Professionalism in Journalism Cut Short in Namibia

Here is what you should know; when you pick up a newspaper each morning to feed your curiosity, you’re basically feeding it with the ill-thoughts and opinions of the one who has written and published the news article that you are reading.

Now, the worst thing is that; obviously journalists in Namibia do report on news stories and events but most of the time they simply narrate and write the news stories based on their own selfless understanding on the subject matter without ever consulting to get second opinions of an expert on the subject matter. And that’s called unreliable, biased and poor journalism.

An experienced journalist will do the in-depth analysis at the news story; he/she then will not just rely on her/his own limited knowledge, because for credibility, he/she will go to an independent expert, someone with authoritativeness of the subject matter for his or her expert opinion.

For example, a journalist writing about an electricity issue in Namibia or economic related news, who perhaps has studied or not having studied the issue in college, then tries to write a news story on fiscal policies or electricity distribution in Namibia, but without ever consulting an independent expert on that issue for an independent and unbiased expert opinion, then he/she publishes the story in the local newspaper for your morning reading.

Now, as you read the story, you believe it’s reliable, and real news because it’s reported in your local respected newspaper, but what you really don’t know is that you’re simply reading the lowness and stupidity of the reporting journalist. In the end, because you believe you now have the right information and more knowledgeable on what’s happening around you because you read newspapers each morning, so you go brag to your partners and friends of what you know; but basically all you know and now have become an expert is the stupidity and foolishness of the journalist who wrote and published that news article that you have read and now believe it’s actually a newsworthy.

I used to work in the news media; as a Sound Engineer, responsible for engineering and conducting live news, news interviews with some of the world’s renown personalities with some of the most experienced reporters and journalists in the world. And also, due to my academic achievements, I guess I expected the same quality news or more from some of the Namibian news media but I guess I was wrong?

It’s just too sad, real sad of the quality of the news reporting by some of the newspapers in Namibia.

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Preemptive Response to the News Article to be Published in The Namibian Newspaper by John Grobler, aka Jonathan Cobra About Simon Kapenda

Jonathan Cobra has been disparaging about me on social media, specifically on Facebook since many newspapers in Namibia have reported and published news articles about our Otavi Steel Mill development in Otavi, Namibia.

After these articles which have appeared back to back since about 2 weeks ago in Die Republikein, which is Namibia’s largest Afrikaans newspaper, Allgemeine Zuitung, which is Namibia’s largest German newspaper, Namibian Sun, The Namibian, which is the largest English newspaper in Namibia, New Era, and Prime Focus Magazine, John went on a rampage, posting lots of nonsense specifically about me, personally, on our Groot Town Center’s Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/GrootTownCenter, my personal Facebook profile, as well as on any Facebook Page associated with me personally. And this has become more like an obsessive stalking.

His argument is regarding a 16 year old issue about WEA, which was an organization I founded in Dayton, Ohio USA. The Namibian has written on this issue at about the time it happened, and in 2010 or 2011, Die Republikein and Insight Magazine also published an article and mentioned the same issue. I wrote and published a rebuttal statement on this issue on my personal blog, see https://princesimon.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/die-republikein-news-article-by-ronelle-rademeyer-about-simon-kapenda/

The news article in Die Republikein regarding this issue was written by Ronelle Radameyer, see http://www.republikein.com.na/politiek-en-nasionale/prins-simon-had-al-swaarde-gekruis-met-ierse-premier.107707.php, whom last week Saturday, I sat down with her for about 3 hours at Turingerhof Hotel, interviewing me on our Groot ecosystem and our planned Otavi Steel Mill development. Her article was published on Wednesday, the following week. Prior to sitting down with Ronelle, she had written about 3 or 4 news article in Die Republikein, and hers were based on an ill informed journalist, who was writing news on economics and our economic development projects which is not her area of expertise.

Moreover, after the said 3 or 4 different news articles by Ronelle, I went and sat down with Dani Booysen, the Editor of Die Republikein, we sat for about 3 hours at Turingerhof Hotel in Windhoek interviewing me and discussing about our Groot ecosystem development in Namibia. Thereafter, Dani went and published an article regarding that interview, see http://www.republikein.com.na/politiek-en-nasionale/algemeen/groot-droom-mik-plaas-toe.122167.php. I had also sat down with Tangeni Amupadhi, then Editor of Insight Magazine and now currently Editor of The Namibian and Elvis Muraranganda, for a lengthy interview on our Groot ecosystem development and the same topic. Their article was published in the Insight Magazine of March 2011.

For whatever else John is writing about me personally, he is doing so to attack my personality, character, kindness, integrity, and sincerity. His argument is baseless, irrelevant, foolish and based on an uninformed journalist.

He is arguing that our Groot ecosystem development in Namibia is fraud, unsubstantiated, and has no merit due to the fact that such as our Steel Mill in Otavi, with an output capacity of 10 million tons per year, that it is fraud, not real, and not feasible because there is no Iron Ore in Namibia, hence no materials to produce the planned output capacity.

He is arguing that our appointed engineering company, Scorpion Mineral Processing, does not exist in South Africa and that they have no credibility. He is arguing that our Steel Mill has no agreement in place with Lodestone, I have never heard of this name before and do not know who they are.

He is arguing that our Steel Mill will consume 500 MW a day of electricity, I do not know where he got this information, which is not true. See below for the facts. He is further claiming that our posted trainee positions of 150 to be trained in steel-making in Italy is fraud since we will charge fees, which is not true. Those who attended our Meeting at Safari Hotel on February 12 heard from our engineering partners, Danieli, the need for these trainees and no, we are not charging any fees for anyone to be trained for our steel-making.

His also argument is that the development of Groot in the Kunene Region is also fraud and not feasible due to the fact that in the Kunene Region, there are no  infrastructures hence no customers to support the Groot development. His other argument is that we are building a 900 MW CCGT power plant when Namibia only consumes about 550 MW a day.

Let us look at his individual arguments, starting with our planned Steel Mill in Otavi.

Our steel mill development is by Otavi Steel (Pty) Ltd, a company set up to be involved in an integrated steel production with its headquarter offices and base of production operation to be based in Otavi, Namibia. This company plans to have an annual gross production capacity of 10.3 million net tons of steel, making it the largest steel manufacturing plant in Africa. Our plan is to focus on the manufacturing of a wide range of short and long steel products as well as value-added steel sheet and tubular products for the automotive, appliance, container, industrial machinery, construction, and oil and gas industries around the world.

