners FABlab is mobilising the local community and driving product innovation in Namibia.

The Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) is a program created in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and global partners. Supporting impact start-ups and showcasing the exciting business opportunities in emerging markets, which are also vital for implementing the Agenda 2030. In addition, the program focuses on strengthening the networks between the impact actors, engaging the Nordic community with the global impact entrepreneurs, and enhancing the mobilization of capital towards impactful business. Namibia was not the only small nation with a large appetite for innovation that was present in Helsinki; Tunisia, Serbia, Kosovo, Nepal, Palestine, Israel, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Jamaica and many more.

Kirstin Wiedow, Director and co-founder of FABlab Namibia said; “GIA 2017 brought impact-driven entrepreneurs from emerging markets to Helsinki to accelerate their business, attract additional financing, and build long-lasting networks. This is why it was so great to be able to take our winning innovators along and see and show how they can drive and develop their ideas, meet people with the same dream of entrepreneurship and innovation from around the world .”


Caption: Namibia and Botswana team at SLUSH, Helsinki, Finland.


 

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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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.