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SASSCAL research projects materialise

Formulations of research projects of the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) have now been finalised. This was revealed by Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa during the inaugural board meeting of the centre held this week.
An initiative grown out of previous science initiatives in Southern Africa, SASSCAL is a joint initiative of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Germany, responding to the challenges of global change. The establishment of the centre is in line with international climate change conventions, declarations and existing research.
Speaking during the inaugural meeting, Mutorwa said that there is need to explore innovative new approaches based on science, on how to better prepare for the effects of climate change and its impacts on the globe. “When designing and planning our programme and projects, we need to constantly ask ourselves the following question; How do we use the natural resources at our disposal more efficiently without increasing the risk of natural disasters? Therefore, when striving for economic development and growth, it is imperative for us to strike a good balance between economic growth on the one hand and sustainable development on the other,” said Mutorwa.
Mutorwa expressed gratitude towards the German government which will be responsible for funding the SASSCAL activities for the next five years. The minister however urged all partners of the initiative to commit themselves to the success of the centre and equally contribute to the achievements of the objectives of the centre as this will equalise the distribution of benefits among partner countries.
A series of round-table meetings, national stakeholder and technical workshops were held across the region to solicit input from a range of stakeholders into the design of the initiative. Five areas for research and training were identified during the workshops, namely climate, water, forestry, agriculture land-use and biodiversity.
One major component of the centre is capacity development which will help guide policy makers and involve students at masters’ level who will work closely together with established scientists. A master plan will be set up to establish different components of courses offered at all universities of the hosting countries. This will help ensure that qualifications are tailor made for individuals. The initiative also aims to empower local stakeholders to develop and implement their own knowledge-based solutions, including advice for policy makers.

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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.