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Awareness of land degradation in Namibia and Iceland

Emvula stated that Namibia has identified land degradation as a serious problem which demands remedial intervention and has recognised that integrated sustainable land management strategies are needed to effectively address the underlying causes.

The Group of Friends (GoF) of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought,was recently launched in New York. GoF is an informal interest group and forum that aims to maintain the momentum generated by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, popularly called Rio+20, around Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
The programme is an initiative of the Ambassadors Permanent Representatives of Iceland and Namibia together with the United Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Executive Secretary.
Among Rio + 20’s key outcomes was the agreement to strive for a “land-degradation neutral world” and to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and converge with the post-2015 development agenda.
GoF’s stated purpose is to draw the attention of Member States to the importance of having an SDG on land degradation and drought in the set of goals under development.
Speaking at the GoF launch, Luc Gnacadja, outgoing Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification said that land is central to the “nexus” that links energy, food, water, environmental health and poverty in an interdependent loop.
“If the international community does not take bold action to protect, restore and manage land and soils sustainably, it will not achieve commitments for climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation, forest and MDG targets. It will not alleviate rural poverty and hunger, ensure long-term food security nor build resilience to drought and water stress,” Gnacadja said.
He added that a land-degradation neutral world is the “final piece of the puzzle that unites the challenge of DLDD with the tools at our disposal and the level of ambition needed to achieve the future we want”. “The GoF has a crucial role to play in creating awareness that striving for a Land-Degradation Neutral World is doable,” he said.
Gnacadja noted that several countries among the GoF initiators already have policies to offset degrading land through rehabilitation and other measures and said that such best practices needed to be scaled up. “I stand ready to support and assist you, in whatever capacity you deem appropriate, to translate our common vision into a sustainable development goal for the post 2015 development agenda,” he stated.
Gnacadja’s term as head of the UNCCD Secretariat is set to end on 30 September 2013, following the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties, which takes place from 16 to 27 September in Windhoek.
Speaking at the same occassion, co founder of the Group of Friends of DLDD, Ambassador of Namibia to the United Nations, HE Wilfried Emvula stated that Namibia has identified land degradation as a serious problem which demands remedial intervention and has recognised that integrated sustainable land management strategies are needed to effectively address the underlying causes. “In this regard, various attempts have been implemented to halt, and reverse, desertification in the context of the United Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD),” said Emvula.
Ambassador Emvula further expressed hope that the Group of Friends of DLDD will be a vibrant group of Ambassadors ready to work together to share experiences and maintain the momentum of the importance of DLDD generated by Rio+20 in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, for the common good of humanity. HE Gréta Gunnarsdóttir, the Permanent Representative of Iceland pointed out that in 1907 unique legislation was passed in Iceland aimed at halting soil erosion and restoring lost and degraded woodlands. Iceland’s 100 years of such nationally concerted effort is one of the longest standing in the world. Against the backdrop of ongoing discussions in the UN to develop a post-2015 development agenda, the Ambassador of Iceland stated that Iceland will continue to emphasize the importance of Land Restoration, especially in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the discussions around the Sustainable Development Goals. “We must draw to the attention of Member States the importance of having Desertification, Land Degradation and Draught in the set of goals in the new development framework in 2015,” said Gunnarsdóttir.

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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.