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Maiden conference promoting African Studies conducted

Maiden conference promoting African Studies conducted

The University of Namibia (UNAM) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted the inaugural conference of the International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on African Studies conference last week.

This was the Commission on African Studies’ first ever Annual Conference following a decision of the IGU to create a platform for African and experts on Africa to examine African challenges and attempt to provide African responses.

The aim of the conference was to promote African and Africanist scholarship on issues around and in Africa, ranging from social sciences to natural sciences, but informed in the main by geographical, multi and interdisciplinary perspectives.

The Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi gave the opening remarks and expressed the importance of ensuring that Geography is given consideration to strengthen our understanding of relationships between humans and physical processes upon which regional and national development is anchored.

The Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Namibia, Izumi Morota-Alakija, emphasised the need to have robust research done in order to understand the issues surrounding poverty and inequality.

Furthermore, she stated that Namibia is one of the most unequal countries in the world with a Gini Coefficient of 0.56 in 2016 despite it being ranked as an Upper Middle Income Country. Additionally, she stated that one of the reasons for the slow decline of poverty rates in Africa is due to limited decent employment opportunities because Africa’s growth has not succeeded in creating labour demand that is sufficient to meet the supply.

The UNAM Pro Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Development, Prof. Kenneth Matengu read the welcoming remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Lazarus Hangula. He emphasised that Africa’s response to global problems should be on the agenda of universities because Africa’s problems and the global problems for which Africa are intertwined.

During the Inauguration, Dr. Innocent Moyo, the Chairperson of the Commission introduced the IGU Commission on African studies, stating that it was formed in May 2017 and is based at the University of Zululand, South Africa.

The commission, which has established its own academic sessions namely, Africa and Climate Change, Migration in Africa, and Migration Development also collaborates with other IGU Commissions that exists. Furthermore, he stated that more collaborations with other stakeholders are planned as the commission is still young and plans to have annual meetings.

The participants presented their abstracts on researches that they have undertaken with possible solutions.

Prof. Detlef Müller-Mahn from the University of Bonn in Germany held a presentation titled “Future Rural Africa – a new collaborative research center and its conceptual background”. Moreover, a presentation that links Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Inequalities and Rural poverty in Namibia and Southern Africa by Michael Schnegg (University of Hamburg) and Michael Bollig (University of Cologne) was held, which sparked conversation from the audience.

Caption: The Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Namibia, Izumi Morota-Alakija.

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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.