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Lawyers learn to spot corruption at a mile

Presenters from the International Bar Association assisted local experts last week to host the first of a series of anti-corruption workshops in Windhoek. These specialist training sessions were presented in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The International Bar Association is voluntary association for lawyers, through their local law societies, that addresses legal  issues pertinent to civil society and the law.
The Windhoek workshop is part of the global organisations’ joint Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession, a project focusing on the role lawyers play in international corruption and on how international instruments and extraterritorial legislation applies to legal practice. The Strategy workshop was arranged in partnership with the Law Society of Namibia (LSN) and is part of a two-day programme in Southern Africa. The workshops in the series took place in Johannesburg and Durban.
Nicola Bonucci, Co-Chair of the IBA Anti-Corruption Committee said, ‘Africa, and in particular the Southern African region, is a growing economic reality which attracts increased levels of foreign direct investment. Lawyers working in an international environment have therefore to understand the realities of the fight against transnational bribery. The IBA, OECD and UNODC Anti-Corruption Strategy is a uniquely tailored programme for lawyers and a wonderful tool for raising awareness.’
The workshops target lawyers who regularly work across borders, especially in trade-related issues. The Windhoek workshop was attended mostly by younger lawyers who have their eyes on regional opportunities as regional trade grows.
The workshop covered a range of topics relevant to international corruption. It started by introducing the international anti-corruption framework. Then it moved to the risks and threats of corruption to legal professionals, outlining the complexities of international transactions and the severity of the sanctions incurred for involvement in corruption. Moving to practical matters, it detailed the growing expectations multinational clients require of their external legal counsel. Finally, the workshop specified the rigorous anti-corruption compliance standards; and taught the young lawyers how to comply.

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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.