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Revised SADC energy protocol prepared for next meeting of ministers

Revised SADC energy protocol prepared for next meeting of ministers

The review process of a regional framework that guides the development of energy infrastructure in southern Africa is progressing well.

Senior Programme Officer responsible for Energy at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, Moses Ntlamelle said this at the recent Energy Thematic Group (ETG) meeting held on 22 October in Gaborone, Botswana.

The revised SADC Protocol on Energy is expected to have clear, practical and more manageable targets to enable the region to strengthen its energy security and ensure that power supply meets demand.

The existing protocol was adopted in 1996 and is now outdated since it does not capture some of the changing dynamics in the energy sector at regional, continental and global levels such as the push to greater uptake of renewable energy sources and technologies as well as the impact of climate change.

Another challenge with the existing protocol is that its provisions are not legally binding, making it difficult to enforce and implement.

“The review team has covered a lot of ground in realigning the SADC Protocol on Energy to new and emerging trends,” Ntlamelle said, adding that “gaps have been identified” and the next stage is to submit the revised document for legal scrutiny.

“Energy experts have already looked at the document and in the next few weeks we will convene a meeting of legal experts to validate the document.”

Thereafter the document will be subjected to various reviews by the ministers of energy and those responsible for justice.

Once approved by the ministers, the instrument will be tabled before the SADC Council of Ministers before it is elevated to the summit of SADC heads of state and government for final approval.

The protocol entered into force in 1998 to promote the harmonious development of national energy policies and matters of common interest for the balanced and equitable development of energy throughout the region. It outlines the institutional mechanisms and financial provisions in place for implementing the energy programme for the region.

In May 2019 the SADC energy ministers approved a roadmap to finalize the protocol’s review, at the same time urging member states who have not yet acceded to the legal instrument to do so.

As of August 2018, before the admission of the Union of Comoros as the newest member of SADC, all member states, except Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Seychelles, had ratified the Protocol on Energy.

Speaking at the same meeting, Director of Infrastructure at the SADC Secretariat, Mapolao Mokoena said energy is a key enabler of sustainable development and regional integration. As such, it was important for cooperating partners to support as well as align their assistance to energy development to ensure the smooth implementation of agreed activities and programmes.

The SADC ETG consists of representatives of the SADC Secretariat, SADC energy subsidiary organisations, International Cooperating Partners (ICPs) and a knowledge partner, the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC).

The lead ICP for the energy sector is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

SADC energy subsidiary organisations are the Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA), SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), and the Southern African Power Pool.

SACREEE is responsible for spearheading the promotion of renewable energy development in the region, while RERA regulates energy trading in the region.

Southern African News Features are produced by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC). Website and Virtual Library for Southern Africa at


About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

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.