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Empowering women through, the Financial Index

Empowering women through, the Financial Index

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank announced that they have a new tool to track the level of lending to women across the continent, at the panel discussions organised by the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) in New York, with the theme ‘empowering Women in conflict Zones in Africa’.

Adesina said this will be important for ensuring women get the critical financial help they need.

“The Women’s Financing Index, which is currently under development, will rate banks and financial institutions who apply for loans from us, against the amounts they have lent or are lending women,” he added.

He said institutions will be rated by their development impact, the rate and volume at which they lend to women and top institutions will be rewarded with referential financing terms from them.

The Bank through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa aims to mobilise N$3 billion to bridge the financing gab for women on the continent.

Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist of Afreximbank said its bison to promote intra-African trade was directly tied to the theme of providing women with credit. “Access to finance is at the root of development initiatives, that is why Afreximbank was created and our top goals include supporting African women in agri-processing to minimise post harvesting losses and acting as trade financing intermediaries,” he emphasised.

While, Denise Tshisekedi, First Lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo spoke of the disadvantaged position Congolese women held, where 50% to 80% of women work in farming, while only 30% have access to the formal work sector. “The biggest problem is conflict and displacement,” she emphasised.

It was also agreed by panellist that economically empowered women become politically empowered and that areas of conflict required greater flexibility to accommodate skill and education gaps. “Women need to get better organised through groups, women’s business groups and to build coalitions across groups, theretofore it is essential that women are heard and they need to be at the policy and decision making table,” they concluded.

Caption: Denise Tshisekedi, First Lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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.