Budgeted at N$25 billion for the development and construction, the Otavi Steel Mill expects to create more than 25,000 of direct manufacturing jobs in Otavi with more than 150,000 of sustainable indirect jobs throughout Namibia. Otavi Steel will have an exponential positive impact on the overall Namibian economy as it will affect nearly every sector; from energy, water, roads, railway, shipping, mining, human capital, medical clinics, agriculture, education, and more. It is an economic ecosystem by itself as more developers and investors are expected to come to the Otavi area to setup new businesses to offer products and services for the Otavi Steel Mill workers.

The Otavi Steel Mill is being developed in two different production capacity mills, a Nanomill with a production capacity of 300,000 net tons of rebars and is expected to be commissioned by mid 2014 and a Megamill with an annual production capacity of 10 million net tons of short and long steel products, which is expected to be commissioned by mid 2015. However, only 3 million net tons of the Megamill will be initially commissioned and the remaining will be thereafter added annually with a pair of the same capacity to reach the planned 10.3 million tons a year.

The combined Otavi Steel Mills will require 1260MW of electricity per day, (1200 MW of that is for the Megamill and 34 MW is for the Nanomill), 80,000 cubic meters of water per day, a dedicated shipping dock at the Walvisbay Port to load and unload 30 million tons of raw materials and finished products per year, 20 million tons of Iron Ore per year from yet–to–be–developed Iron Ore mines in Namibia and Cassinga in Angola, a railway from Oshikango in Namibia to Cassinga for the transportation of Iron Ore and Scrap Metals from Cassinga, as well as a production of blackthorns found between Otjiwarongo and Otavi for biofuel energy, and more infrastructure as needed for the full efficiency operation of the Otavi Steel Mill.

SMS Group South Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Germany based SMS Group is the development, technology and equipment providing partner for the Otavi Steel Megamill, and Italy based Danieli is the development, technology and equipment providing partner for the Otavi Steel Nanomill, while South Africa-based Scorpion Mineral Processing is the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) for the overall Otavi Steel Mill development.

Otavi Steel (Pty) Ltd is a Namibia based and owned company, incorporated and registered in Namibia (registration #2007/0307) under the laws of the Republic of Namibia Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973). Our founding members with equal shareholding ownership in the Company are Groot Group, Otavi Town Council, SDS Group Namibia, and Andre Neethling Family Trust. Our Directors are Daniel Kamunoko (Namibian), Managing Director of SDS Group representing SDS Group, Andre Neethling (Namibian), Co-Founder of Ohorongo Cement representing Andre Neethling Family Trust, Simon Kapenda (Namibian–American), CEO of Groot Group representing Groot Group, and Moses Matyayi (Namibian), CEO of Otavi Town Council representing the Otavi Town Council.

Regarding our power plant

“Recent regular power cuts in Windhoek have raised concerns of NamPower’s energy generation stability, given that South African national power utility, Eskom, is said to have again communicated its inability to supply Namibia with electricity during this winter” (New Era Newspaper, July 4, 2011).

Namibia, with a population of slightly more than 2.2 million, has a dire need of electricity supply; hence the development of a reliable, clean, safe and adequate electricity generation plant to power the entire urban and rural areas in Namibia is regarded by some of the Namibian government officials as a matter of national security urgency.

The Country currently consumes about 3.2 Terawatts (TW) per year, which equals to an average of 550 Megawatts (MW) per day. Namibia Power Corporation (Pty) Ltd (NamPower), a national power utility company of Namibia, currently generates about 34% of electricity from its Hydro Power Plant in Ruacana, Coal Plant in Windhoek, and Diesel Power Plant in Walvis Bay and imports about 65% of its electricity requirements from South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the DRC for distribution in Namibia.

South Africa has been the primary source for electricity generation for Namibia since the beginning of time. However, about 15 years ago, it informed NamPower that by around 2014, it will no longer be able to supply electricity to Namibia. South Africa has since reduced its electricity supply to Namibia in 2011 and it only accounts for 10%. Zimbabwe has also been supplying 150 MW of electricity to Namibia. However, it has informed NamPower about 10 years ago that by around 2014 it will also cut off its supply to Namibia.

In mid-November 2010, His Excellency President Pohamba and his counterparts from Zambia and Botswana inaugurated the Caprivi Link Interconnector, an N$2.4 billion (US$348 million) electricity line financed by NamPower to supply 300 MW with a capacity of 600 MW of electricity to Namibia, Zambia and Angola. But, that’s not sufficient because it’s shared among the three countries and it may experience frequent congestion depending on which country’s heavy usage at any given time.

Our Steel Mill alone, the Nanomill will need 34 MW of electricity a day, which during our meeting of February 19, 2012 with NamPower and our engineers from Danieli stated that they are able to supply us with our electricity need. This was also reported in Die Republikein article of Wednesday last week.

However, for our Megamill, NamPower has no electricity capacity to supply us with our electricity need of 1200 MW per day, hence the need for us to develop and build a 900 MW CCGT power plant, which is upgradeable to 4000 MW using Liquefied Natural Gas, an imported natural gas, since Namibia currently has no developed natural gas well to supply for our power plant. Our power plant is being planned for development in Walvisbay and will be commercial operation by mid 2015 in time for the first phase commissioning of our Megamill and will be ungraded in tangent with the Megamill future phases development.

Regarding our Groot Town Center

We are planning to develop Groot (Groot Town Center) as an upscale multifarious community on a  private land near Etosha National Park in the Kunene Region, Namibia. It will occupy more than 2.2 million square feet of exceptional interior shopping mall and entertainment space and 300 acres of an upper-class exterior town center featuring high with pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, open-air gathering spaces, fountains, children’s parks, theme parks, and more than 2,100 best-in-class retails from around the world, entertainment, medical facilities, educational institutions, luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, office spaces and residential properties.

Groot is being developed to be anchored by diverse industries that will create a powerful, perpetual and self-sustained economic ecosystem. It’s being developed on a private land in the area of Outjo, Otavi, and Tsumeb; just about 129 kilometers from Etosha National Park, in the Kunene Region of Northwestern Namibia.

Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa’s finest and most important Game Reserves. It covers an area of 22,270 square km and it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish. The Etosha Park is one of the first places on any itinerary designed for a holiday in Namibia.

The entire area is the central gateway to Namibia’s northern regions en-route to and from Angola, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. South Africa on the south is just a few hours of flight time from it and it’s just less than an hour by road to Okaukueyo Main Entrance of the Etosha National Park, Africa’s 3rd largest wildlife park for tourists.

