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African Union cogs start turning to operationalise the Continental Free-Trade Area

African Union cogs start turning to operationalise the Continental Free-Trade Area

A Namibian delegation comprising six ministers is on its way to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to attend the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union starting this Sunday 09 February.

In a statement issued by Namibia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Emilia Mkusa, the Namibian delegation is given as the Vice President, Dr. Nangolo Mbumba, Hon Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Relations and Cooperation, Hon Calle Schlettwein, Minister of Finance, Hon Penda Ya Ndakolo, Minister of Defence, Hon Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, and Hon Obeth Kandjoze, Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission.

Preceding the 33rd Ordinary Session is the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union Executive Council which is attended by Hon Nandi-Ndaitwah.

The theme of the 33rd Ordinary Session is “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.” This is one of the Union’s flagship projects, adopted by Heads of State and Government as an integral part of the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063.

The summit is also expected to discuss, amongst others; the report on the implementation of the AU Theme of the Year 2019 on Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons; the outcome of the regional consultations on financing the AU Peace Fund, and the report on the progress on the operationalisation of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA) and its secretariat.

The African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government will also meet on the margins of the 33rd AU Assembly. Namibia acceded in 2017 to the African Peer Review Mechanism.

Namibia, represents the Southern African Region as a Committee Member of a number of AU bodies such as the Committee of Ten on Education, Science and Technology, the Committee of Ten on UN Security Council Reforms and the Committee of Fifteen Finance Ministers.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

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.