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Financing facilities to cater for youth and SMEs launched

Financing facilities to cater for youth and SMEs launched

The Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein this week launched an SME Financing Strategy and a joint partnership framework between the public and the private sector financiers.

The minister also launched two other mutually-reinforcing products; namely; the Skills-based Lending Facility for the youth and the Funding Facility for the 121 Constituency Youth Enterprises.

“The bid for a designate SME Financing Strategy and the specific funding facilities for youth enterprises is to unlock the growth, job creation, and self-employment potential of the SME sector,” he added.

Furthermore, he said the policy imperative is to achieve the twin objectives of enhancing access to affordable finance and fostering entrepreneurship and SME development across the broad range of economic sectors in all regions of the country.

“The SME Financing Strategy is a smart partnership between and among the government, the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), commercial banks, and other private sector financiers,” he said, adding that the Skills-based Lending Facility for the Youth will be hosted by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with DBN.

According to the minister, the Funding Facility for the 121 Constituency Youth Enterprises is hosted by the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service in collaboration with DBN as well.

“It aims to facilitate the establishment of 121 Youth Enterprises in all constituencies, in line with the aspirations of Youth Enterprise Development sub-pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” he added.

Meanwhile, Schlettwein said the facilities will become operational on 1 December and entrepreneurs and SMEs are invited to start placing their applications from that date.


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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.