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EU committed to promoting, protecting the rights of LGBTI community

EU committed to promoting, protecting the rights of LGBTI community

By Federica Mogherini

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the European Union reiterates its unswerving commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

Across the world, cultural, traditional or religious values continue to be used to justify persecution, discrimination, bullying and gross ill-treatment against LGBTI persons, often involving hate crimes and extreme forms of violence, including torture and murder.

In 72 countries, sexual orientation laws continue to criminalise same-sex acts, and in other countries, the laws do not offer the necessary level of protection, allowing various forms of discrimination to happen on a daily basis in all spheres of life of LGBTI persons. The EU strongly reaffirms that discrimination against LGBTI persons undermines the most basic human rights principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The EU continues its fight against impunity for acts of discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons both inside and outside its territory. In this context, the Commission published a ‘List of actions to advance LGBTI equality’ to be implemented by the Commission between 2016 and 2019, which includes activities in various relevant policy areas ranging from non-discrimination, education, employment, health, free movement, asylum, hate speech/hate crime, to enlargement and foreign policy.

Through its external action, the EU holds regular political dialogues with third countries and supports civil society organisations through targeted financial assistance. Since 2016, the EU has supported 16 projects implemented by civil society organisations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe worth €5.2 million. In 2018, the EU launched a specific call for proposals worth €10 million to support LGBTI organisations worldwide. Moreover, the recent adoption of the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Non-Discrimination reinforces the existing EU Guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons.

Countless LGBTI rights defenders working to challenge injustice and give a voice to those who suffer oppression and discrimination frequently face attacks in Europe and in many parts of the world. This is why since November 2018, the EU, through its Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, is supporting LGBTI Human Rights Defenders and their organisations active in areas where LGBTI persons are most at risk of discrimination.

The EU, hand in hand with its Member States, will continue supporting the essential work of these advocates and will not stop until all LGBTI persons can live freely and safely.


 

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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.