According to Namibia Tourism Board, Namibia’s tourist industry is growing at an average rate of 13% annually. In 2008, 981,111 tourists visited Namibia, while in 2009, the number decreased to 980,173, with 73% of them coming from Africa, namely from Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. German tourists also ranked high in number. Angolan tourists alone spent an average of US$417 million (N$3 billion) in retail outlets in Namibia.

Hence Groot is destined to become the best and ultimate destination for everything about working, shopping, living, and playing in Southern Africa.
Market Analysis for Groot

According to the Human Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (www.undp.org), Africa’s combined population is more than one billion with a combined GDP (real) of US$2.2 trillion (N$16.1 trillion) and the GDP (PPP) per capita is US$2,200 (N$16,060).

However, Africa’s combined potential wealth value, based on its endowed natural resources, is more than US$100 trillion (N$730 trillion), which is bigger than the aggregate wealth value of South and North America and Europe, but 65% of the African population lives on less than US$2.00 (N$14.60) a day, while only about 15% of the population earns decent salaries of more than US$100,000 (N$730,000) a year.

While it’s estimated to have a great number of overseas tourists as the prospective patrons for Groot, the majority of Groot customers are expected to come from the SADC region, whose combined population is 257.7 million with more than US$471.1 billion (N$5.38 trillion) (2010) of aggregate GDP and a potential wealth value of more than US$65 trillion (N$474.5 trillion).

However still 45% or 116.0 million of the SADC population lives on less than US$2 (N$14.60) a day, and only 15% or 21.3 million of them earns annual salaries of more than US$100,000 (N$730,000) with a gross buying power of about US$2.1 trillion (N$15.5 trillion).

Potential Customers for Groot

Consumers today are more sophisticated and selective of what or where to buy based on the quality of products, designs, styles, shapes, atmosphere, price levels, locations and services. Hence we are developing Groot as an upscale multi-use marketplace to offer only the top-of-the-line products and services. Prospective customers for Groot are those discerning individuals with disposable income to splurge, and demanding only the best in what they want.

Since Groot will be composed of only retail store outlets and facilities that offer superior quality and luxurious products and services, our targeted customers are generally 15% or 21.3 million of the SADC population plus overseas tourists, which would make up about 55,000 daily visitors to Groot.

The individual annual incomes of the stated number are in the income bracket of US$100,000 (N$730,000), and their combined annual income is about US$2.1 trillion (N$15.5 trillion). Out of that number of visitors, we estimate each visitor to Groot to spend an average of US$250 (N$1,825) per visit, which comes to about US$13.8 million (N$100.4 million) a day or US$5.0 billion (N$36.1 billion) a year, and this is the estimated total revenue of the retail tenants at Groot.

Market Growth for Groot

The 10-year plan for the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, a consortium of major Namibia’s transportation companies and Namibia Ministry Agencies, is to develop multi-trans highways in Namibia (such as the Trans-Caprivi Highway, Trans-Kunene Highway, Trans-Kalahari Highway, and other similar highways in Namibia), that will interconnect in Grootfontein.

Tsumeb, which is just less than 45 minutes by road from Grootfontein, is the smelting Center for Copper. Countries such as Zambia and DRC are making Tsumeb their Copper smelting Center for their Copper production. Therefore, the construction of a new highway in the Okavango region designed to link Namibia’s border at Katwiwi to Angola with a modern highway, has already reached Tsumeb.

Like all other multi-trans highways aforementioned, this highway to Tsumeb from Katwiwi border in Namibia and Angola will bring heavy traffic to Tsumeb and the surrounding areas, and eventually to Groot. Angolans are already the largest buying group in Namibia, and an entry point with a highway via Okavango will attract a larger influx of Angolans to Groot.

Based on this highway infrastructure, visitors to Groot are expected to exponentially grow by more than 200% within the first 5 years.

Is our Ecosystem Development Feasible?

We are a privately owned Namibian company, and there is nothing wrong with what we are doing by developing our Groot ecosystem projects in Namibia or elsewhere. There are governing laws in Namibia, such as The Foreign Investment Act, The Financial Intelligence Act, The Company Registration Laws, etc., all equally governing all the businesses and operations in Namibia.

Through any of our projects, we are not breaking any laws, either local or international. Our Feasibility Studies for all of our projects are all based on The World Bank Standard. We subscribe to the principles of caring for the environment in which we are working and good citizenship.

Our Company is governed by the Memorandum of Incorporation under the Company Registration Act of the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as by our Board of Directors.

There are strict laws and rules set up by international agencies such as in case of our Steel Mill development, power plant development, etc. Our Business plan has to meet these standards, rules and regulations in order for our financing institutions and partners to invest in our projects. There is no shortcut to any of these.

Stupid Arguments by John Grobler

His arguments are foolish, baseless, and attention seeking.

We are privately financed, not government funded. Any of our efforts, whether feasible or not, are our own concern. We approach each project with sound business mind. As a private company, we are motivated by profit, just like any other businesses in the world. But the end outcome is meeting the needs for our shareholders, customers, socio-economic development, and improving the quality of life for the people, animals and the environment in which we operate.

To realize our ecosystem development, we are partnering with Namibian entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds, local governments and foreign investment partners to work in tangent with the Namibian central government for the planning, development and implementation of our Groot ecosystem, which encompasses nearly every industry from light to heavy manufacturing, tourism, transportation, energy, medical, agriculture, mining, engineering, and more, all have been specifically designed to help fast track the realization of Namibia Vision 2030.

In doing so, some of these entrepreneurs, which we make all of our available project opportunities through our Facebook page, there are some of those who are children’s, or brothers, or sisters of high ranked government officials and business executives, who have taken up the challenge and the risk for venturing into entrepreneurship for them to making a living with our ecosystem development. There is no law any where that prevents anyone, regardless of his or he family dynasty or background, to go into private business practice or any form of personal choice of career opportunity in order to make a living, just like anyone else, anywhere.

For this, John is also targeting some of our entrepreneurial partners, but there is no wrong doing for them or us to doing so, because we are not committing any crime or corruption to anyone of any kind.

Namibia is one of the finest countries in the world. The SWAPO led government has set up institutions conducive for good business environment, such as the Anti Corruption Commission. And we are doing everything we can to abide by each law in developing our Groot ecosystem.

But who is John Grobler?

According to the SWAPO Party’s Web site, see this link at http://www.swapoparty.org/spotlight_jonathan_cobra.html, John Grobler is a former Koevoet member of the apartheid SADF.

