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Central bank avails N$50 million for SME financing strategy implementation

Central bank avails N$50 million for SME financing strategy implementation

The Bank of Namibia provided an additional N$50 million for the implementation of the SME Financing Strategy launched by the Minister of Finance, Hon Calle Schlettwein, in November.

The strategy, comprising three facilities namely the Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Venture Capital Fund and the Mentoring and Coaching Programme was approved by Cabinet in June 2018, from where the finance ministry delegated the hosting and administration of these facilities to the Development Bank of Namibia.

In line with its commitment to support the Development Bank of Namibia, the central bank’s total financial contribution to the SME Financing Strategy stands now at N$70 million. In 2018, the Bank of Namibia availed an initial amount of N$20 million for the operationalisation of the strategy, in particular the Credit Guarantee Scheme facility, to complement the government’s budgetary commitment.

Last week, the Development Bank and Bank of Namibia signed an agreement for the utilisation of the funds to ensure that it is for the intended purpose and in an efficient manner in order to yield the required results of supporting local SMEs.

“The Bank of Namibia remains committed to the development and upliftment of the SME sector of the economy. The Bank is convinced that the sector is important for economic development as it has the potential to create employment and alleviate poverty” said the Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Iipumbu Shiimi, at the signing of the agreement.

Acting Chief Executive at the Development Bank, Hanri Jacobs said they have been hard at work over the past months to ensure that all mechanisms are in place for the operationalisation of the strategy.

“The Development Bank of Namibia has over the years prioritised its SME support efforts and this additional funding will go a long way in unlocking the potential of SMEs,” Jacobs said.


 

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

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.