In what has been marked the largest commercial deal this year to boost marine diamond recovery operations, five banks sealed a deal worth N$5.6 billion to assist in construction of Debmarine’s new AMV3 vessel.
The five commercial banks are: Bank Windhoek, Nedbank Namibia, Standard Bank Namibia, FirstRand Bank and Absa.
The banks are set to provide asset financing facility constituting 80% percent of the vessel cost, while diamond miner, Debmarine, will provide 20% which translates to N$1.4 billion.
Speaking at the signing ceremony on Wednesday, Debmarine’s CEO, Otto Shikongo said the construction process of the vessel is well underway with over 20,000 tonnes of steel already cut to date.
Shikongo said the vessel which will be registered at the Port of Lüderitz will be the 7th and biggest vessel in Debmarine’s fleet, producing 500,000 carats per year, an increase of 35% of the company’s current production.
“In its first year of production, the AMV3 is expected to contribute N$2 billion per annum in taxes and royalties to the Namibian Treasury- capital loan must be repaid during that period,” Shikongo added.
The vessel is being constructed in the Damen Mangalia Shipyards in Romania and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022. The vessel will be used for marine diamond recovery operations off the southern coast of Namibia in the Atlantic 1 mining license area.
Shikongo said that the new vessel is expected to create more than 161 new direct jobs alongside Debmarine’s current 1000 employees.
Caption: At the signing ceremony, f.l.t.r: Karl-Stefan Altman (Executive: Corporate & Investment Banking and Treasury of Nedbank Namibia), James Chapman (Chief Financial Officer of Bank Windhoek), Willy Mertens (Chief Financial Officer of Debmarine Namibia), Otto Shikongo (Chief Executive Officer of Debmarine Namibia), Conrad Dempsey (Chief Executive Officer of RMB Namibia) and Vetumbuavi Mungunda (Chief Executive Officer of Standard Bank Namibia).
A massive horse, outlined in stone, now gallops across the desert plains surrounding Klein-Aus Vista Lodge on the border with the Sperrgebiet Tsau //Khaeb National Park.
The galloping stone horse commemorates the plight of the desert horse, a small population of wild feral horses that has lived just inside the park’s boundary at the Garub oasis for one hundred years. These horse, once numbering almost 300, have been decimated by hyenas over the recent years, and the surviving 77 horses’ fate still hangs in the balance.
The wild horse is the third ‘earth drawing’ or ‘geoglyph’ that Anni Snyman and PC Janse van Rensburg have created with their group of volunteers as part of the Site Specific Collective, a land art project that brings nature and art together in very large scale.
Due to its scope and size, land art is by necessity a team project. Anni uses her artistic skills to create the image using a single line, while PC provides his architectural expertise for perspective and scale. The outline is first marked out with fence poles and then the dots are connected using thousands of stones, collected and placed by the volunteers.
The wild horse image is roughly 150 by 100 metres, giving an indication why more than 4200 individual stones and small rocks were needed to complete the picture. Due to its size, it can only be viewed as a whole from an aerial vehicle, or in this case, from an observation point on top of a nearby mountain.
The idea for a petroglyph wild horse took more than three years to blossom from a mere idea to the completed vast drawing it is today.
The dots were marked out a year ago with fence droppers that the owners of Klein-Aus Vista Lodge, the Swiegers Family, has collected as former sheep farm fences were taken down. Last month, the volunteers arrived and started drawing the lines between the droppers in packed stone to make the image clearly visible from above.
Photograph by Lance Foster.
Namibia’s professional spin doctors came together this week to elect a new Executive Committee for the Namibian chapter of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa, an autonomous body that regulates the profession through accreditation in several countries in southern Africa.
The Executive Committee serves for a term of twelve months.
Leading the committee is Chairperson Liz Tashiya, supported by two deputy chairs, Birgit Hoffman and Helene Meintjies. The rest of the committee comprises Samuel Linyondi, André le Roux, Maria Dax, Nelson Ashipala and Gladwin Groenewald.
Linyondi serves as treasurer and le Roux as secretary.
There are also two non-executive student representatives, Hendrina Shikalepo and Shoki Shivute Kandjimi.
The institute’s Chief Executive, Victor Sibeko, who attended the election meeting, reminded all PR practitioners of the importance of keeping high standards and the need for continuous skills development. In this regard he assured the new committee that the Namibian Chapter will receive abundant support from the main body based in South Africa.
