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Speaker of the Finnish Parliament on official visit to Namibia

Speaker of the Finnish Parliament on official visit to Namibia

Maria Lohela, Speaker of the Finnish Parliament came to Namibia on an official visit and will be hosted by her Namibian counterpart, Prof. Peter Katjavivi.

She will be accompanied by Finland’s members of parliament, Prof. Pekka Puska and Mr. Olli-Poika Parviainen for the visit that will commence on Wednesday, 24 January to Friday, 26 January.

The official visit is reciprocal as Katjavivi, accompanied by members of parliament, Elma Dienda and Heather Sibungo were on a similar visit to the Finnish Parliament during the 10 to 13 October 2017.

Lohela was elected in 2015 to preside over a unicameral parliament comprising of 200 members of parliament; at a relatively young age of 37 years. Namibia and Finland enjoy a long standing and mutually-beneficial relationship dating as far back as before Namibia’s independence.

Thus, this visit apart from continuing the talks on parliamentary cooperation between the Parliament of Namibia and the Parliament of Finland, is also meant to build on the existing relationship and to hold consultations with various government stakeholders such as the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Ministry of Poverty Eradication, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare and the Ministry of Higher Education on pertinent issues.

Finland has made great strides in ensuring gender equality, hence it is worth noting that nineteen women were elected to the Finnish Parliament as way back in 1907 and these were the first women MPs in the world.

Finland became one of the first countries to grant women the right to vote, and still today they are among the top countries for women equality. Finland was voted second in the Global Gender Gap Index in women’s rights and currently is ranked number 7 on the World Classification and has 84 women in Parliament. Once again, we congratulate the people of Finland on their Independence Centenary 2017 when they commemorated 100 years since they attained their independence.

Given Finland’s good track record in tackling the scourge of gender based violence, this visit will further encompass a joint effort to address gender related challenges that Namibia has been grappling with.

Among other issues to be discussed, the Finnish Speaker and her delegation will join Katjavivi, to craft a joint way forward on how to combat Gender Based Violence in Namibia and how to transform Namibia’s Parliament into a (paperless) e-parliament.

Furthermore, Lohela and the Finish Embassy in Windhoek will host a Women Leaders’ Luncheon.

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.