Here is the entire article as written from that link below:

”In THE SPOTLIGHT this time is Mr. John Grobler also known as Jonathan Cobra, pictured on the left. Jonathan Cobra is a pseudo name or cap he has been wearing to demonize Namibia and the Founding President through the then Smith’s Windhoek Observer newspaper before it was taken over by the sons of the soil under the Pragon Investments.

Mr. Jonathan Cobra in his new life is a so-called Investigative Journalist reporting occasionally for the Namibian newspaper and the (RSA) Mail & Guardian. The above does not however reveal that the fellow was a koevoet soldier, an apartheid military wing that murdered so many of Namibian people.

In his natural being as John Grobler, he was a Koevoet soldier (ekakunya) who, along with his fellow brutal apartheid henchmen committed untold atrocities to the Namibian people. Simply put, his hands are soaked in the blood of the Namibian people. After the SWAPO Party government introduced the policy of national reconciliation (forgive but not forget) at independence John Grobler embarked on a vicious strategy to abuse this gesture by demonizing the architectures of that very policy and did not spare Namibia either the only country where he can have a bedroom. ”

In short, basically John Grobler has been an Anti-Namibia, hence his grave hatred against anyone who pose to doing something decent for Namibia and the Namibian people. Anyone who dares to do just that, then that individual becomes a sharp thorn in John Grobler’s foot, and he would want to make sure that he removes that thorn by any means necessary.

Motivation for John Grobler’s Hate Against our Ecosystem Development

John has a brother who is involved or wants to go into the Steel business in Namibia. And for us to develop our Steel mill, that basically may prevent his brother from pursuing his steel business idea. And this is his core motivation to try to write bad about our Steel mill development in order to kill our projects and yields the opportunity for his brother. It may also be possible that John may have been offered some monetary value by someone or anyone for the same purpose, and if our Groot ecosystem development fails, then who really benefits?

More Factors of Motivation for John Grobler

There are some white Namibians who are not in favor of any of our industrial projects, which these projects are designed to efficiently help equalize the distribution of wealth in Namibia, especially among those who have been previously disenfranchised and disadvantaged.

Remember the case with Pupkewitz against the Asian cars in Namibia? Pupkewitz never wanted Asian cars to enter the Namibian market because of the fear of competition, but now he is one of the largest dealers of Asian cars in Namibia.

For some white Namibians like John Grobler, they know the fact that they still control the Namibian economy, but as these projects start to offer better paying employment opportunities and benefits to all the Namibian people, they know that they will no longer be able to be the only employers of choice in Namibia. Hence they hate the idea of someone else coming in and take their cake away, which for ages they have been rudely controlling and eating it.

And some black Namibians are so naive that they do not stand up and defend what is to be their only way of getting out of the informal ghettos and enjoy the Namibian dream that these whites have for years been enjoying.

The Namibian independence that we are enjoying today was not due to only a few people fighting for it, it was a joint effort by the majority of the Namibians. Hence the Namibian economic independence should not be toppled for development just by a small group but should be everyones effort to making it happen, the best way and the fastest.

Here we have a Steel mill, which will make Namibia to be self-sufficient and independent from importing steel from elsewhere, same as with our Power Plant, which will make Namibia to no longer import electricity for the first time ever, but all what John is singing, writing, and complaining is, this is bad and that is bad. If it is bad, why doesn’t he stand up and offer a better solution?

John, if you have a better solution to the current economic woes in Namibia which has left many black Namibians with lousy paying jobs or no jobs, then stand up and offer your version of better solution. Sitting back and offer cheap shots on what is wrong what we are doing or not doing right will not solve anything but make you look like a greedy and white racist and scared moron.

Personal Attacking of Simon Kapenda

Yes, this is me, Simon Kapenda, and yes my educational background as listed is real and I worked and I am still working hard for it. Everything I have or I am about, I made it for myself. Yes, I have family members in key government positions in different ministries but I have never asked any of them any favor of any kind. I work hard for everything I attain in my life.

I have never been arrested for any crime of any wrong doing. Selling and buying Internet domain names, which I used to do, is not a crime. Some of the worlds largest companies such as GoDaddy, Yahoo, Register.com, etc., are in business of selling and registering Internet domain names. And no, I have never operated a porn Web site as you claim. The WEA Lawsuit about 15 years ago is baseless and unfounded that never made it to the court, read my statement on my blog on the link given in this article.

If you want to debate me on any subject, or simply want to meet me for your own publicity stunt, then meet me in a public space such as on NBC One on One program, or if it is in the boxing ring, then let us do it and I will gladly and rudely knock your freaking brain out. Yes, I have obtained my Bachelor of Science in Economics from the College of Arts and Science, The Department of Economics, at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio USA, and I am currently doing my PhD in Economics and Finance. You heard me right!

But who are you really John Grobler?

What is your background and what did you do when you were little growing up? Did you kill little kittens and chickens to practice killing black Namibians once you grow up and join the Koevoet? What else is that you never want anyone to find out about you, John?

My name is Simon Kapenda, I make my home in Beverly Hills, California and New York City, New York, and previously in Dayton, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio USA. I have also lived in Europe. I am a Namibian by birth, and in Namibia, I make my home in Windhoek as well as in the Oshikoto Region. I am the CEO of Groot Group, and Project Director of our Otavi Steel mill development and the Sitentu Power Plant.

And yes, I wrote and endorse this Article.

The Development of the Groot Town Center Ecosystem in Namibia by Groot Property Group is Tantamount to Helping Namibia Realize Full Employment Opportunities Within 3 Years.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — WINDHOEK, Namibia, January 14, 2011 (Groot Property Group) —

WINDHOEK, Namibia – January 14, 2010, Groot Property Group (Pty) Ltd (GPG) is a Namibia-based premier rapid industrial development and foreign direct investment management company which focuses on implementing applied neuroeconomics and systems dynamic to completely explore, develop, and manage self-sustained ecosystems for the slow-developing and stagnant economies in selected developing countries.

The Company’s prime focus is to explore, develop, and manage upscale multifarious rapid industrial ecosystems specifically designed to help improve and fast-track the reduction of poverty and unemployment, address income inequalities, increase economic outputs, improve the quality of life, and strengthen the performance, growth and development of national economies.

“This paradigm is poised to help improve the well-being of people while generating values for our shareholders and partners, increasing profitability, and promoting rapid growth and development,” said company Co-Founder, Chief Economist and VP, Development Operations Simon Kapenda. “Added to this is a more fundamental socio-economic impulse which will bring about the spread of integrated and balanced development across geographical spaces. This will be demonstrably expressed in the linkages of urban and rural economies with mutuality of benefits to be derived from equitable growth and development.”

