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From bush to fuel to jobs

Omuriro Biomass use this monster to cut invader bush which is then left to dry before chipped and pressed into logs as a substitute for firewood. Called Egologs, this alternative bio-fuel holds multiple benefits including reduction of bush encroachment, conservation of endangered trees and excellent wood logs for braais and household fires. It also creates jobs.

Omuriro Biomass use this monster to cut invader bush which is then left to dry before chipped and pressed into logs as a substitute for firewood. Called Egologs, this alternative bio-fuel holds multiple benefits including reduction of bush encroachment, conservation of endangered trees and excellent wood logs for braais and household fires. It also creates jobs.

Omuriro Biomass’ Ecologs began with a bright idea and finance from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) at the beginning of 2013. At the end of 2013, the organisation and its innovative environmental product is on the road to success.
Bush encroachment, the result of overgrazing, is a problem for Namibian agriculture. When cattle overgraze on grass, they create perfect conditions for thorn bushes to shoot up. As more and more thorn bushes grow, the area available for grazing shrinks, creating difficult conditions for farmers. In addition, the thorn bushes are difficult and expensive to clear. Heiko Meyer and Norbert Liebich looked at what was considered a major problem and saw an opportunity to create benefits for farming, low income households and conservation, with the possibility of an export product as well.

By harvesting the invader bush they could clear land for farmers, provide a sustainable source of fuel for household fires, and reduce the incidence of cutting down protected trees such as the Camelthorn. In order to create a usable source of fuel, the two realised that the bush would have to be converted into the form of logs. So the idea of the Ecologs, was born.
DBN Acting Head of Lending, John Mbango, said agri-processing is normally associated with meat, dairy and grain, so Ecologs is a standout for the Bank. “We immediately saw the many benefits from the Omuriro Biomass project and the financing decision was relatively easy.” After a transport mishap with the chipping machine was sorted out, actual production began in September this year and the company has cleared 300 hectares of bush. Currently the company is able to clear four hectares of bush per day. The company now employs 23 Namibians, eight of whom are women.

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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.