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Tourism is everybody’s business

Tourism is everybody’s business

By Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano
NWR Manager: Corporate Communications and Online Media

A quick search for the definition of the word tourism provides you with the following – the commercial organisation and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest. However, if you delve deeper, you would realise that tourism goes far beyond visiting sites and enjoying a great holiday.

The industry has so many different touch points such as township tours, adventure activities, transportation services, cultural cuisines, and so many other aspects that genuinely make it everybody’s business.

During the past few years, I have become quite appreciative of the significant role this sector plays within a country. Though quite recently, I had two experiences that had me appreciate the importance the industry plays and why it is everybody’s business to safeguard it. My first experience was when I travelled to Africa’s Travel Indaba which is one of the most significant tourism marketing events on the African calendar, and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar.

The Africa Travel Indaba has been hosted in Durban for several years and has ultimately contributed meaningfully to the province of KwaZulu-Natal. For instance, the province intends growing tourism contribution to its economy to reach between R65 billion and R98 billion in the very near future which would result in the generation of not less than 183,000 job opportunities for its people.

Such figures showcase the potential and possibilities that exist within the sector and how so many more people can benefit from it. One example that I saw which provided excellent employment opportunities for many of the youth in Durban was Uber, which is the most recognised ride-sharing alternative to traditional taxis. During my trip, I decided to only make use of Uber as an alternative to taking taxis.

What came out quite strongly was how many young people who were previously unemployed or are studying earn an additional income by being uber drivers for tourists and locals alike. For instance, one of the drivers I chatted to during one of my rides told me that he does this as a side job even though he has full-time employment. He said during the Indaba he tends to make an average of R6000 per week and can sometimes earn more on busier days. He excitedly told me that, the beauty about uber for him is that he can do it whenever he needs extra cash and does not need to own the car he drives as there are people who hire their vehicles out.

This alone got me thinking of the opportunity that our youth here in Namibia could benefit from, by looking at the alternative of Uber in Namibia, which is LEFA, which is a shuttle requesting application that connects drivers and passengers. This could be one opportunity for our youth to not only get an income for themselves but also partake in the tourism sector.

The second experience was on my recent trip to Swakopmund. Having visited the coast so many times, this time around, I decided to take on a township tour to understand the impact cultural tourism has on the sector. So, one afternoon, a representative from Hafeni cultural township tours came to pick me up with six other guests for one of their cultural tours. The trip started at the local market in Mondesa, where we got to experience how the local entrepreneurs survive by selling dried fish, mopane worms, beans and many other cultural delicacies. The guests I was with were quite impressed with the tenacity and drive these entrepreneurs had, with some of them purchasing some goods to take with.

Though the experience that stood out was our visit to an Ovaherero home, which also includes a kindergarten. During our visit here, we got to understand the history of the Ovaherero culture, including how the dressing code came about. Most importantly, was the detail that our tour guide Jonas went into, which made it a pleasure to understand the history of one of Namibia’s people better. At the establishment, some of the tourists bought some souvenirs that were for sale, which are aimed at assisting the kindergarten’s maintenance.

During these two instances, I got a deeper appreciation of why; tourism is truly everybody’s business. Aside from the international tourists we receive, we as the domestic travellers owe it to ourselves to explore different places whether regionally or locally because through this, not only do we expand our horizons we also contribute economically to varying sectors within the country.


 

About The Author

Guest Contributor

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.