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Public and private partnerships needed in the ICT space to stimulate skills development

Public and private partnerships needed in the ICT space to stimulate skills development

By Llewellyn le Hané

In the spirit of good corporate citizenship, organisations both in the public and private sectors have an active role to play when it comes to developing skills. Especially in the ICT sector skill development, training and knowledge transference as well as experience are essential.

This is why it can’t just be up to either the public sector or the private sector or even government to try and legislate skills development into happening.

In Namibia specifically, it has been found that many tertiary students have limited options when it comes to internship opportunities and acquiring experience. Having all the necessary theory is great, but as so often nothing beats real-world experience and practice. Graduates lack real world experience as they are not exposed to Work Integrated Learning. Both the public and private sector often complain that recent graduates lack work experience. This is where both public and private sector needs to jump in and see how programmes like Work Integrated Learning and collaborations can create a sustainable framework within which to develop the skills and experience of our future workforce in the ICT space. A sector that continues to see growth and is future-proof. This must be one of the drivers of industry 4.0, if we truly want to develop the Namibian ICT landscape.

Skills development for students to undertake an internship that enables them to apply theoretical knowledge gained from their studies in a practical setting. Tertiary institutions look to the various industries to provide controlled working environment in the form of job placement opportunities.

Although different organisations may have different requirements and arrangements as far as their WIL programmes are concerned, those that have incorporated this initiative in their operations have made a significant impact. In fact, most Namibian professionals started out as interns and with hard work, dedication and the right attitude they grew in their professions.

Green Enterprise Solutions (Green), a local company that provides Information and Communication Technology (ICT); is one of the organisations championing skills development. It has opened its doors to college and university students for internship opportunities.

It also works together with local, and national institutions including government to see how best skills and experience can be developed. It is our firm belief that working in unison with partners, businesses and Government in the broadest sense of the word will boost the development of Industry 4.0.

Green has created a space and will continue to develop a ‘hands-on’ educational framework for interns and young professionals giving them experience in technical and administrative programmes of ICT, namely in software development, infrastructure technologies, networking and cyber security, warranty services, project management, sales and marketing. In doing so and in engaging with tertiary institutions like NUST as well as Ministries like the Ministry of ICT, the programmes can be made as relevant as possible for both businesses and students. Making them attractive, well-rounded professionals that can help drive the ICT-sector of Namibia forward and contribute meaningfully to the economy.

Llewellyn le Hané recently said: “That as a Namibian company, it is important to actively participate in skills development, otherwise Namibia will not have local capable resources to contribute to the development of Namibia with bespoke ICT solutions. We need to work together with all stakeholders that have a vested interest in stimulating the development of ICT, including government.


 

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.