GPG’s initial multifarious development is Groot Town Center (GTC), an upscale community to be anchored by diverse industries to create a powerful, perpetual self-sustained economic ecosystem in Tsumeb, Namibia.

GTC will occupy more than 2.2 million square feet (185,800 square meters) of exceptional interior shopping mall and entertainment space, an upper-class town center featuring high with pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, open-air gathering spaces, fountains, children’s parks, theme parks, and more than 2,100 best-in-class retails, entertainment, medical facilities, educational institutions, luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, and office spaces and residential properties.

About 45% of the GTC retail tenants will come from the US, which may include retail finest powerhouses such as: AMC (movie theaters), Game Works, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, Top Tier, Gap, Limited Brands, Foot Locker, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express Luxottica Group S.P.A, Genesco, Zales, Anna Taylor, bebe, Chico’s, Christopher and Banks, Lane Bryant, Lucy, New York & Co, Talbots, Aeropostale, Hollister & Co, Hot Topic, Limited Too, Pac Sun, Aldo, Champ’s, Easy Spirit, Finish Line, Journeys, Nine West, Payless Shoesource, Hall Mark, Papyrus, Specer Gifts, Wendy’s, Panera Bread, Burger King, McDonald’s, and many more.

The total budget for the planning, development, engineering and construction of Groot Town Center is US$800 million (N$5.8 billion), which is a combination of 20% of debt and 80% equity financing to come from various lending and institutional investors in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The Company was founded by a group of distributed team based in the US, Japan, South Africa and Namibia. “Several of our team members have done large scale development work in the past with multinationals and therefore have well-placed contacts with other Multinationals (Global 100), Foreign Government Agencies and Educational Institutions such as the Ohio State University (USA), Carnegie-Melon (USA), Texas A&M (USA), MIT (USA), National Institute of Technology (India), etc. which are waiting for our business structure, co-ordinated plan and government support to be completed,” said Co-Founder, VP, Chief Strategist Robbie Jena, an American engineer and Former NASA space rocket scientist whose past experience has been in providing mentoring and strategy services to the Peoples Republic of China in mid 1980’s, through China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and ABB, for double digit economic growth that the Chinese have been successfully using till today to become the world’s second largest economy and is now the Architect of the Namibia Master Plan’s Ecosystem.

The GTC Ecosystem is comprised of more than 60 different interlocking industrial projects ranging from Transportation Infrastructure, 6000 MWe Power Plant, Housing Development, Water and Waste Water Facility, Mini-Steel Plant, Copper Wire and Cable Factory, Oil Tank Farms and Refinery Plant, Small Engine Manufacturing, Food Processing Facility, Organic Chemical Manufacturing, Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing, Glass Manufacturing, Cement Manufacturing, Research Institute, Engineering College, R&Ds, Incubation Center to develop and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs, Medical Health Center, and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. All projects are planned to be developed in different parts of Namibia within the next 3 to 7 years based on each Namibia’s regional comparative advantage.

The use of electricity is directly proportional to the wealth creation of any nation, and Namibia consumes only 3.2 TWh/yr, similar average population size-based countries such as Slovenia and Kuwait consume 13 TWh/yr and 46 TWh/yr respectively. “Just as an Ecosystem in nature will die without Sunlight, similarly, no economic activities will survive without adequate Electrical Power,” said Robbie Jena. If approved, by working with the Office of the President, NamPower, Electricity Control Board, and the Ministry of Mines and Energy, we can develop a 400 MWe Gas-Fired Power Plant at the cost of US$450 million (N$3.3 billion) which will be financed, designed and built by our investors and a 6000 MWe using cost-efficient and advanced energy technology at the cost of US$1.5 billion (N$11.0 billion), which will be ready for operations within 9 months and 5 years, respectively. This will enable Namibia to export electricity surplus to its neighboring countries at the cost less than their electricity production costs.

A center-piece in the establishment of GTC will be its innate character to be a center of attraction for the concentration of a multitude of essential socio-economic activities with supportive and complementary relationships. “A corollary of this will be applied necessity to mobilize a diversity of professional inputs in areas of engineering, socio-economic research, entrepreneurial development, social services and others,” said company Co-Founder and CEO Peter B. Gwarada.

GPG will develop, manage and coordinate powerful economic ecosystems designed to empower and boost economic outputs. “Fundamental in the said economic ecosystem is its capacity to bring about the spatial spread of development across the nation state. This implies economic linkages between the urban and the rural parts,” said Prof. Ayele Tirfie, Dr. Ing., an Economist and a leading expert on Economic Regional Development and Consultant with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

A region is a geographical/physical space in which urban and rural economic activities prevail. The most significant requirement of a partially integrated and balanced transformation of a region or a nation is that diverse components of a spatial system ought to be functionally aligned with one another. More concretely the following must feature high:

  • Urban centers of various levels in urban hierarchy must be linked in economic and service functions.
  • For urban centers to induce development impulses into regions, they themselves need to be interwoven with transport and communication infrastructure both vertically and horizontally between them. This facilitates the mobility of goods, services and workforce between them.
  • Functional linkages between the urban and rural parts of a region or a country are fundamental for a balanced development of the region or the country.
  • Organizational and institutional provisions are instruments for the integration of the activities of communities and for balanced standard of living in all parts.
  • The advantages of agglomeration economies accruing from the concentration of economic and service activities in specific locations like urban centers and deglomeration economies (emanating from the spread of the same activities across space to trigger wide-spread development) must be guided with balance. If not, the alternative would be a costly over over-growth of an urban center and depression and poverty in the hinterlands of the urban center.