It was Sibeko’s idea that the committee draws PR students closer to the workings of the regulatory body by incorporating them while still at university. He also advised that PR practitioners should hold regular workshops to elevate the profession’s skills base, and that individual practitioners should attend Continuous Professional Development training.
Caption: Victor Sibeko (seated front centre), the Chief Executive of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa, PRISA, with the new chairperson of the Namibian chapter, Liz Tashiya (seated left) and the first deputy chair, Birgit Hoffman (seated right). Standing are, from the left, Nelson Ashipala, Helene Meintjies (second deputy), Shoki Shivute Kandjimi, Gladwin Groenewaldt, Maria Dax, Samuel Linyondi and André le Roux.
The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) has made more than N$1,9 million available to the Nyae Nyae Conservancy to help manage fire and water within its territory.
The grant will go a long way in protecting and safeguarding the livelihoods of the residents of this Conservancy in the Otjozondjupa region. This grant and the projects which it will facilitate are part of a bigger scheme to create climate resilient livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBRM) in Namibia.
Through the EIF grant that the Nyae Nyae Conservancy has been awarded, climate change adaptation measures will be supported amongst its San community.
The EIF is empowering the Nyae Nyae community to actively manage their environment in terms of fire and water with this grant. Nyae Nyae has proven the effectiveness of their fire management approach and has dramatically improved food security in recent years.
“This grant will help them further develop these endeavours. This San community is actively adapting to the climate changes they are experiencing. Demonstrating and realising that the time is now for them to act and save their environment and taking responsibility for their future,” the conservancy stated.
Since 2014, as a registered Community Forest, the Nyae Nyae community started to manage pro-actively certain fire techniques that they had traditionally used. This involved burning around villages and precious resources in the winter months when the threat of uncontrolled fires was reduced and close monitoring of fires by satellite. With the EIF grant these activities can now continue.
Conservancy Chairperson, Xoan/’an /Ai!ae, said “We are very grateful for the EIF grant and it means a great deal for our conservancy and our people. It also symbolises Harambee as it shows that if we as a nation pull together and pool our resources, we assist all Namibians.”
At the award ceremony at the Windhoek Country Club, the President, HE Dr Hage Geingob, gave an inspiring speech highlighting the need to focus on poverty eradication especially amongst Namibia’s marginalised rural communities.
Caption: Leon Tsamkao (Management Committee Member) and Xoan/‘an /Ai!ae (chairperson).
The 2019 edition of the Nedbank Citi Dash will take place on Sunday, at the Zoo Park at 07h00.
The event is set to be the country’s largest participatory sporting events of the year, and will once again coincide with International Olympics Day, according to sponsors, Nedbank.
The popular race, which takes place along the Independence Avenue in Windhoek, has already received an over whelming response from sports bodies, schools, the private sector as well as the general public.
The event will see participants take on the 5km and 10km, running or either walking.
“The elite 10 km race will have top Namibian athletes compete for the honors. The top three wheelchair and visually impaired athletes will also receive honors,” said Nedbank Spokesperson, Selma Kaulinge.
Entry tickets for the Nedbank Citi Dash are still available on the Events Today website until, Thursday at 18h00. Registration and number collection will take place on Saturday, 22 June from 14h00 to 17h00 at the Zoo Park.
Last year, the City Dash attracted more that 1300 participants.
Caption: At last year’s event, lady Monica Geingo crosses the finishline.
Ebonics, the beautiful bastard tongue of the inner city, travels through satellite music videos and streaming media. Mobile phones and SMS are spreading a terse word form in which numerals replace the sounds formed by letters.
Once upon a time, there was a universal language. Everyone could understand each other, and apparently there was no word for ‘impossible’. Humanity got together, talked a bit and came up with a bright idea. “Let’s get into vertical real estate, and make a bundle in condos.”
The result was the tower of Babel. The rest is history. God confused their tongues. The architect couldn’t understand the quantity surveyor who had major communication difficulties with the foreman, and so on. Naturally the project came to a halt. Such is the power of God, and such is the power of language.
And strangely enough, to this day, even if every soul on a building site speaks the same language, they still can’t agree, and everyone else has extreme difficulty making sense of things. Even numbers, the one physical constant, seem to cease making sense when real estate is involved.
