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Manufacture locally to drive the economy

Manufacture locally to drive the economy

By Hilton Loring

CEO Elso Holdings

It cannot have escaped anyone’s attention that Namibia is facing substantial economic headwinds. A recession if you will. This economic downturn has been widely reported on by economists, politicians, business owners and the general public.

Whatever the reason, the impact on the economy has been extensive. Investments delayed, construction halted, retrenchments and the tightening of belts, all visible results of the recession.

The economy does not operate in a vacuum and we are dependent on our larger neighbor South Africa when it comes to the health of our economy. However, there is something much more immediate which impacts our economy and which needs to be addressed.

The limited manufacturing activities in Namibia, by local companies places undue strain on our economy. Using our own nation’s resources, using our own people and selling to our own consumers would give a tremendous shot in the arm to our economy and makes sense.

Both the Hon.e Minster of Finance, Dr. Calle Schlettwein and Dr. John Steytler, the Economic Advisor to the President have called on private companies to do their part. Manufacturing locally stimulates job growth and employment. It keep precious resources, investments and money within our borders. Which is essential for an economy to grow and develop.

As CEO of Elso Holdings, a local company that has been manufacturing and selling cleaning products for the last 62 years right here, I see the positive impact that local manufacturing can have. From simply offering direct and indirect local employment opportunities, to buying from other local suppliers, the business and for want of a better word; ‘the wealth’ is spread locally. Buying raw materials and packaging locally ensures our manufacturing chain is as Namibian as possible. This is essential for any local economy to prosper and grow.

That is why we are heeding the Minister of Finance’s call. Upgrading and improving our manufacturing facility so that we as a local company can assist in getting the economy back on its feet. It also means strengthening our relationships with all our local customers right here. The products manufactured locally need to be available to the consumers and businesses here.

Continuous engagement and developing our strategic partnerships with our clients is key to our overall strategy. This will in turn strengthen the economy and stimulate job creation. Engaging and pursuing local contracts becomes essential, and it gives a platform for the products to be sold locally and contribute the economy.

This why local manufacturing is vital for the economy. If we as an organisation can reach and implement our strategic goals and vision and expand, in turn we can play a part in helping the economy grow.

About The Author

Guest Contributor

A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.

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.