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Blue Bank maintains 15 year commitment to hospitality sector – increases sponsorship this year

Blue Bank maintains 15 year commitment to hospitality sector – increases sponsorship this year

Standard Bank has for the 15th year running committed itself to the growth of the local tourism and hospitality sector by sponsoring the two-day Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) Tourism Congress and Tourism Awards Gala which will take place from 20 to 21 June.

The bank sponsored N$92,000 towards the successful hosting of the annual tourism congress and gala dinner, up from the N$80,000 sponsorship last year.

Speaking at the recent launch of the 2019 HAN Tourism Congress and Tourism Awards Gala, Standard Bank Head of Cards, ATM and Fleet Services, Hendrik du Plessis, said the bank is proud to partner with HAN which represents about 400 members in the hospitality industry, from hotels, to guest houses, guest farms, lodges, rest camps, restaurants, conference centres and catering services.

“Our association with HAN is a strategic one, borne out of the realisation that tourism has the potential to become the biggest forex earner for the country. As an institution whose primary aim is to drive Namibia’s growth, we strongly believe that our association with the tourism sector will result in more benefits to the economy through revenue generation, business opportunities and employment creation,” said Du Plessis.

This year’s congress’ theme, ‘Tourism begins at Home’, ties in with Standard Bank’s motto, he added, emphasising that “Namibia is our home we drive her growth.”

Du Plessis said the strategic relationship between Standard Bank and the tourism hospitality industry is set to deepen further going forward following the recent launch of The I Go Namibia campaign by Standard Bank.

The ‘I Go Namibia’ campaign is aimed at cementing trade ties, boost investment flows and encourage tourism between Namibia and China. It seeks to capitalise on the growing appetite among Chinese travellers to visit Namibia by offering a range of discounts and special offers from Namibian merchants across the travel, hospitality and lifestyle sectors.

“The ‘I Go Namibia’ campaign is a timely intervention for the tourism industry as it comes at a time when the country is making concerted efforts to grow the sector by securing more high-end tourists including those from the second largest economy in the world, China,” Du Plessis said.

Speaking at the same occasion, HAN CEO Gitta Paetzold said tourism is everyone’s business, and that everyone stands to benefit from this lively and diverse industry.

She said focus at this year’s congress will be on identifying together with partners in the tour operating space some of the challenges that may obstruct growth and to find opportunities that will grow the sector.

‘’The discussions are to reveal whether Namibia and all the tourism stakeholders are ready for the increasing demand put on a travel destination such as Namibia, which has an established market, but now finds itself at the crossroads in terms of a way forward. Where do Namibia’s opportunities lie – is it in growing numbers, or aiming for exclusivity and the high-end, low impact tourism market?’’ said Paetzold.

HAN said only truly Namibian producers will be allowed to display their arts, crafts, cosmetics and beverages at the congress as part of the focus on “Home”.

The same will also happen at the Awards Gala, where outstanding Namibian personalities will be awarded for their valuable contribution to tourism and Namibia as a whole.

“The event will thus shines a light on a wide spectrum of Namibia’s economy, and the value in building synergies and partnerships to strengthen Namibia’s markets and its image as a Destination of Choice,” Paetzold concluded.


 

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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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.