Language is something that binds us into groups and also divides us. Concepts require not just words but the nuances that words convey to be fully understood. Without language, all but the most basic concepts, such as ‘fire causes pain, hence avoid pain by avoiding fire’, cease to exist. Between different languages, everything is open to interpretation: consider the sticky differences of opinion that are regularly swept under the global carpet by veto at the United Nations.
But the story of the tower of Babel seems to be gaining renewed relevance as we progress into the realms of technology. The interesting thing from a cultural-anthropological viewpoint is that, when the tower of Babel was on the drawing board, there was very little dispersion of humanity.
Apparently vast empires were actually separated by a few miles. Being a king probably meant having control of a bunch of villages, one or two small towns and a couple of dissenting goats. The physical distances between population groupings weren’t all that great. Long distance communication probably entailed shouting to someone on the other side of a river or grabbing a spear and walking a couple of kilometres to settle the question of a missing cow. These conditions were perfect for uniformity of language, to some or other degree.
History seems to be repeating itself, even as we speak. Pick up a mobile phone or log onto the net, and you can speak to anyone, anywhere. In fact, the only real obstacles to global communication are language and the justifiable monosyllabic reticence of someone who receives a post-midnight call from a drunken acquaintance a couple of time zones away.
As far as language is concerned, its spread is becoming more rapid. Ebonics, the beautiful bastard tongue of the inner city, travels through satellite music videos and streaming media. Mobile phones and SMS are spreading a terse word form in which numerals replace the sounds formed by letters.
And as we grow closer and closer together, the indications are that a polyglot language will emerge combining useful words that are as easily picked up and disposed of as any fashion item or plastic gimmick, but on a global scale.
The new language won’t be English, Cantonese, French, Arabic or Spanish. It will be all of these, and then some. The words and concepts will be global; your reliance upon them will be determined by the distance over which you communicate.
So should the Big Guy start smiting the comsats, server farms and microwave towers. He probably won’t have to: in spite of all the translators, arbitrators, diplomats, emissaries and new-age therapists, we still have major difficulties understanding one another.
On the other hand, somewhere in Africa, there is small tribe that has no word for anger. Instead they use words that translate to ‘insane’, or ‘sick’. For sure, they live a peaceful existence and are not as frustrated as conventional wisdom would suggest.
Sooner or later all this communication will reach them, and they will begin to learn the language and adopt the concepts. Perhaps then we should start scanning the skies for lightning bolts.
Compiled by Annemarie Schüllenbach, Manager: Marketing & Corporate Communication.
You know the feeling. A great idea comes to you, and you are wondering whether it can make you some money. You draft a business plan and with some luck you scrape together a bit of funding. You reckon that you should at least have a proper business name to show people you are serious, and a bank account for all the millions that will be rolling in. You want to make your business official. But how?
Registering your business
Having a registered business gives you the right to officially trade as a business person; and it gives potential clients and investors the confidence that you are not a fly-by-night business. Furthermore, registering a business gives you access to legal and financial frameworks that will enhance and protect your operations. For example, you can open a bank account and obtain financial assistance through an overdraft or a loan. When your business is registered, you can pay and claim VAT, you can sell shares in your company and approach investors, you are protected in terms of specific acts and legal instruments, and the list of benefits continues.
The first step in registering a business is deciding what type of business entity you want to register. This will depend on whether you intend to make profit or not. You can register either a Defensive Name (sole proprietorship), Closed Corporation (a CC) or a company.
There are various differences between the types of businesses, but the main ones are:
A Sole Proprietorship or Defensive Name is basically a one-man business. The owner is responsible for the finances of the business and receives all profit. However, in the event that the business fails, the owner becomes fully liable for all debts incurred by the business.
A CC or Close Corporation can have 1-10 owners, referred to as members, who own and manage the CC. Their interest in the CC is indicated in percentages, i.e. you have 25% or 50% interest in the business. Legal responsibility is minimal.
A company is a complex business structure and operates as a separate legal entity. The owners are called shareholders. A Private Company can have a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 50 shareholders, whereas a Public Company can have more than 50 shareholders. A Section 21 company is an Association not for Gain.
The type of business you register will depend on whether you intend to make profit or not; and the number of owners in the business. It is advised that, before you register a business, you talk to a legal or financial person about the positives and negatives of each business type. Some business types require that you regularly submit certain financial statements – this might be an additional financial burden on a small business.
