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De Beers invests in development educational programme for young women

De Beers invests in development educational programme for young women

De Beers Group has invested US$315,000 in a three-year partnership with WomEng in order to encourage young women to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and to pursue engineering careers in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

WomEng is an award-winning organisation with a mission to develop the next generation of highly skilled women for the engineering and technology industries. The first programme of the De Beers- WomEng partnership was WomEng’s Fellowship South Africa event, recently held in Johannesburg, attended by 60 female engineering students in their pre- and post-graduate years from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

The week-long event was designed to strengthen the students’ employability and leadership skills and cultivate innovative entrepreneurial thinking through the WomEng Innovation Challenge. Students were asked to develop an engineering business solution to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“With a global shortage of engineers, and women representing only 11 per cent of the engineering workforce, attracting more young women into engineering is vital. In our fast-changing world, we need diversity of thought to find new solutions, so we are thrilled to be able to partner with WomEng and play a role in supporting the next generation of talented engineers who will play a critical role in shaping the future,” Katie Fergusson, Senior Vice-President, Social Impact, De Beers Group, said.

Next month, a series of half-day GirlEng #AskAnEngineer workshops will begin, run by engineers, students and the WomEng team. Each session will target 200 girls in schools around De Beers Group’s operations. The first is in Musina, South Africa, followed by sessions in Windhoek, Namibia, and Orapa and Jwaneng in Botswana.

They will be followed by a regional GirlEng programme, where 60 students chosen from the earlier sessions are eligible for a sponsored two-day Innovation Boot Camp in Johannesburg in March 2020. Students will also be provided with support for university and scholarship applications, as well as exposure to mining environments.

Caption: Attendees at WomEng’s Fellowship South Africa event.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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.