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SADC ministers review progress in the implementation of energy, water projects

SADC ministers review progress in the implementation of energy, water projects

The Ministers of Energy and Water from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), met last week in Windhoek to review progress in the implementation of energy and water programmes and projects, and to discuss the energy and water supply status to ensure food security and development in the SADC region.

The ministerial meeting, hosted by Namibia, was attended by SADC ministers or their representatives from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The meeting was also attended by representatives from international cooperation partners comprising United Nations agencies, implementing agencies, development partners, youth representatives, and was preceded by a three-day meeting of senior officials responsible for energy and water.

In his keynote address, the Co-Chairperson and Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Tom Alweendo, noted that considerable efforts have been made on energy and water programmes and projects, and urged his co-ministers to ensure that their decisions should change the lives of the citizens,  in particular with regard to energy and water and subsequently the overall Sustainable Development Goals.

He acknowledged the progress to date, outlining the challenges with security of supply in both the energy and water sectors. He noted that demand increases commensurately with each developmental stride and due to the ever-changing climatic conditions.

The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and also Co-Chairperson, Hon Alpheus Naruseb acknowledged the efforts of the entire region on energy and water infrastructure projects intended to drive industrialisation in Member State as part of the long-term agenda to establish and develop a regional industrial hub.

Naruseb said the meeting came at a difficult time where parts of the rRegion received below normal rainfall while some parts have been affected by the Cyclones IDAI and Kenneth, which destroyed some water and energy infrastructure and caused heavy casualties in Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

He further mentioned that investing in water and energy infrastructure does not only have positive economic benefits but also positive trade-offs in the form of improved security and reduced poverty.

The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, called for Member State’s guidance and support in the implementation of water and energy programmes that contribute to the realisation of the five-year targets in the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

Speaking on the regional performance of the sectors, Dr Mhlongo said only 40% of a population of roughly 300 million, has access to adequate sanitation while some 60% enjoys access to safe drinking water.

In terms of supply and demand for electricity, the region has installed generation capacity of 71,950 megawatts (MW), therefore, withn regard to the current peak demand and generation capacity reserve margins, there is a relatively small deficit of more than 650 MW.

In the energy sector, the deliberations focused on security of energy supply, energy infrastructure development, and progress on targets from the previous ministerial meeting decisions.

The meeting also reviewed the regional power programmes and projects, petroleum and gas sub-programmes, renewable energy and energy efficiency issues, the energy sector regulatory sub-programme implemented by the subsidiary organisations and the international cooperating partners supporting the SADC Energy programme.

The ministers reviewed progress on the regional gas sub-programme and the ongoing regional infrastructure development initiatives in support of regional integration.

The meeting noted progress in the amendment of the Protocol on Energy of 1996 and approved the Roadmap to finalize the review and amendment of the Protocol, charging Member States who have not yet acceded to the Protocol to do so.

The meeting called on Member States to commit to the Regional Priority Power Projects for improved security of energy supply and directed the Secretariat to present a comprehensive report on energy projects that are under preparation and development by regional project preparation facilities.

For the purpose of executing its mandate, the Secretariat received support from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to undertake a project to engage young entrepreneurs to formulate bankable and sustainable projects.

In the water sector, the ministers reviewed progress in the implementation of the SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) Phase IV, and other programmes and projects implemented by the subsidiary organisations and the River Basin Organisations affiliated to SADC. The ministers further reviewed progress on the status of regional groundwater management programmes, the Regional Water fund, cross-border water supply and sanitation projects, and other projects in the Water Chapter of the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan.

Furthermore, the ministers from both the energy and water sectors jointly discussed the Water, Energy and Food (WEF) Nexus Programme, advising Member States to set up coordination mechanisms for Nexus initiatives in their respective countries and directed the Secretariat to fast track the development of the Nexus framework.

Member States were commended for the progress on the following river basin programmes: Cuvelai Watercourse Commission (CUVECOM); Incomati and Maputo River Basins (INCOMAPUTO); Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM); Okavango River Basin Commission (OKACOM); Orange Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM); and Zambezi River Basin Commission (ZAMCOM).

Finally, all the ministers in the meeting agreed that Namibia offers warm hospitality and solid technical support to host a meeting of this nature and scope.

The next meeting is scheduled for approximately one year from now, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.



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.