Once you know what type of business you want to register, you must decide on the name that you want your business to be known by. It is important that you register your business name to ensure that no other business can trade with a name that is similar to yours. A business name can be reserved with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority of Namibia, BIPA, which is an agency under the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development (MITSMED). This process can be done at any BIPA office or on-line at ww.bipa.na. One can also search the BIPA website to see what business names have already been registered, in order to minimise chances of applying to reserve or register a business name that already exists. Name reservation applications take about 3 days to be approved, on condition that the application is in order. Depending on the nature of the business you want to conduct, certain names might require approval from other stakeholders such as NAMFISA for Financial Institutions, NEAB for Real Estate businesses and NTB for businesses trading in tourism; before a business can be registered under such a name.
On approval of the name, you can now submit your application to register your business with BIPA under the name that was reserved for you. A business name approval is valid for 60 days to allow you enough time to register your business.
Depending on the type of business you are registering, you must complete the relevant forms and attach the required supporting documents. There are different forms for different types of businesses (i.e. Defensive Name, CC, Company, etc), but the standard attachments to the forms are usually:
Proof of identity of owners or shareholders and witnesses (Foreign Passports must be accompanied by a sworn declaration under oath);
Proof of the approved name reservation;
The prescribed application forms for the respective business type;
Original consent Letter from an accountant (in the case of CCs);
Cell phone numbers of all members/directors and witnesses;
At the time of writing, the option to lodge business applications online is not available yet. However, BIPA, together with MITSMED, are working on a project that will see the launching of such an online functionality in the near future.
Upon the registration of your business, you will also be required to register your employees with the Social Security Commission. Furthermore, you will be required to register your business with the Ministry of Finance for tax and VAT purposes. It is important that you speak to an accounting or auditing firm to understand how tax and VAT work, and whether it is a requirement for your business. Bear in mind that certain business types require that you regularly submit financial statements to the Ministry of Finance. This requirement might be an additional burden on your financial and human resources.
It is also wise to consult with your local authority, i.e. the city or town council, to understand whether there are additional requirements for your business. The city council for example may require that you have a fitness certificate.
Furthermore, certain laws might require that you also register your business with another authority. For example, financial and insurance institutions are required to register with the financial regulatory authority, Namfisa. It is vital that you do research when you want to register your business, to ensure that it is registered with all the relevant authorities.
Lastly, if you registered a company or a CC, you will be required to do annual returns and pay annual duties. Annual Returns are lodged at the end of each financial year by a Company and CC to the Registrar of Companies at BIPA. These are statutory requirements as per the Companies Act of 2004 and the Close Corporations Act of 1988. Annual Duties are the amount payable to BIPA in respect of the annual return that is lodged. For Close Corporations, the amount is set at N$80 per year, while for a Company the amount is based on the number of nominal shares and those with shares of no par value. It is important to pay your Annual duties on time every year, because you can incur fines for late payments.
Protecting your Intellectual Property
As an entrepreneur, you are full of ideas and excitement. You might feel like telling everyone about your new product or service. Some institutions, like banks, and investors, will require that you share your ideas and plans with them. Before you disclose your ideas, it is important to ensure that you have protected your intellectual property rights in the ideas.
What is Intellectual Property (IP)?
Refers to creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
What are Intellectual Property Rights?
IP rights are enforceable rights over creations of the mind. They are time or use bound, exclusive rights enabling the owner to exclude others from engaging in a variety of acts related to the subject matter, subject to exceptions and limitations defined in national law and allowed by international treaties.
IP rights give the creator the right to prevent others from making unauthorized use of their property for a limited period, in exchange of the disclosure of the creative work.
It is important to note that there are several ways for you to protect your intellectual property (IP), namely through trademarks, patents, designs and copyright. Protecting your IP in Namibia is done through the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA). IP refers to inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in business.
You can choose to protect your intellectual property through registering:
a Patent or Utility Model. You need a patent if you have created an invention. This can be a product or process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to an existing problem that be used or applied in trade or industry for the betterment of society. Protection can stop other people from making, copying, using or selling their invention. An example of a patent is the Mobile Hand Washing Basin by Joseph Auala.
an Industrial Design. An Industrial Design, or ‘design’, regards the shape of a product, i.e. the distinct shape of the Coca Cola bottle.
a Trade Mark. A trademark is a sign, symbol or a business identity that helps businesses to distinguish themselves from others in terms of their products or services. A well-known example is the KFC logo.
Copyright. This is granted to authors, artists and other creators for the protection of their literary and artistic creations, i.e. novels, poems, films, musical works, computer software etc.
