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UN Secretary General’s message ahead of Africa Day commemoration

UN Secretary General’s message ahead of Africa Day commemoration

By UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutterres

New York – Earlier this year, during a visit to Ethiopia, I spent time with schoolgirls from 34 African countries who were learning to code. They were not only developing their skills; they were challenging gender stereotypes and embracing the inclusive digital technology that will be critical to take the continent towards a low carbon, climate resilient future.

The boundless energy and optimism of Africa’s young people are propelling the continent into a new era of sustainable development, through the implementation of African Union’s visionary Agenda 2063 in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On Africa Day, we mark the fifty-sixth anniversary of the founding of the AU and celebrate its role in creating African solutions to African challenges.

Since I assumed office in 2017, I have prioritized the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. I am proud to say there has been a quantum leap in our cooperation, from the institutionalization of the annual United Nations-African Union Conferences, to the new joint AU-UN Frameworks on peace and security and sustainable development, and the Joint Declaration on cooperation for African Union-led peace support operations. We are providing strong support to AU initiatives on prevention and mediation, including Silencing the Guns by 2020 and the African Women Leaders Network.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU’s Agenda 2063 are aligned around the importance of a people-centered and planet-sensitive transformation. Eradicating poverty is the overriding priority of both agendas. We are working closely together on mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 in national development plans and cooperating on unlocking new opportunities from the African Continental Free Trade Area.

I particularly commend the AU on choosing the theme “Refugees, returnees and IDPs: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa” for 2019. Africa’s commitment to the safety and dignity of refugees is an example to the world. Together, we must make preventing and responding to forced displacement a core element of the sustainable development agenda, not only in Africa but around the world.

We are also working closely with the AU and African Member States to combat climate change, the defining issue of our time. The African continent makes a negligible contribution to climate change but is suffering some of its most dramatic and devastating consequences. Unless we reduce emissions rapidly, climate change will have serious consequences that will undermine both sustainable development and security across Africa.

The renewed emphasis on the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union is already producing results. Let us build on these strong foundations to make our cooperation more effective, efficient and mutually-reinforcing, based on the principles of African ownership, mutual respect, complementarity and interdependence.


 

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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.