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Grand challenge for Agri energy

USAID, the government of Sweden and Duke Energy are inviting Namibian organizations and individuals to submit proposals for Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC), a global funding competition focused on supporting new and sustainable approaches to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for increasing agriculture productivity in developing countries.
The awards, which are between U$300,000 and U$1,500,000 are available to organizations that can offer market-based, clean energy solutions for agriculture. The ideas should improve agricultural production and reduce hunger.
When the head of USAID, Rajiv Shah, created the programme he called “Grand Challenges for Development,” he saw it as a way to collaborate with and engage the private sector and the public to find innovative, market based solutions to the most persistent development challenges. Powering Agriculture is the third of these Grand Challenges. The latest request for proposals acknowledges a changing world for international development.
 While traditional development institutions, such as USAID, have a central role to play in meeting the needs of the rural poor, Powering Agriculture showcases the critical importance and incredible value that is added through partnerships among public and private entities. USAID said in a statement, “these types of partnerships build on mutual strengths and overcome weaknesses. Working together, we are ensuring that development is done more quickly and that it more effectively helps us meet more people’s needs.”
The motive for the Grand Challenge rests on the assumption that fossil fuel is too expensive for agricultural use. Inviting organisations to invent energy efficient farming fuels, creates a pool of proven technologies that assist rural farmers to improve and expand.
From mid-January, USAID/Powering Agriculture has begun accepting applications and, from these applications, will fund projects and ideas which truly transform agriculture in the developing world. The process started last week and application will be accepted until 06 February 2013. More information can be obtained through the office of USAID.

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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.