To register your Intellectual Property you need to complete and submit the required forms with BIPA. Forms are available at www.bipa.na under the downloads tab.
For more information: please contact our offices at 061-299 4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Executive Director, Sanet Steenkamp, this week said parties should not use school premises for gatherings, campaigns and fundraising activities for political gain, ahead of the elections
Steenkamp in a statement said in light of the current political activities in the country towards the elections, her ministry has observed with serious concern the trends of uncoordinated access of groups, and in particular political parties on school premises under the pre-text of motivational talks to learners and teachers.
“No school, under any circumstance, should be used for political gatherings, campaigns. This also includes that learners should not be addressed on political matters on school grounds.,” she said.
According to Steenkamp, while the ministry recognises the constitutional human rights of freedom of association, their mandate is to ensure a secure school environment for all.
“Schools are sensitive and secure areas with the ministry having to fulfill a critical role of responsibility for all learners. Leadership and management at regional and school level are hereby urged to safeguard against political activities on school premises,” she added.
By Bernard Ford
One Channel CEO
Open your phone’s email or messenger app and start a new message. But don’t type. Instead, tap the small microphone icon on the keyboard. Now you can simply dictate the message.
It’s not perfect but works astoundingly well. Yet what you should take stock of here is how quickly voice commands have become normal on smart devices. A few years ago the likes of Siri started a revolution that is now fast becoming standard and a hallmark of the fourth industrial revolution.
It’s not limited to phones: Amazon’s Alexa, used through its Echo devices, is immensely popular and growing more adept every day. Developers can create ‘skills’ that link Alexa’s voice capabilities to other services. At the start of 2019 Alexa has over 56,000 skills. If you think that’s impressive, consider that its skills have doubled since 2018.
Talking to computers is growing better and smarter, and humans love it. This is why so-called natural voice systems are becoming vogue, even in business:
We’ve had the early Siri experiences where they don’t understand you too well. But the products have matured a lot and it’s fast becoming the easiest way to interact with a system.
Walk the talk
Two years ago the cloud-based ERP Acumatica first demonstrated integration between the platform and Alexa. During a developer conference, an employee asked for stock reports from Alexa, which replied instantly with numbers.
The current popular uses for voice interactions in operations are requests for information and processing transactions, such as purchase order and payment approvals. In some cases, the voice feature replaces other interactions, but it is also popular as an assistant. Imagine compiling a report and asking the voice assistant to read back stock numbers. This is not only feasible but a tested service.
Security also benefits hugely from natural voice services: Natural voice is very useful to authenticate users. It’s very infallible and makes for faster customer verifications.
Some local banks are already doing this, using voice authentication instead of a barrage of questions that aren’t difficult to circumvent. So natural voice actually has many useful functions it can serve. It’s also capable of talking in different languages.
Natural Voice tech
Implementing natural voice can be very simple if done on a cloud-based platform. This is because cloud-based services, like postmodern ERPs, are designed for easy integration with such services. They can comfortably assign the computing and bandwidth resources to support such new technologies. Legacy systems are not as adept – even if they can implement natural voice, it would be expensive for a number of reasons and still not match the quality of cloud platforms.
Natural voice is low-cost because it’s basically a plugin. But that needs a system that can give the resources it demands, which is expensive when you think in terms of legacy system overheads. Cloud systems scale, so you never pay for any overhead, just what you use. Cloud systems are also much better at running artificial intelligence, which is necessary for natural voice.
Siri, Google Assistant and their peers are all actually types of artificial intelligences, which need the power and flexibility of cloud platforms to operate at their best. AI plays a deeper support role as well: when employees use natural voice to work with business systems, behind the scenes AI is making sure the collaboration runs smoothly.
Natural voice represents the future of modern technology, including the easy deployment and lower costs we are getting used to. But it can also sound a bit complicated and demand. Not at all, Ford explained:
Like any platform play, you can start with a proof of concept and apply it to limited functions in an organisation. This is still the beginning for natural voice, so applications are limited. But more and more skills are appearing. That’s why we don’t position natural voice as a selling point, but as an add-on that companies should start exploring.
In the mid-eighties, the television series Star Trek debuted a talking computer. This inspired developers to chase that dream and less than 10 years ago Siri debuted on our phones. Today natural voice has spread to our phone keyboards and into speakers that stand in our homes. The next step is natural voice in the business world. In fact, it’s already there, waiting to be experienced.