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Shining the light on radio astronomy – Namibia Scientific Society to host public talk

Shining the light on radio astronomy – Namibia Scientific Society to host public talk

The Namibia Scientific Society will be host a public talk, ‘The Treasure of Radio Astronomy and Very Long Baseline Interferometry for Education, Innovation and International Partnership’, on 6 September at 19:30 led by Dr Tiziana Venturi.

Dr Venturi said that astronomy is one of the science areas which most captures the attention of the general public and citizens everywhere in the world, therefore it is thus one of the most efficient tools to promote scientific education.

She emphasised that while optical astronomy has been part of the human heritage since the dawn of mankind, radio astronomy is a very recent development and it is only about 60 years old, and because of this it bears several disadvantaged compared to optical astronomy, which need to be addressed to make it competitive.

“Moreover, it is extremely challenging under several aspects, from engineering to image reconstruction and analysis, data transfer and computational requirements, but this complex framework has fed and fostered intellectual cooperation at scientific and engineering level, therefore radio astronomy has become a genuine example of worldwide collaboration,” she added.

Dr Venturi is the Director of Istituto di Radioastronomia (Italian National Institute for Astrophysics) and is a scientist in extragalactic radio astronomy. Under her directorship the Istituto di Radioastronomia has played an active role in the first image of the black hole shadow.

She is at present Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Network and has been responsible for several bilateral programmes of intentional scientific and technological cooperation between Italy and other countries.

At present she leads the bilateral project RADIO SKY 2020 between Italy and South Africa, to ensure the best scientific, technological and industrial exploitation of the massive investment of bother countries in radio astronomy.

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


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.