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Mensah-Williams to co-chair the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization

Mensah-Williams to co-chair the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization

Margaret Mensah-Williams, the Chairperson of the National Council, has been elected as the new Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization (PCWTO), according to a statement this week.

The conference aims to enhance parliamentarians’ understanding of the WTO and to allow them to oversee the World Trade Organisations’ vital work in setting global trade rules and settling disputes.

“Due to her great experience and knowledge on the work and functioning of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU), as well as her great trajectory and leadership as Chairperson of the National Council of the Republic of Namibia, Margaret Mensah-Williams is a worthy representative of the IPU, as Co-Chair on the conference,” Gabriela Cuevas Barron, the President of the IPU.

The conference is also designed to promote common parliamentary action on international trade, especially regarding the successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda and the implementation of the Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Decisions. This interaction helps the global trade regime to be more transparent and accountable.

It was co-founded in 2003 by the IPU and the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, which serves as co-chair of the conference’s steering committee. The Committee comprises 22 national parliaments and other regional and international parliamentary assemblies and structures.

These include the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and representatives of the World Trade Organization Secretariat. Each Member Parliament or organization has the right to choose its representative(s).

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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.