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Education standards key to later success

Albin Jacobs, Director of the Southern Business School of Namibia, says accreditation of training institutions is crucial to guarantee minimum standards in tertiary and vocational training.

Albin Jacobs, Director of the Southern Business School of Namibia, says accreditation of training institutions is crucial to guarantee minimum standards in tertiary and vocational training.

Officially accredited, recognised and certified degrees and certificates are a genuine stepping stone in a career

Towards the end of 2013, a daily newspaper reported on the statement that the Minister of Education had made about rogue educational institutions.  Dr David Namwandi’s statement about Namibian students being swindled by education institutions both locally and internationally was very troubling.
This is a major problem as Namibians determined to get an education get duped into paying fees for degrees that have no meaning and no standing with prospective employees, as they are not officially recognised. One of the academic institutions which combat this and offers genuine certifications and accreditations is the Southern Business School Namibia. Its qualifications are recognised by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA). The NQA is committed to the promotion of quality education and training in Namibia through the development and management of a comprehensive and flexible National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Speaking to Albin Jacobs, Director of the Southern Business School of Namibia he explained; “Education is vital for a nation and its youth. It opens doors that were closed before and provides a country with the academic and intellectual foundation to move forward.” This can only happen if the Institutions that offer courses, diplomas and degrees are controlled, monitored and certified by the Ministry of Education. Through the NQA this is strictly regulated.  One of the Educational Institutes that offers this accreditation is SBS Namibia and takes accreditation very seriously. Offering its students the reward of a recognised qualification after the hard work and sacrifice these students have invested into attaining their degrees. Of course there are other reputable organisations like University of Namibia and the Polytechnic of Namibia which do the same. These are not the organisations to be wary of.
In Namibia, like in other African nations the youth are always told that education is the key to a better way of life.  This is certainly the case, but only if the hard work and dedication which the students put in is rewarded with a qualification that is recognised, accepted and respected by the Ministry of Education and ultimately by potential employers. As so often, youngsters, aspiring professionals need to heed the saying ‘Buyer beware’ when it comes to education, much like in the rest of life. Simply enrolling at an institute and paying large sums of money for a course does not guarantee a recognised qualifications.   The advice therefore is, is do your homework and ensure that the academic institution, like SBS Namibia, is recognised by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA).  This ensures that the students can be confident that the investment in their education will not lead to disappointment as has happened with some institutions that the Minister of Education referred to recently.

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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.