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Economic rebound pencilled in but construction still stuck in a rut

Economic rebound pencilled in but construction still stuck in a rut

A leading international research company expects Namibian uranium output to jump by 80% this year on the back of the ramp-up to full production of the Husab Mine.

BMI Research, a unit in the Fitch Group, said in its latest assessment of the Namibian economy, Husab is expected to reach maximum output by August this year after completing a labour process which will take subcontracted employees to permanent status. Once at full production, the Husab mine will be the world’s second largest uranium mine by volume output.

BMI’s analysis was released last week Thursday on 04 January 2018.

Noting three successive quarters of contraction during 2017, BMI said it now expects the Namibian economy to expand strongly in 2018, pencilling in an expected real growth rate of 3.5% for 2018 and 4.7% for 2019. However, their expectation for the next five years is more subdued with a forecast average growth of only 2.5%, well below the average 3.7% of the preceding five years.

The economic counterweight however, remains the construction sector for which BMI expects prospects to remain bleak. “While we see a brighter growth outlook ahead, sluggish infrastructure sector activity will present multi-year economic headwinds. Indeed, the delay in the award of tenders for several projects will not only put some near-term downward pressure on construction activity, but also weigh on long-term efforts to improve logistics and the business environment.”

“The construction sector is likely to remain sluggish over a multi-year time horizon, weighing on real GDP growth in the long term. The sector contracted by an average of 42.5% y-o-y in the first three quarters of 2017, and although investors are discussing the start of some infrastructure projects in the coming quarters , political and regulatory challenges are likely to slow their implementation,” according to the researchers.

BMI also holds a reasonably positive view of agriculture but recognises that much of this sector’s fortunes depends on climate which is beyond the control of policy. Despite agriculture contracting slightly in 2017, it is expected to continue to improve its performance boosted by structural improvements in financing and production.

“The African Development Bank has recently extended a ZAR1 billion loan to the Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (NAMSIP), which will support Namibian farmers’ efforts to increase mechanisation and seed systems development, increasing agricultural production and productivity over a multi-year time horizon,” stated BMI.



About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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.