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500 trade finance staff of 200 local partner banks in 35 African countries to be trained over a 3-year period

500 trade finance staff of 200 local partner banks in 35 African countries to be trained over a 3-year period

APO – The Trade Finance Division of the African Development Bank and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), have teamed up with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to launch a Joint AfDB-ITFC Trade Finance E-Learning Programme for African Financial Institutions.

This programme will provide online post-training to about 500 trade finance staff of 200 local partner banks in more than 35 African countries over a three-year period.

Part of the programme will be funded by German international cooperation agencies (BMZ/GIZ) under the MFW4A Trade Finance Initiative, which aims to improve the understanding of the trade finance market in Africa, and promote sound financial sector policy, regulatory reforms and joint thematic research.

The initial phase of the programme will deliver the Global Trade Certificate (GTC), a nine e-courses curriculum designed to sell, deliver and process global trade finance solutions, including Islamic (Trade) Finance courses. The Global Trade Certificate (GTC) is offered by the ICC Academy, the educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce.

The partnership has two objectives. First, it will help local partner banks to strengthen their trade finance capacity, required to extend superior services to SMEs and local businesses clientele engaged in international trade. Second, it is expected that the partner banks experiment and introduce more sophisticated trade finance products in line with the evolution of the market and the needs of their clients, including in the area of Islamic finance.

The skills acquired will contribute to reduce operational risks inherent in trade finance, to access untapped markets, diversify the product portfolios and improve the perception that global banks have about the capacity of local African banks to manage trade finance transactions. Ultimately, the program will increase the volume of lending and contribute to reduce the trade finance gap, estimated at US$1.5 trillion with almost US$120 billion in Africa.

Leveraging trade as a catalyst for economic development can only be possible if Multilateral Development Banks work together alongside commercial banks, both at the financing and capacity levels. According to a recent survey conducted by African Development Bank, one of the major constraints African banks face in growing their trade businesses is inadequate staff capacity in trade finance. In this context, the beneficiary banks must possess the requisite infrastructure and skills required to absorb further financing, compete globally and capture the diversity and appetite of clientele for various products.

The training programme is being implemented within the context of the Bank’s and ITFC strategic priorities to promote financial inclusion, private sector development and integrated trade solutions. The International Chamber of Commerce via its education arm has a groundbreaking e-learning platform for trade finance practitioners. It delivers online certification and professional development services to meet the educational needs of banks, corporates, and other organizations at the forefront of international trade.


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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.