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Inaugural Arts Summit of southern Africa set to strengthen the arts sector

Inaugural Arts Summit of southern Africa set to strengthen the arts sector

The first ever Arts Summit of Southern Africa (ASSA) kicked off in Windhoek on Monday evening, and brought together all the region’s best artistic talents and minds to take stock of the creative sector and identify ways and means to strengthen its economic capacity and impact.

The country’s Vice President, Nangolo Mbumba opened the proceedings with his key note address.

“As an ardent arts and culture enthusiast, I applaud the organizers of this Summit, for the call of awakening, signifying that it is night for us in Southern Africa to accord greater attention to the economic aspects of arts and culture, as we do, for example to the tourism, agricultural and mining sectors,: he said.

According to Mbumba, there is need to support the arts and culture through tangible investments.

“Not only is the arts and culture sector able to unlock the hidden talents in individuals and communities for self-actualization, but it can also serve as exports earning millions of foreign currency for Southern Africa, in the struggle against poverty, and for economic emancipation,” he said.

With the theme of ‘Human Creativity is a vital Economic, Social and Cultural Resource,’ the event displayed the artwork of various artists ranging from writers, poets, painters and sculptors.

Twelve of the 16 Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states are attending the three-day event.

Meanwhile, the summit gives African countries a chance to discuss regional integration and give priority to the creative industries in national development policies. It also aims to address the challenges facing creative industries within the region, according to the organizer, the National Arts Council of Namibia.

The permanent secretary of education, Sanet Steenkamp at the event said to promote the arts sector as a viable career option for the next generation, people must first encourage the generation to obtain the skills that will nurture their creativity and allow it to flourish.

“That begins within schools and within departments of adult education. No one must be left behind. I do not believe that there is any lack of creativity in Namibia or within the region. However, you would not expect a mathematician to flourish without effective education,” she added.

According to Steenkamp, if there is one lesson to learn from the creative mindset that is relevant to this summit, it is this: creativity never rests.

“It is always evolving, and we are always learning from it. Only by bringing professionals together who recognise and embrace the possibilities of creativity and innovation will we be able to devise strategies that work. I am proud to be here as a representative of my Ministry and Namibia to witness it,” she said.

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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.