It is in the light of the preceding fundamentals that the development drive of GTC ought to be viewed. “The relationship of Namibia’s spatial units (urban and rural) is an exemplary case of skewed development landscape in which the urban centers at all levels of the urban hierarchy exist as enclaves with a near-absent links of economic functions to the wider rural space of the nation,” added Prof. Tirfie. GTC intends on changing this retarding reality to a spatially integrated and balanced development dynamics. The following are the steps in the process:

  • Creating “localization economy” in which related economic and service entities, with complementary and supportive relationships, will cluster together at common geographical locations (urban centers, villages, and community centers) in order to share common benefits-cum-costs, take advantage of proximity for contact and experiential/commodity exchanges and facilitating overall increases of economic outputs at minimized costs.
  • Re-orienting the urban economic and service activities towards the needs of the rural economies both for consumption and for further production.
  • Helping promote the rural economic functions (especially agriculture) to competently respond to the urban economic/commodity needs for consumption and for industrial inputs.
  • Promoting the production capacity of both spatial units with relevance to each other’s needs and creating the functional base for the flow of income in both directions. Each becomes the supplier to and consumer of the other’s economic goods and services.
  • Avoiding pseudo-urbanization which gives rise to the outflow of potent labor force from the rural part thereby retarding its production capacity, and inflow of rural migrants to the urban center which it cannot absorb with a resultant creation of slums. The likes of this are the squalors in the cities of Nairobi and Lagos. The “push effect” of the rural areas and the “pull effect” of the urban centers create deprivation in the former and increase in poverty in the latter.
  • Creating backward and forward linkages in which the existence of an economic or business entity becomes a cause for the creation of others behind it as suppliers of inputs and the establishment of still others as receivers of its outputs for further economic production with added values.

These and other allied development activities not identified here constitute the prime roles of Groot Town Center.

“The ultimate outcome of all will be the spread of integrated and balanced development across the nation state, a revitalized exchange of goods and services within it, and a contribution, in a significant way, to the export capacity of Namibia,” said company Co-Founder; VP, Technical Management and Business Development Robert Grier, an American entrepreneur.

The market scope for GTC and all of business-cum-industrial entities it will create will inevitably be not just Namibia with its limited population size but also the various Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries bordering on Namibia. According to SADC, the 15-member SADC countries have a combined population of over 257 million and an aggregate GDP of US$471 billion (N$5.38 trillion). Added to this will be an inflow of tourists estimated to be about 55,000 per day.

Namibia’s tourist industry is growing at an average rate of 13% annually. According to Namibia Tourism Board, in 2008, 981,111 tourists visited Namibia, while in 2009, the number decreased to 980,173, with 73% of them coming from Africa, namely from Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. German tourists also ranked high in number. Angolan tourists alone spent an average of US$417 million (N$3 billion) in retail outlets in Namibia.

“While we estimate to have a great number of overseas tourists as the prospective patrons for GTC, the majority of GTC customers are expected to come from the SADC region, whose combined population is 257.7 million with more than US$471.1 billion (N$5.38 trillion) (2010) of aggregate GDP and a potential wealth value of more than US$65 trillion (N$474.5 trillion). However still 45% or 116.0 million of the SADC population lives on less than US$2.00 (N$14.60) a day, and only 15% or 21.3 million of them earns annual salaries of more than US$100,000 (N$730,000) with a gross buying power of about US$2.1 trillion (N$15.5 trillion),” said Chief Economist Simon Kapenda.

The development of Groot Town Center ecosystem in Tsumeb is poised to effect a powerful economic ripple effect to spread throughout Namibia (and eventually to neighboring countries) to create more than 50,000 direct good paying jobs and more than 500,000 indirect ones in Namibia alone within 3 years.

It is also expected to generate an annual cash transaction value of more than US$10 billion (N$75 billion) in Namibia within 3 years (as evidenced in other similar markets), fast track the realization of Vision 2030 within 5 years instead of 20 years, and help reduce the current unemployment rate of about 54% to about 4% within 3 years.

As a result, it will help increase Namibia’s GDP (PPP) Per Capita from the current US$4,336 (N$32,520) to over US$24,145 (N$176,259) within 5 years, while boosting Namibia’s GDP (real) from the current $9 billion (N$68 billion) (2009) to more than US$54 billion (N$397 billion) during the same years. This is without including the oil tank farm and refinery project to be developed in Walvis Bay for which investment value is more than US$400 billion (N$2.9 trillion).

Since GPG announced its plan to develop Groot Town Center in Grootfontein in January 2010, more than US$9.2 million (N$67 million) has been invested in Grootfontein. US$6.2 million (N$45 million) of that is for Otjivanda Mall by a Namibian developer, US$2.2 million (N$16 million) is a development investment by a South African developer, and in mid November 2010, Woermann Brock opened its US$0.8 million (N$6 million) superstore in Grootfontein.

The GTC ecosystem is a powerful platform which is poised to effect a creation of a powerful economic boost in Namibia. “We expect more and more developers and entrepreneurs, including those who would go and set up fuel stations, barbershops, hair salons, medical clinics, law offices, office spaces, housing and apartment communities and more, to surge in Tsumeb, Grootfontein, and Otavi as a result of developing Groot Town Center in Tsumeb,” said Simon Kapenda.

“Also, because of the competitive market, we expect that, whatever we do in Tsumeb, other developers in other parts of Namibia such as those in Windhoek, the developers of Maerua Mall and Wernhill Park (Windhoek’s premier shopping malls), will continue to upgrade their services in order to attract and retain customers. Other developers would also copy to develop and maintain almost similar standards in other parts of Namibia and that would help further develop Namibia to realize our goals,” added CEO Peter Gwarada.

Going from the premise of the preceding market size and potential, the Company’s projected sales values range between US$190 million (N$1.4 billion) and US$1.5 billion (N$11 billion) for the period 2012 to 2015. The net profits during the same period to be derived from the sales values are expected to fall between US$120 million (N$876 million) and US$1.2 billion (N$8.8 billion). Finally, the projected cash flow statement for the period shows net balances between US$12 million (N$87.6 million) and US$1.8 billion (N$13.1 billion).

For the years 2011 and 2012, the Company will focus on the construction of GTC Phase One, which is expected to be completed and opened for the general public in December 2012. It is anticipated that about US$22.2 million (N$162.1 million) will be spent each month in construction of GTC Phase One, starting July 2011 until December 2012.

After Phase One opens, construction of Phase Two will follow with the same monthly budget until it opens in December 2013. Finally, Phase Three will start in the wake of Phase Two and open in December 2014.

“We are certain that based on the Namibia Foreign Investment Act, Namibia has the necessary safe guard to protect foreign investment and hence the interest of our investors,” said CEO Peter Gwarada.

We have met with several Ministries and Government Agency officials including the Ministry of Labor and Social Services, NamPower, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Namibia Investment Centre of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, National Planning Commission, and the United Nations Center for Regional Development (UNCRD) Africa office. All have shown great interest and are in full support of our ecosystem development.

“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country,” Joseph Auala, company Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board exclaimed the words of the Former US President John F. Kennedy. “As citizens at large, working with our Local, Regional and Central Government and the Namibian people, we want to help accelerate a sustainable economic development of our beautiful country Namibia,” added Mr. Auala.

