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Think tank joins unemployment debate

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) has joined those criticising the results or methodologies used in the controversial 2008 Labour Force Survey which found that 51.2% of the population is unemployed.
In a publication entitled, Namibia Labour Force Survey 2008 – An attempt to unravel the mystery of statistics, researchers say since the unemployment rate has reached alarming levels, surveys need to be conducted on a more frequent basis in order to assess whether government programmes achieve the intended objectives, such as creating employment. But in contrast to findings by Economist Martin Mwinga who torched a storm recently when he said the unemployment rate in the country is 28%, contrary to the 51.2% figure given in the government sanctioned 2008 Labour Force Survey, IPPR is of the view that the unemployment rate in the country could actually be worse than anticipated.
“Since the Labour Force Survey was conducted before the global economic crisis started to affect the Namibian economy, it has not captured the job losses in the mining sector and related industries  in particular, that shed labour between the last quarter of 2008 and the middle of 2009.
“The unemployment situation has therefore most likely worsened since the survey was conducted in September 2008.”
The research paper found out that although, government has responded with expansionary budgets in 2009 and 2010 and with the launch of the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg) in order to stimulate the domestic economy and create jobs, it is not possible to evaluate the effectiveness of government spending without regular, timely and accurate data.
“The Labour Force Survey is conducted every three to four years and the results are published almost two years later. In order to monitor the labour market closely and provide policy makers with reliable data in time, the ministry (of labour) needs to conduct surveys more frequently (at least annually) and release results much closer to the completion of the survey.
“Otherwise government does not have the necessary evidence to review and adjust current policies or design additional interventions.”
The paper also said there is a need to review existing policies and implement programmes that can contribute to attracting domestic and foreign investment in order to create sustainable and decent jobs.
“For instance, the Investors Road Map of 2005 identified labour-market related issues that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency in order to reduce barriers for investment and job creation. Although two workshops were organised in the following two years not many of the recommendations have been implemented so far.
“Furthermore, government released its Labour Based Works Policy in 1997. After more than 13 years, it would be appropriate to evaluate and review the policy in order to adjust it where necessary to new developments.”

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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.