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Green loans available for green projects

CEO of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, Benedict Libanda and CEO of the SME Bank, Tawanda Mumvuma signing for the green loans scheme. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

CEO of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, Benedict Libanda and CEO of the SME Bank, Tawanda Mumvuma signing for the green loans scheme. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

In its effort of strengthening the growing renewable energy sector with the creation of green jobs, the SME Bank and the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia recently launched Green loans targeting clients at household level.
The Green Soft Loan, an initiative of the Fund and the SME Bank, is a credit facility established to stimulate demand for the utilisation of green technologies mainly for communities living in rural areas but also accessible to urban clients.
The minimum loan amount is N$10,000 while N$100,000 is the maximum.The loans are repayable over a maximum period of five years at an interest rate of up to prime minus 4.25 %. The credit facility is operated through an ownership model enabling individuals to obtain loans to purchase green household appliances after an accredited supplier has furnished the prospective buyer with a firm quotation. The buyer decides where the appliance must be installed. Financing is for eco-friendly appliances such as solar water geysers, solar water pumps, solar lighting devices and other equipment that optimises water usage to boost environmental sustainabilty. Apart from the soft loans, the Fund will also be offering Green Concessional Loans to provide incentives to businesses to reduce their impact on the environment by adopting eco-friendly practices and operations. The concessional loans integrate environmental sustainabilty while promoting economic development and are offered at a minimum amount of N$1 million and a maximum of N$4 million per applicant.
The interest on these loans are also charged at a subsidised rate of up to prime minus 4.25%, however Green Concessional Loans are repayable over a maximum period of 10 years. These loans are for green investments in eco-tourism, sustainable farming , renewable energy as well as water efficiency. The Fund is the main vehicle of the government to channel financial resources to green investments and to support programmes for sustainable land management in partnership with civil society, development partners, academic institutions and the private sector.

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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.