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SME owner takes advantage of tourism niche – offers authentic township culture

SME owner takes advantage of tourism niche – offers authentic township culture

By Natasha Jacha

A local entrepreneur, Dina Namubes offers tourists a view of cultures unique to the township, through her hospitality business, African View Accommodation, situated in Swakopmund.

The business which is run by Namubes in partnership with her husband Melvin Namubeb provides a perfect template for small business owners and according to them, it is an affordable bed and breakfast/self-catering home.

The idea of the business came about when a tourist from abroad suggested to Namubes to open a bed and breakfast in Swakopmund’s Mondesa neighbourhood and since then the business has been able to offer a unique feel in the industry.

“I realised that people from all over the world like Africa more and more and are coming to Namibia to enjoy the quietness, beauty and open landscapes,” said Namubes.

According to her SMEs contribute approximately 12% to the local GDP annually and approximately 33,000 local SMEs provide over 160,000 jobs.

“In many ways, African View Accommodation provides a perfect template for small business owners,” she added.

In 2008 their business consisted of a single room that they offered to tourists. They now have seven rooms, offer shuttle services between the Swakopmund airport and the town on request, and ferry guests around on sightseeing tours.

Meanwhile the partners described African View Accommodation is a very peaceful and friendly home and accommodation is offered in comfortable rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Like any other business, the industry is plagued by challenges and according to Namubes, public and private spending cuts for travel and conferences are one of the issues now affecting the sector.

“However, we are still surviving from our repeating customers, those getting to the coast for functions, funerals and simply those who feel like booking at our place as a getaway for the weekend. Also, local people book our breathtaking venue for meetings and functions,” she said.

Namubes is full of praise for Nedbank Namibia, describing it as one of the best experiences in her business life even though she did not approach a bank for a loan to start her business.

Nelson Simasiku, the head of SME Business at Nedbank Namibia said access to finance or funding alone is not sufficient for the growth and development of the SME Sector and Nedbank goes above and beyond by offering a suite of services and value-added solutions to enable SMEs to grow faster, easier and more effectively.

Those value-added services provided by Nedbank include practical mentorship, small business seminars, short-term insurance and financial planning.

“We have five employees and proud that we put something on the table for someone. This helps in decreasing unemployment rate and helps fighting poverty in Namibia,” said Namubes.

As African View Accommodation grows and blossoms as a business in Namibia’s holiday Mecca, Swakopmund, the Namubeb family is building a campsite near Namibia’s first World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein, in the Kunene Region.


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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

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.