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If you need to go somewhere, LEFA offers an ingenious form of public transport – a dedicated taxi or shuttle on demand

If you need to go somewhere, LEFA offers an ingenious form of public transport – a dedicated taxi or shuttle on demand

Melkies Ausiku, the entrepreneur behind the local shuttle and cab hailing service, LEFA, has just made his first significant breakthrough in partnering with a mobile payment provider to make paying for the service easy, safe and convenient.

Recently Ausiku lamented the dearth of financing for small businesses saying that financiers are only interested in very large projects. This impression he got while attending the Economic Growth Summit held at the beginning of August.

Following his remarks, his case attracted the attention of the Development Bank of Namibia who is now reviewing his application for financing.

In the meantime, Ausiku did not sit back and wait for things to happen. He actively pursued a payment deal with Chris Botha of PayToday with the result that an agreement was announced this week.

“Clients using LEFA can now use PayToday mobile app to pay for their safe and secure ride. LEFA connects clients to shuttle and cab drivers in and around Windhoek through a sophisticated yet simple mobile application system and has been doing so since February, 2018. The LEFA transportation app has gone from strength to strength and partnering with the mobile payment solution PayToday is a natural next step” the two stated when announcing the agreement.

This arrangement eliminates the need for clients to use cash. They can pay the LEFA drivers directly using their smartphones. By simply downloading the LEFA and the PayToday apps the client access both services seamlessly through his or her smart device.

On their progress since the app was launched early last year, Ausiku said; “Using LEFA as a safe and convenient way of getting to your destination has really taken off, with more than 2000 people per month using the service and growing. By partnering with PayToday we are now able to offer an even better and more customer-friendly technology/mobile phone driven transport experience. Cashless payments are the future across the world and with PayToday as a partner we can now offer it right here in Namibia. Something that we are very proud of.”

PayToday’s Botha added “We are excited to partner with fellow local entrepreneur Melkies who shares our passion for technology and innovation. As a pioneer in the mobile payment space in Namibia, this partnership is fully aligned with our vision of making payments easier in every situation.”

Both the LEFA and PayToday apps for mobile phones can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Once downloaded, passengers register in the application by entering a valid cellphone number and email address. It allows riders to request a shuttle or taxi by simply entering the location where they would like to go. The app allows passengers to view a driver’s information and vehicle details before the ride as well as the ability to track their requested driver in real-time once the ride has been confirmed. If they so wish, passengers can rate the driver using the same app and help LEFA improve its service delivery.


Caption: Melkies Ausiku (left) of the taxi and shuttle hailing service, LEFA, seals the deal with Chris Botha of PayToday. Their agreement allows more convenience for passengers who can now make their payment directly from a smartphone.


 

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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

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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.