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Namibia needs to be more aggressive in its initiatives to provide independent energy security for its populous: economist

Namibia needs to be more aggressive in its initiatives to provide independent energy security for its populous: economist

The African Energy sector is currently experiencing a renaissance with a growing number of inter-continental and government-to-government energy trading agreements and a strong surge of local-owned companies is entering as project owners into upstream and midstream projects, energy economist, Zwelakhe Gila has said.

“Namibia has seen initiatives such as the Walvis Bay Port expansion project which looks to increase the country’s Natural Gas importing, storage and regasification facilities,” said the head of Commerce at the Africa Energy Chamber of Commerce in an interview with the Economist.

Gila said that despite the potential of Namibia’s Kudu Gas Field assets, as well as the strategic geographical positioning, the country is still heavily dependent on importing electricity and refined product.

“Despite the many complications that have arisen from the Kudu gas-to-power project most recently, an announcement on the reduction of the planned size of the project, Namibia needs to be more aggressive in its initiatives to provide independent energy security for its populous,” he added.

According to Gila South Africa’s rather diverse power production capabilities has allowed it to sell electricity to Namibia through the soon expiring Eskom Supply Contracts and energy security needs to be treated as national security.

“Solutions to heavy reliance on imported power have been replicated and solved repeatedly all over the world. In Namibia however, we have seen a relatively slow mobilization of modern energy solutions,” he added.

It is important to note that there has been an increase in projects to solve the energy import dependency which we are confident will assist in the import dependency, Gila said.

“Attracting Foreign Direct Investment’s has notably been a key strategy to fast track such projects, however investors need to feel assurance in the respective regulatory framework as well as support from the Namibian government,” he added.

All of Africa is facing rather similar energy issues which culminate to become an ‘African’ issue as opposed to an issue for any single country, he said.

“Even a country like South Africa with the most wide-reaching energy systems still faces occasional blackouts in major cities and has a rather limited reach to urban areas,” he added.

Gila said Namibia has done a great job at realizing all its potential opportunities to increase energy supply to its grid as well as develop its importing and exporting facilities. However, he said that there has been a slow momentum to realize these projects.

“There have been numerous announcements which have been made by Namcor and other private parties to develop facilities and plants to address such issues which surely shall place Namibia as a reputable energy supplier in the region,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gila believes that the African energy sector is currently in one of the best states that it has ever been as reflected by the growing number of government-to-government bilateral agreements, forecasted increases in merger and acquisition activity expected over the next two years.


About The Author

Musa Carter

Musa Carter is a long-standing freelance contributor to the editorial team and also an active reporter. He gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation and research. For the digital Economist, he promotes targeted content through various social networking sites such as the Economist facebook page (/Nameconomist/) and Twitter.

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.