Select Page

Food Bank goes digital to eliminate fraud and improve disbursements

Food Bank goes digital to eliminate fraud and improve disbursements

The Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Hon Zephania Kameeta, and the United Nations World Food Programme this week launched the computer-based SCOPE (System for Cash Operations) for its social safety net Food Bank programme in Windhoek.

The electronic system, adapted for the effective administration of the Food Bank, will be piloted in Windhoek before it is rolled out to other regions.

Launching the system, Kameeta said that the newly introduced biometric system would be used to register beneficiaries as well as monitor the distribution and transfer of food parcels.

“Previously the Food Bank was run via a paper-based system. The old system brought many challenges regarding the registration of beneficiaries, sorting of food parcels, transfers and furthermore fraud. SCOPE addresses all the above challenges,” Kameeta said.

As part of the new electronic system, beneficiaries will be issued with a card that contains their details.

“The card will also be linked to their fingerprints and will have a unique identification number to prevent duplication and fraud,” he said.

According to Kameeta, the electronic system would also accelerate national efforts to advance social welfare for all citizens in the face of persistent poverty and vast gaps of inequality.

The World Food Programme’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Lola Castro said the Namibian government is the first in the Southern Africa Development Community to adopt the SCOPE system and has thus become a model for other countries.

“The implementation of the biometric system would, therefore, lead to improvement through the effective management of a database of beneficiaries and also save time,” Castro said.

According to Castro, the launch of the SCOPE system further promotes the adaptation of technology and innovation to propel and drive development to achieve zero hunger, as stipulated under Goal Two of the Sustainable Development Goals which Namibia has ratified.

The Food Bank, officially launched on 30 June 2016 by the President, HE Dr Hage Geingob, currently benefits more than 17,000 Namibians in the Kharas, Khomas, Hardap, Kavango East and Kavango West regions. (Xinhua)


 

About The Author

Community Contributor

The Community Contributor is any of a number of authors whose specific beat is community wellness, development and upliftment. Many of the authors have been contributors to the Economist for years. Others work for commercial enterprises, specialising in spreading their Corporate Social Responsibility messages. Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

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.