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First female master brewer at NBL

Birgit Kriess – First female brewer, working hard at Namibia BreweriesBirgit Kriess (26), the only female brewer at Namibia Breweries, worked in a veterinary clinic in Germany before a passion for brewing overwhelmed her.

In 2008, Kriess became Namibia’s only female brewer when she graduated from Ferdinand Von Steinbeiss with a Diploma as Brewer and Malter. Thereafter, she received training in malt production at Durst Malt in Germany. Kriess then spent six months at Ferdinand Von Steinbeiss from where she graduated after passing the end exams. She returned home in August 2008.
Kriess has thus far enjoyed both the training and her work. “I never thought of this job as male dominated – although it seems to be so. I do my work and enjoy sorting problems and improving procedures. I love my job, and I really enjoy working with my colleagues. Thus far the brew house upgrade is probably the greatest highlight of my career at NBL. It is challenging and I enjoyed it a lot,” she said.
Looking back over the past five years, Kriess says her work environment has changed a lot since 2008.
“We had to upgrade a big part of the production area and there are still more projects coming to be able to accommodate the increased demand for our products. This means that the workload has increased a lot so it has become a bit more stressful at times but it is also fun to solve the odd problem or as we tend to say. There are no problems only challenges,” Kriess said.
Her greatest challenge thus far has been mastering the art of managing men; an art she has proven to have mastered time and again.
Kriess aims to continuously climb the corporate ladder – right to the top. What does she dislike most about the job – the weekend work. “But it is part of the package and you get used to it and adapt your life around it.”
She wishes that more women would take up this job as it is exciting and versatile almost on a daily basis.
“So come on ladies out there – I need some female support here at NBL.”
Kriess however warned that it is not an easy working environment. “One has a lot of responsibilities and pressure to meet targets, physical work is also required and unfortunately not a lot of women enjoy getting their hands dirty. So forget that perfect manicure and I am still waiting for those fashionable safety boots,” she jokingly concludes.

About The Author

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.