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Technology disrupts absolutely

Technology disrupts absolutely

Each of these companies mentioned above is a household name, even in Namibia, where we don’t even have access to all their products or services. These companies have become some of the largest and most successful and in Apple’s case, the most profitable and valuable companies in the world. All within a relatively short time and with competitors coming and going.

Some of these companies were not even around a mere ten years ago, yet here they are and here they will probably stay.

AirBnB has revolutionised the hospitality industry beyond recognition. In turn changing the way people travel, where they travel to and making hotels and established guesthouses rethink their pricing structure and re-evaluate how they operate.

People now have the power and the means to make and generate money from their property, truly empowering them and changing the way we travel. It is even benefiting Namibians, as they place their properties on AirBnB and are able to generate much needed income.

When analysing these organisations and their products and services, it becomes clear that the people that started these companies simply looked at the status quo and thought…”this can be improved upon.” With the rise of the Internet and development of technology and innovation things started to change.

The status quo was disrupted, for want of a better word. Just because things were a certain way and had always been done that way, no longer meant anything. It was a brave new world, almost seemingly within a blink of an eye.

A mere twenty years ago Kodak was one of the world’s largest and most successful companies, now they are a mere shadow of their former self. They didn’t see the digital photography for what it was and ultimately their business model no longer made sense and wasn’t sustainable.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution really is the dawn of a new era. Like anything new and untested people are uneasy, hesitant and resistant to change. Will their jobs disappear, will their companies no longer matter and ultimately will Artificial Intelligence take over? There is however no need for unease, leveraging technology and innovation in all sectors offers new job opportunities and possibilities.

It opens up a new a whole new market for people who are innovators and think in solutions. Local versions of internationally successful innovations and service providers should be stimulated, developed, invested in and celebrated.

Whether it is developing local mobile payment solutions, perhaps an online ride-hailing app or using technology to curb poaching. Even Governments are benefiting through e-Government and e-Governance solutions such as streamlining application processes for birth certificates or registering business. You no longer have to imagine having an integrated application to have all of a Municipality’s services at your fingertips on your smart device.

It is all being conceived, implemented and rolled-out already right here in Namibia. The possibilities are endless and with a youthful nation like ours, we can transform the economy within a few short years due to the speed at which tech and innovation can be implemented. Disruption is not a dirty word, it can and will be the catalyst to kickstart our and the Southern African economy as long as we are bold and people follow their vision. Follow it and not be afraid to make waves and question the status quo!


 

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A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - 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.