African Telco Paratus Wins Licenses In 22 Countries

Updated on 9 October 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (9 October)

Paratus Africa, the largest privately owned Pan African telecoms operator, said late Friday it has obtained operational licenses in 22 African countries, reaffirming its leading position on the continent with a total budget for Africa over the next five years of $110 million (R1.5 billion) as it continues to invest in its fibre infrastructure.

The company — with its head office in Windhoek, Namibia — was founded as Internet Technologies Group (ITG) in 2005, the first privately and 100% Namibian-owned telecommunications operator.

Paratus said in a statement that it it plans to invest a total of more than R150-million on infrastructure in Namibia over the next three years of which R100 million will be invested in fibre infrastructure. Paratus CEO Barney Harmse said that Africa was one of the fastest emerging markets with enormous business opportunities. “As a fully licensed telecoms operator in all the countries where we operate, we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Paratus, which had 2016 turnover of R1-billion, has fully licensed offices in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa and delivers products and services to 22 African countries.

Paratus has established a prolific network extending the entire Namibia, with additional international points-of-presence located in Johannesburg (South Africa), Lisbon (Portugal) as well as London (UK).

Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has prescribed that all Namibian businesses should receive their billing from a licensed operator in Namibia. Paratus is working closely with its clients and operators to ensure that all billing is done locally and that all operations are in terms of regulations and that all regulatory requirements are being met.

“We work in close cooperation with the regulators in every country to ensure the services we provide are approved and licensed. Paratus is a reputable organisation, we cannot afford to be associated with or to do business with unlicensed service providers,” said Harmse. (via African News Agency)

Pick n Pay Launches Revamped Website To Improve Customers’ Online Shopping Experience

Retailer Pick n Pay has launched its new revamped website designed to work alongside its recently relaunched mobile app, according to a Fin24 report.

The company said the new website is geared towards catering for the rapid growth and use of smartphones in South Africa.

“Our aim with the new site was to combine that convenience with a simple and clean customer experience that works equally well on desktops and smart phones or tablets. Our customers are mobile, and our new shop gives them on-the-go accessibility,” said Mike Cotterell, general manager of Pick n Pay Online Shopping.

The website also allows online shoppers to create shopping lists and view their purchase history.

“Our biggest considerations in building the new site have been convenience, cost and range,” said Georgina Muirhead, head of customer experience and Mobile. (via Fin24)

Minister Lindiwe Zulu Leads A Small Business Delegation To China

Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, is leading a delegation of small businesses and cooperatives from South Africa who will participate in this year’s China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF). South Africa is co-hosting 2017 edition of CISMEF with China from the 10th to the 13th of October 2017 in Guangzhou city, Guandong province.

Minister Zulu will be joined by Ms Wendy Nelson, MEC for Finance, Economic and Enterprise Development in the North West and Dr Ben MalakoaneMEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Economic Affairs in the Free State.

Minister Zulu will officially open the South African Exhibition Centre on Tuesday, 10 October 2017. Minister and the South African delegation will attend the Bank of China Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) cross-border business match-making activity.

The department is bringing to China over thirty enterprises from various sectors such as agro-processing – production of some of the most sought-after agricultural products, biodiesel production, jewelry manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure development, textile and fashion, farming, solar energy, tourism. CISMEF presents an opportunity to all participants to share experiences, network and learn from each other and to initiate business partnerships.

“I am confident that CISMEF will inspire these South African enterprises to grow their businesses and to enter the global market. I am confident that co-hosting CISMEF will help sustain the momentum of an entrepreneurial revolution that is currently underway in South Africa,” said Lindiwe Zulu.

The Department of Small Business Development sees CISMEF as a platform to unlock markets for small businesses and cooperatives. All enterprises need access to markets in order to become sustainable. It is important for aspirant entrepreneurs to understand market opportunities in order to run successful and sustainable businesses.

Namibia Lists First Capital Pool Company, Nimbus

Namibia has listed its first capital pool company — a collective capital raising vehicle by like-minded institutions and individuals who want to develop investments.

Nimbus Infrastructure Ltd listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange on Friday via a private placement of shares, raising more than N$100 million. The listing was a joint initiative between Cirrus Capital, telecoms leader Paratus Namibia and Cronje & Company.

“The Nimbus listing boasts exciting opportunities for Namibia, as not only does it focus on the fast-growing ICT sector across the continent, but in so doing, it offers a strong diversification opportunity for the funds of institutions and individuals alike, allowing diversified jurisdiction, currency and sector returns for investors,” the company said in a statement.

“Further to this, as Namibia’s first CPC, Nimbus represents an opportunity to prove a new concept that will likely form a critical part of the future development of the Namibian real and financial sectors,” it said. (via African News Agency)

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