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FAO’s workshops equip agricultural extension officers with skills needed during emergency situations

FAO’s workshops equip agricultural extension officers with skills needed during emergency situations

Forty-two agriculture extension officers from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF) Directorate of Agricultural Extension and Engineering Services (DAPEES) are set to better manage and protect the livestock assets and livelihoods of agro-pastoralists affected by humanitarian crises, following successful training workshops facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization Namibia.

The FAO Namibia with facilitation support from the FAO’s Emergency Management Centre for Animal Health (EMC-AH), recently held two national training workshops on Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) from 12-18 September in Otjiwarongo.

FAO’s communications officer, Nelao Haimbondi in a statement said the agricultural extension officers were trained on the principles, knowledge and skills of emergency preparedness, response and recovery to humanitarian crises and animal health emergencies.

MAWF Deputy Director DAPES, Ben Haraseb said the ministry has a response plan being implemented, however the training that was conducted will allow the extension staff to identify gaps and make recommendations.

“At the same time they will be able to best advice farmers on the ground how to survive the current drought we are facing,” he added.

He noted that, “all the regions are not affected in the same way and each extension officer will have to adopt a method of assisting the farmers, with whom they interact every day.”

During the training participants worked on case studies, shared experiences in the field and were provided with the LEGS Handbook, and the FAO Manual on Livestock-related interventions during emergencies.

According to the FAO, the evolving climatic patterns characterized by cyclic droughts, floods and cyclones have become more frequent in Southern Africa. Their scale and complexities demand that all partners on the ground work together to help communities become more resilient to these threats.

In May 2019 the government declared a State of Emergency on account of the drought, with all 14 regions affected.

In light of the impact of the drought on the food security situation, FAO Namibia has been working with the government and other development partners to build the resilience of the most vulnerable communities, while reducing dependence on food assistance, added Haimbondi.

The EMC-AH is a joint platform between FAO’s Animal Production and Health Division and Emergency and Resilience Division, which aims to reduce the impact of animal health emergencies.

The Centre works to enhance country, regional and international capacity to be better prepared to respond to animal health emergencies as it provides the platform, tools, support and coordination to help increase preparedness and response capacity at all levels.

Furthermore, the EMC-AH team also works to identify needs to address for improved prevention, detection and recovery measures.

Caption: The first group of agriculture Extension Officers to be trained in Livestock Emergency Guidelines & Standards by FAO Namibia in Otjiwarongo.


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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.