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Blue economy’s sustainability will be guaranteed by the women in leadership positions

Blue economy’s sustainability will be guaranteed by the women in leadership positions

Being on board with gender equality is more than just a slogan for Etosha Fishing who prizes the contribution from the three women in its management team, and the majority women working on this fishing company’s factory floor.

The role of women in the maritime industry received special attention during June with two specific days dedicated to highlight the growing importance of women in the so-called blue economy.

On 08 June with the celebration of World Ocean Day, the theme was ‘Gender and the Ocean” and on 25 June the spotlight was on gender equality on the Day of the Seafarer.

Addressing the World Ocean Day celebration in Walvis Bay, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon Bernard Esau said the blue economy’s sustainability is premised on the inclusion of women noting that they are already making a significant contribution to the health and sustainability of the ocean, specifically in the utilisation of its resources.

Applying this in the day to day running of a company is however not always that easy, especially in the male-dominated fishing industry. But for Etosha Fishing, turning the tide in favour of women is not only an intention, it is practised at all levels of the company hierarchy.

Acting Managing Director and former Financial Director, Nezette Beukes, is the leading example although she is quick to point out that it was never a conscious decision to employ women in leading positions.

The fact that most of the key managerial positions at Etosha Fishing are occupied by women, is in Beukes’ mind a clear illustration that females are just as capable as their male counterparts.

Two of Etosha Fishing’s Quality Managers, both females, have also received personal recognition for their contribution to quality assurance, with Estelle van Dyk and Linekela Kapundja winning the NSI Individual Award for Quality in 2014 and 2017 respectively.

Commenting on her responsibilities in the company, Kapundja said “It’s a matter of dedication, leading by example and keeping the team motivated. We have to continue to empower Namibians to be better qualified.”

“To be recognised for our consistent delivery of quality products in this very competitive business environment is not a matter of how many males and females you have employed. We all work together as a team. It should however serve as a motivation to women hoping to enter this sector that they can also excel in a traditionally male dominated world,” Beukes elaborated.

Another women on the move is the Head of the Labelling and Dispatch department, Drizelle Westerdale. Starting 15 years ago as the Managing Director’s personal assistant, she has consistently moved up in the ranks due to her proven competence, now being in charge of the final link in the the value chain of Etosha’s canned products.

“It is all about dedication and passion for the work you do. If you consistently perform well in your job, you will be recognised for your efforts,” she said.

Etosha Fishing Corporation is the only remaining cannery in Namibia following the implosion of the pelagic industry. It has restructured its operations to continue operating, implementing such novel strategies as obtaining raw material from Peru and Morocco, and developing new products based on the very large Horse Mackerel resource. It is also the leading canner for well-known retail brands such as Lucky Star and Glenryck. It has received numerous quality awards.

Caption: On board with gender equality – Three of Etosha Fishing’s top management team are females. Acting Managing Director, Nezette Beukes (middle) is flanked by Quality Manager Linekela Kapundja (left) and Head of the Labelling and Dispatch department, Drizelle Westerdale.


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The staff reporter is the most senior in-house Economist reporter. This designation is frequently used by the editor for articles submitted by third parties, especially businesses, but which had to be rewritten completely. - 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.