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Headline inflation continues to trend down but base effects starting to distort monthly as well as annual readings

Headline inflation continues to trend down but base effects starting to distort monthly as well as annual readings

Base effects on both ends of the spectrum are now coming into play with the calculation of monthly inflation, year on year as well as month on month. These distortions are however evened out by the so-called average annual inflation.

It came as a pleasant surprise when the Namibia Statistics Agency released the Namibia Consumer Price Index on Thursday showing that headline inflation has taken its biggest dip since January last year, coming in at a comfortable 3.6%. This measure of inflation has come down consistently every month since January 2017 except for September when there was a slight 0.2% upward blip. For the fourth quarter of 2017, it measured 5.2% every month.

These statistics must be viewed in context. The 3.6% monthly reading comes from a very high annual base of 8.3% in January last year. Compared to the annual average inflation, the monthly reading would be much higher, in the order of about 5%.

Slightly disconcerting is the month on month inflation which stood at 1.6% for January. Similar to the annual comparison, this reading in turn comes from a very low base. For the eleven months from February 2017 to January 2018, average month on month inflation was a mere 0.17% per month.

Average annual inflation for 2017 was 6.2% down from 6.7% in 2016.

Statistician General, Mr Alex Shimuafeni said the January slowdown was recorded in all categories comprising the consumer price index except for Education, Transport and Health. Prices in Education jumped by an enormous 10%, made up mostly by the almost 15% jump in Primary and Secondary Education. It is however normal for education to show its highest increase in January since the sector operates on a single annual increase, always at the beginning of the year. During the rest of 2017, the base effect will also be seen in education as prices are expected to remain steady up to the end of the academic year. Education is one of the minor categories in the inflation basket carrying a contributive weight of only 3.65%, hence the small impact on headline inflation.

The category with the heaviest weight, Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, contributing more than 28% of the whole basket, only increased by 3.6% showing the strong correlation between headline inflation and the categories with the combined heaviest weights. The four heaviest categories out of the total of twelve categories, together constitute almost three quarters of the consumer price index.

“The January 2018 All Items Index increased to 130.5 up from 126.1 in January 2017. On a monthly basis, price levels increased in all the categories with the exception of Transport which decreased to 0.6% while Recreation and culture and Communication remained unchanged at -0.1 and 0% respectively” said Mr Shimuafeni.



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.