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Environmental Act for coast

Environmental Commissioner, Mr. Teofilus Nghitila (centre), with officials from Langer Heinrich Uranium mine and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Photograph by the Namibian Coastal Conservation and Management Unit.

Environmental Commissioner, Mr. Teofilus Nghitila (centre), with officials from Langer Heinrich Uranium mine and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Photograph by the Namibian Coastal Conservation and Management Unit.

Environmental Commissioner Teofilu Nghitila recently lead a delegation of journalists and employees of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to monitor compliance with the provisions of the Environment Management Act, particularly among mining and quarrying companies in the Namib Naukluft and Dorob National Parks. Nghitila said the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has put systems in place to ensure a rigorous, efficient and transparent process of implementation of the act in the coastal regions. The visit to the mining and quarrying sites took place on 8 and 13 August. The Environmental Management Act that came into effect in 2012 makes it a legal requirement for the assessment and management of activities which may have a negative impact on the environment.
The commissioner said it is an important law in promoting sustainable development. “An Environmental Clearance Certificate issued by the Environmental Commissioner is needed before any construction, mining, quarrying, waste disposal, aquaculture, irrigation schemes, veterinary fences and other activities can take place” he said adding that certificates must be renewed after a maximum period of three years.

Explaining the mechanics of the law, the commissioner said a clearance certificate will usually contain conditions including the submission of a bi-annual Environmental Performance Assessment Report. Additionally, the Environmental Commissioner is tasked to conduct inspections to monitor compliance with the Environmental Management Act.  “The act does not intend to hamper economic activity,  rather ensuring that all activities are planned and implemented in a manner that has minimum impact on sensitive and fragile environment, particularly for coastal regions, which host most of the country’s mineral wealth and a rich variety of biodiversity and ecosystems.” He advised developers of all projects need to be aware of their obligation to screen the list of activities in determining whether they need to apply for environmental clearance for their projects.

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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.