We have an opportunity to develop and implement our rapid industrial development ecosystem which will address most of the current socio-economic issues within 3 years. “This opportunity is consistent with the goals of the Namibian Government, as expressed in Namibia’s Vision 2030 and the various National Development Plans by the National Planning Commission of Namibia,” said Helvi Petrus, an Economist with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“The Government of Namibia, through the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Investment Center, has an Investment Act, which by itself serves as an official instrument that oversees and regulates Foreign Direct Investment (FDI),” said Niel Lakay, Esq., company Co-Founder and VP, Corporate Legal Affairs.

Initially, GTC was planned to be developed in Grootfontein, Namibia and the Grootfontein Town Council had voted to allocate 2000 acres (800+ hectares) of land, however, due to excessive delays in signing the Memorandum of Understanding Agreement (MoU), the Company moved the location to Tsumeb. The Tsumeb Town Council is currently busy identifying the land to allocate it for the development of GTC.

Strategically, GPG has signed different partnership and consulting agreements with some of the world’s largest companies based in Namibia, Asia, Europe, South Africa, and the USA.

The Company has contracted Aurecon Group Namibia (Pty) Ltd, part of Aurecon Group Ltd., one of the world’s largest engineering firms, which operates mostly in Asia, Namibia, South Africa and the Middle East. Aurecon Group will serve as the Project Management and Engineering firm for the civil, mechanical engineering and construction work of GTC.

DHK (Pty) Ltd, an architectural firm based in Cape Town has been contracted by GPG to handle the urban planning and architectural designing of GTC. GPG has signed an agreement with KMCI LLC based in Louisiana/USA to provide and handle Information Computing and Technology (ICT) services, and is the system designer for GTC.

Leticia Industries Ltd based in West Hollywood, California/USA will handle the development operations of Groot Town Center, while Strydom & Associates (Pty) Ltd, a Windhoek-based land surveying firm, has been contracted to provide land surveying services for the development of Groot Town Center.

What is evident from these and from many of the other analytical contents herein is that the GTC ecosystem will be an impacting socio-economic venture with immense multiplier effects not only for Namibia but also for those further afield within Africa. “The GTC Center itself will be a focal point for agglomeration and localization economies with a potential to create other centers for the selfsame,” said Sakeus Kapenda, an Economist specialized in Regional Economic Development with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“The development of the GTC ecosystem is designed to be a Public Private Partnership, and we want to work with the people of Namibia, nonprofit organizations, businesses of all sizes, all the Local, Regional and Central Government Agencies to work with us and support the development of this project as it is designed to create good paying and sustained employment opportunities for the Namibian people and boost the Namibian economy,” added Robbie Jena.

“We’re just little bit more than 2 million Namibians, the city of Harare alone has more than 2 million people. We’re a manageable population where every Namibian can realize his full potential. Our country has plenty of land and materials for building, abundant mineral resources to meet any demand for energy consumption, adequate land space to meet consumption demand in Agricultural produce, thus the development of GTC will aid the demand for local agricultural produce to increase exponentially, further boosting economic activities in rural area and beyond,” said Olivia Shuuluka, an Economist with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

“Namibians are hard working people by nature, but the country has a comparative disadvantage when coming to high skilled labor. A development such as GTC will require the Namibian Government to invest more and allocate adequate world-class educational institutions to train and produce the next generation of quality labor force in order to meet the demand for a sustained employment,” states Lydia Aipinge (Ph.D Candidate), an Educator with the Ministry of Education and is a Company’s Advisory Member.

“If we put more emphasis in making sure that every child in Namibia has access to a good education by fully equipping our classrooms, then our children will eventually be able to compete with those in developed countries. We are blessed to live in Namibia, one of the most politically stable countries in Africa, where since independence in March 1990, children have grown up without hearing a gun shot resulting from civil disorder. It is a country with a strong democratic Government with a free market enterprise system where anyone can work hard to achieve his dream and live a life one chooses,” said Martha Haufiku, a Primary School Teacher of 34 years at Namutoni Primary School in Windhoek.

“The impact that Groot Town Center will have on local businesses, will be a great improvement in productivity, performance, efficiency, and especially in customer service where each business will compete to be the best and meet the demand for a friendly customer services environment. And as they say, the customer is always right,” said Brian Patoko, VP, Chief Marketing and Leasing Officer of Groot Property Group.

About Groot Property Group (Pty) Ltd
Groot Property Group (Pty) (grootgroup.com) Ltd is a rapid industrial development and foreign direct investment management startup company which was incorporated and registered under the laws of the Republic of Namibia Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973) on October 29, 2010, registration number 2010/0669. At present, its majority shareholders are its founders, partners, and executive option-holders with 50% of the founding shareholders Namibians, 30% Americans, and the rest from other countries.

GPG is hiring. Come to Protea Turinghof Hotel on Independence Ave on January 22, 2011 between 09h00 and 15h00. This is only for those with degrees or 5+ years of experience in economics, finance, accounting, marketing, civil engineering, business and project management, IT, human resources, office administration, etc. Bring your resume and CVs and come prepare for a 2-minute onsite interview. Dress formal.

Learn more about Groot Property Group at grootgroup.com and feel free to contact Peter Gwarada, CEO of Groot Property Group at 081-473-8128 or Simon Kapenda, Chief Economist and VP, Development Operations at 081-653-3603, or email info@grootgroup.com with any questions. For leasing information and opportunities, contact Brian Patoko, VP, Chief Marketing and Leasing Officer of Groot Property Group at 081-284-4462.

Source: Groot Property Group (Pty) Ltd.

Groot Property Group (Pty) Ltd.
Email: press@grootgroup.com.

###

Lou Dobbs Resigning is Good for CNN

TV Lou Dobbs

FILE - In this 2005 file photo by CNN, news anchor Lou Dobbs sits on the set of his show, "Lou Dobs Tonight," in New York (AP Photo/CNN, Mark Hill, File)

For years, Geraldo Rivera was one of America’s admired and respected TV talk show hosts, for The Geraldo Rivera Show.

However, during the O.J. Simpson Trial, Geraldo went ballistic, he turned the obsessed Geraldo, fixated with the O.J. Simpson case.

And then in November 2001, Rivera joined The Fox New Channel, as a war reporter, reporting from Afghanistan. Since then, the once clean image and respected TV show host, Geraldo, has become one of the slums in TV news reporting.

