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Africa Energy Indaba to highlight significant growth potential of off-grid solar power

Africa Energy Indaba to highlight significant growth potential of off-grid solar power

The 11th Africa Energy Indaba conference set to be hosted on 19 to 20 February at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa will focus on the role of off-grid and mini-grid in rural electrification in Africa, particularly highlighting the significant growth potential of solar.

In a statement released by the organisers of the Indaba, off-grid solar is expected to surge in Africa, with the total power derived from solar having increased by more than 50% and has officially outpaced any other fuel with regards to global energy output.

A report conducted by The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted unrelenting solar PV growth up to the year 2022. In addition, it was estimated that electricity capacity would increase by 43% to over 920 GW.

According to the statement, being the sunniest region on the planet and with its vast natural resources, Africa is set to experience considerable socio-economic advancements. Connecting to the main grid remains extensive and costly which subsequently remains a focal concern of African governments and international development institutions.

“However, emphasis should be placed on the potential of providing millions of people with affordable, reliable and accessible power in the very near future. Market and policy frameworks require drastic improvements in order to accelerate the following objectives: providing long-term price signals to attract investment, ensuring efficient short-term electricity dispatching, pricing negative externalities and unlocking sufficient levels of flexibility as well as cultivating various dispatchable renewable technologies, including hydropower, bioenergy, geothermal and concentrated solar power,” organisers of the Indaba stated.

The Africa Energy Indaba is partnering with the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC) in collaboration with the South African Department of Trade & Industry (the dti), will host various Rural Electrification Agency CEOs and decision-makers from several African countries.

Key discussions to enlighten these Agency CEOs on innovative off-grid and mini-grid technologies will be presented at the conference. In addition, technology companies, EPC contractors and financiers will find it worth their while to attend the event as they will be privy to the most recent renewable energy projects that are up for tender.

Furthermore, the conference will feature Hosted Buyers from property development companies, municipalities, retail centres and manufacturers, all of which demonstrate an eager interest in solar rooftop installations and solar solutions.


About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

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.