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Mega cruiser’s passengers enthralled by Walvis experience, many more ships to follow

Mega cruiser’s passengers enthralled by Walvis experience, many more ships to follow

The mega cruise liner, the MSC Orchestra called at the Port of Walvis Bay on Wednesday for its more than 3000 passengers to disembark and reconnoitre the harbour town and its desert surroundings.

This luxury cruise liner is almost 300 metres from bow to stern, with a displacement of just over 92,000 tonnes.

As usual, the arrival of this large ship caused a big stir in the small community. Taxis started lining up early bringing vendors with their wares in the hope to sell something to the passengers while the taxis themselves jostled for the opportunity to take the visiting guests on a walkabout. But unlike previous occasions, the process was orderly and controlled by law enforcement officers.

This leg of the Orchestra’s maiden voyage started in Cape Town. The 6-day cruise will now take the ship back to Cape Town. The passengers were delighted with their Walvis Bay visit, many stating how impressed they are with the welcoming spirit of Namport’s staff at the onshore reception point.

Port Captain, Lukas Kafuna (left) and MSC Managing Director, Mr Ross Volk (second from left) with Namport staff members.

At a brief onboard presentation where the ship’s crew met the Namport authorities, the Managing Director of MSC South Africa, Mr Ross Volk, assured the locals that more MSC vessels will dock at Walvis Bay after this very pleasant first experience.

According to Volk, the excellent reception they enjoyed in Walvis Bay, contributed to Namibia’s positive image and it is fast becoming a preferred hub for maritime tourism.

“From the next season we will have two vessels based in southern Africa, one catering for the east coast and the other the west coast. So, instead of us only having two to three calls in Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, we will increase the number of calls to 22 from Cape Town,” he said.

Captain Lukas Kufuna, the Walvis Bay port captain, told the visiting ship’s crew that Namibia is strategically positioned and with the service of the newly-built passenger jetty, the ports authority is working to ensure that all vessels enjoys safe passage in Namibian waters and that all visitors are given the opportunity to appreciate what Namibia has to offer.

Namport said it has welcomed more than 4500 ship-borne visitors since the beginning of 2020. Another five vessels are expected during the remainder of January.


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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.