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Development Bank awards best borrowers and innovators

Development Bank awards best borrowers and innovators

WordPress, the printing works that sees the Namibian newspaper gets to the street every morning, is the winner of the Development Bank of Namibia’s Good Business award in the large category.

The flagship award was presented last week Thursday, 14 November, by the Development Bank’s chairperson, Ms Tania Hangula to the company’s Managing Director, Mr Wolfram Jaus.

Runner-up in the Large category is the Ombepo Group who constructed and operates the wind farm near Lüderitz in the Karas region. Ombepo Energy is a venture between InnoSun Energy Holdings and Lüderitz Town Council.

The winner of the innovation award is Pulsar Electronic Solutions, a small company that enables users of its smart metering app to control their electricity consumption using a smartphone. The first runner-up in this category is NamOceanic Kelp Production who manufactures chicken feed from seaweed. In the third spot is Primebiochar, a company that improves water retention in soil by mixing it with a charcoal derivative.

Amongst the smaller borrowers, the winner in the SME category is Ian Shuttle, a commercial shuttle service operator who caters for other companies. Second amongst the SMEs is Blue Box Technology that provides digital retail media, event management and coin operated cellphone charging kiosks with secure lockers. The third SME is Otjiwarongo-based Miiyelo Investment who retails automotive component and provides services to vehicle owners.

Chairperson Hangula said the bank’s main objective is to support economic and social development through the provision of finance and business support to Namibian enterprises. “Long-term business sustainability is important to ensure sustainable economic growth and social progress. Winners of the bank’s large enterprise and SME awards represent this goal. Through the Good Business and Innovation Awards, the bank demonstrates commitment to support Namibian businesses who have demonstrated resilience and a winning attitude,” she said.

The bank’s Chief Executive, Martin Inkumbi said their experience is that innovation is not an instant, overnight phenomenon, but an exacting process of enterprise maturation to the point of bankability.

Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Penda Ithindi, said the Development Bank is a key agency that has supported the creation of 24,000 new jobs and 32,000 temporary jobs since 2004 while approving over N$15 billion development finance for infrastructure and enterprise activities over the 15 years of its existence.


Caption: Chairperson of the Board of the Development Bank of Namibia, Ms Tania Hangula.


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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.