That’s what Lou Dobbs has become in his later years at CNN, just like the current Geraldo Rivera. In the early years, I used to admire Dobbs. He was the guy I would always look forward to watching on TV business news.  Especially when he launched his then CNN signature business news magazine, CNN Moneyline with Lou Dobbs.

Those were the good old days for Lou Dobbs. And that was before he turned the now sharp visible and loud mouth, independent and anti-immigration Lou Dobbs.

He did a brief hiatus stunt from CNN to found Space.com, but when he returned to CNN to host The Lou Dobbs Tonight, he was different. I always wonder and keep asking myself about whatever happened to Lou Dobbs while he was at Space.com.

Since his return from Space.com, he’s become the loud anti-immigration and nearly anything good about the U.S. government, and I had since stopped watching his show, and probably so as most other Americans. That was evidenced by the July TV Ratings, which ranked CNN to the bottom of the ranking in the evening news, behind all other major news networks such as MSNBC, HLN, and even the Fox News Channel. Also, check out a recent TV news ranking article at Yahoo! News.

The Lou Dobb Tonight came on at 7:00pm EST, which is the time for most people settling in from work. And sitting there trying to catch up on what’s the latest news, and then turn to CNN and hear all that Lou Dobbs’ never-ending bickering about immigrants, most people would change the channel.

For Lou Dobbs to resign from CNN (read more at CNN), this is the best thing that has recently happened to CNN. I just hope they place a better and more objective news program at Lou Dobbs’ spot.

I however feel bad about what has recently happened to his wife; the shooting incident near his house. That shooting was uncalled for. In America, we agree to disagree, no matter what one says, it doesn’t call for any gun shooting.

We all have the rights to say whatever we want, well, as long as it’s believed to be fair and balanced, and Lou Dobbs has the same right to say whatever he wants, even if I don’t agree with him, but that doesn’t warrant anyone to shoot at him, to hurt him and his family.

Welated, a Social App for Social Networks

Welated for iPhonesIn July, I launched Wrisen, a social app for social networks on Facebook, which has so far received great, rave review, and it’s growing faster than I’ve expected.

We’re currently working to launch a full version of the Welated site at the end of August, but the exciting news is about our new social app version of Welated for social networks and iPhone which we are also launching towards the end of August.

We will first launch the Welated app for social networks, specifically for Facebook, and then follow up with the iPhone version.

Welated is a service that alerts users instantly any time their mates cheat on them with anyone, anyplace, anywhere.

Check out Wrisen at http://www.wrisen.com and Welated at http://www.welated.com.

Wrisen.com, a Social App to Help You Remember, Honor, and Cherish Your Loved Ones

Wrisen LogoWrisen (www.wrisen.com) was launched on July 27, 2009, and it’s live now exclusively on Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/wrisenbook. Wrisen, a social app for social networks lets you easily create profiles for all your loved ones, post and share eulogies and condolences, upload their pictures, videos, and memorial gifts.

Wrisen enables you to share sympathy about your loved ones with your all friends and family members on Facebook.

The application is a Facebook-like by itself within Facebook, it’s free, easy and simple to use, and each eulogy, condolence or comment posted on any profile and on the profile wall is instantly distributed and shared among all your Facebook friends.

You can basically create and post a profile for any person or pet that you may have admired and adored. It could be anyone from the past, such as Princess Diana, Gandhi or anyone you want to eulogize.

Wrisen is a cool social application that I created to help make social network users feel better and forever remember their passed loved ones.

Try it out and please let me know what you think about it.

Latest Update: GoDaddy.com’s Shady and Unethical Domain Names’ Renewal Process

The following is my latest update on my two previous posts regarding GoDaddy.com’s possible unethical European domain name expiration and renewal procedures.

Since my last update here, I have had numerous email exchanges with an executive from GoDaddy.com, trying to amicably negotiate with GoDaddy.com in regard to their European domain name unethical expiration, renewal, and cancellation procedure. And, after numerous email exchanges, GoDaddy.com finally agreed to give me back, two of my domain names, Rentersq.co.uk, and Tipmart.co.uk, by renewing them for additional two years at no cost to me. But there are other .DE domain names that I have lost because of their renewal procedure.

The way GoDaddy.com registers and manages European domain names, such as .co.uk, .de, etc., it’s like having a retail store that you own and manage, and your livelihood depends on your retail store’s revenue. However, your retail store’s landlord, who after you’ve signed a one-year lease, always comes to your store, once a year, at least 60 – 90 days before the end of your lease agreement, asking you to pay for the lease term, and if you decide to wait until the actual due date of your lease agreement, then your landlord instantly locks up your retail store, closes it down, and redirects your customers to the landlord’s store elsewhere, leaving you to lose business as your customers are redirected elsewhere.

And, that’s exactly how GoDaddy.com operates when coming to registering and managing the European domain names as I have it explained here. Also, you may want to read here what other customers are saying about similar problem with GoDaddy.com.

I have written to GoDaddy.com several times, but with no amicable solution. And some of my requests are for GoDaddy;

– To instantly change its policies and procedures for its European domain names’ expiration procedures, invoicing and renewal process, and not to ever redirect expiring domain names for any customer to the GoDaddy’s parking pages with paid advertisement.

– To stop cancelling domain names from its customers account prior to the actual expiration dates.

– To adopt similar industry domain name expiration and renewal standard such as that of Yahoo! Domains’ expiration and renewal procedure, that GoDaddy must only cancel any domain name from any user’s account only after the actual expiration due date. And if for any reason whatsoever, that GoDaddy.com is unable to do so, then it must stop registering European domain names, directly or indirectly.

– Not to deactivate, cancel and then forward or redirect any expiring or expired domain names for any customer to any of the GoDaddy’s parking page with or without any paid and or sponsored advertisement.

– To publicly announce, by whatever form of written public announcement, such as a press release or posting on GoDaddy’s official blog, that GoDaddy.com has agreed to make changes to GoDaddy’s Universal Terms of Services in regard to its expiration, invoicing, and renewal procedures for the European Domain Names, and that GoDaddy will no longer cancel and redirect expiring or expired domain names to GoDaddy’s parking pages with paid or sponsored advertisement.

– To offer a discount price of $9.99 per each European Domain name for any and all of GoDaddy’s past and current customers, who may want to purchase any new European domain name through GoDaddy.com.

I have a long list and I am still collecting names of those, anyone, past or current customer of GoDaddy.com, who have been affected by GoDaddy.com’s European Domain Names’ expiration and renewal procedure as explained above for a possible class action against GoDaddy.com. So, please get in touch with me the soonest.