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Economist Businesswomen innovative business idea winner receives prize

Economist Businesswomen innovative business idea winner receives prize

Hilja Amvula, winner of the 2018 New Business Idea Competition, run by the Economist Businesswomen Club, received her prize worth N25,000 this week.

Her idea, ‘Green the Dessert’, helped her bag a laptop with Microsoft office suite and internet connection from Telecom Namibia, N$5,000 start up fund from Standard Bank Namibia and assistance from Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII), with a formal business plan that can be presented to a financial institution for funding

Desere Lundon-Muller, Partner and Marketing Manager at the Economist said the objectives of the competition are to promote the concept of innovation, engage women entrepreneurs on innovation, capture potential entrepreneurs and motivate women to establish a viable business.

Fortune Kangueehi, Marketing Manager at Standard Bank said no meaningful economic development can ever take place in Namibia without the involvement of women who are the bedrock of our society.

“So as a bank that prides itself in helping develop and moving Namibia forward, we are delighted and honoured to have been part of this competition that seeks to unlock the entrepreneurial potential in women,” she added.

According to the Manager of Innovation Marketplace at the NBII, Silas Newaka, his team which was responsible for doing the evaluation of the final business ideas, used a specific criteria that determined the winning idea.

“We looked at how innovative the idea was, its technical feasibility, its creativity, its physical appeal and will it be commercially viability,” he said.

Felicitas Kakoro-Gowases, Senior Manager: Marketing Communication at Telecom Namibia said they have seen time and again how a good idea with the right support can change lives, not just of those that initially developed it but the people involved in its continued growth and success.

“We believe in the potential of Namibian women and girls and believe that with the right networking, exposure, mentorship and guidance they can develop their ideas and create a great, long lasting contribution to the society,” she added.

Amvula won the competition at the 2018 Economist Northern Businesswomen Conference in Ongwediva. The competition aims to create an opportunity for women to share their expertise and skills, make new contacts, support one another and to create worthwhile business relationships whereby they can be held accountable for their region.

Caption: From left to right: Justine Tujendapi, Coordinator Marketing Communications at Telecom Namibia, Desere Lundon-Muller, Partner and Marketing Manager at the Economist, Fortune Kangueehi, Marketing Manager at Standard Bank Namibia, Hilija Amvula, winner of the New business Idea competition, Felicitas Kakoro-Gowases, Senior Manager: Marketing Communications at Telecom Namibia and Silas Newaka, Manager of Innovation Marketplace at the Namibia Business Innovation Institute.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

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.