Africa’s Rapid Industrialization Begins in Namibia by Groot Group

The first time of doing something, anything anywhere, is always the hardest; but once you do it a few times, either successfully well or not, it gets easier with time, every time.

As Chief Economist, and now CEO of Groot Group, as well as Project Director for most of our industrial projects, I’ve learned a lot by dealing with certain things, either socially or politically, in Namibia in terms of developing Groot, Otavi Steel, and Sitentu Power Plant; but with our recently unveiled Tses Glass Manufacturing Plant, this is now happening fastest and easiest than any other.

Our achieved success from doing the Sitentu Power Plant and then the Otavi Steel Mill has made it easier for doing all of our other projects; and in addition, many of the world’s largest and leading companies from around the world have lined up and continue to line for our projects.

It’s now easier for us to plan and execute any industrial project and within less than 48 hours, we have a complete team in place, ready to take on the project; companies from the USA, South Africa, Europe and Asia, such as a team from South Africa’s largest, The Dickson Group and Germany’s largest Horn Glass Industries, will arrive in Namibia in coming days. A team from the US and another team from Cognex in France will also arrive in Namibia in early August for Tses Glass. More companies based in Germany, Northern Ireland, Russia, Italy, Israel, India, etc., are scheduling to come to Namibia for our Tses Glass Manufacturing Plant.

This fast approach for the development of Tses Glass is making it ready for the construction to begin next year in May, nearly at the same time as Otavi Steel, which starts in April next year.

We understand that Europe is currently in dire financial crisis, so as the US economy is also in the stagnant mode, and the US and European companies are shifting their profit yearning to the market where they deem lucrative, and Namibia, because of our Group’s initiatives, is at the forefront for them. In return, Namibia as a country and the Namibian people will enormously and exponentially benefit from these industrial projects’ development.

Just by combining the Otavi Steel Mill and Tses Glass Plant’s indirect employment creation opportunities in Namibia, about 260,000 permanent indirect jobs, just from these two projects, will be created in Namibia alone. But how did we get this number? Otavi Steel’s direct employment is about 23,500 and for Tses Glass is about 27,900. By adding those numbers together and multiply them by a factor of 5 (based on the fact that each 1 direct employment created generates about 5 indirect job opportunities), then you get 257,000 indirect job opportunities created just from two industrial projects in Namibia. And that will help reduce Namibia’s current unemployment rate of about 54% to about 21% within just the first few years of commissioning these two industrial projects.

For Namibia to realize Vision 2030 on time, and this is a fact that a “big rock” must be thrust into the Namibian economy by no later than 2018. And this “big rock” must be so huge that it will create long-lasting ripple effects to exponentially boost Namibia’s aggregate economy in full fast growth speed, but without jolting an inflationary pressure. And these two industrial projects; Tses Glass and Otavi Steel, as complemented by Sitentu Power Plant are part of this “big rock”.

On a macroeconomic impact level, just nearly as it’s expected in Otavi, so as it will happen in Tses. Currently, Tses is a small village with a small sparsely population of about 2500. However, as Tses Glass will require more than 27,900 direct workers, more and more Namibians are expected to flock to Tses in search of better paying jobs. As a results, Tses will need no less than 20,000 new homes. Taking at least 4 persons per each household, that will boost the Tses population to more than 80,000 within 4 years. And for this reason, Tses needs to develop at least 5 new suburbs with each suburb to be composed of at least 5,000 new homes. As these new suburbs are developed, there will be a need for clinics, retail stores, gas services (right now there’s only one small gas service which operates at certain hours of each day), barber shops, hospitals, colleges, schools, etc., in order to serve the expected fast rising residents of Tses.

Currently, Namibia’s population is mostly centralized; mostly in a few major cities and towns such as Windhoek, Walvisbay, Oshakati, and Swakopmund. The municipalities of these towns can barely keep up with the providing of basic services such as water, electricity and sewage to their residents. More and more shanty towns in these cities and towns around Namibia are mushrooming up exponentially as more Namibians are moving from the rural to urban centers in search of work.

And, as these towns, Otavi, Tses, etc., boost the demand for employment opportunities caused by our industrial projects, then some people in other areas as stated above are poised to migrate to these areas of Tses and Otavi in search of work. Hence the fastest and efficient cause of a population decentralization in Namibia in a relative short period of time.

Well, this is obvious that, as more Namibians get better and find better paying jobs, more will no longer be housed in shack houses with cold and heat temperature. Certainly, the cold and heat weather are some of the major contributing factors to many of today’s chronicle diseases that affect most of the Namibian people. But, as more and more people have better paying jobs, they will have access to better housing with good water, electricity and sewage; hence the reduction in unnecessary sickness, which currently impose high-rise in healthcare costs to the government. Then Namibia is poised to experience a lower death rate, but more healthy births; hence a fast but healthy growing population.

For Swaziland, we are currently to develop a 1200 MW Coal Power Plant in Swaziland, and for Zimbabwe, we have an industrial project idea that, if developed, could turn around the Zimbabwean economy and make it a first world country (developed economy) within just 8 years. Hence the Zimbabwean government needs to contact us quickly for the implementation of this awesome project that will exponentially boost its economy and help create long-lasting socioeconomic benefits for the Zimbabwean people.

Zimbabwe, please contact me now at my email at simon@grootgroup.com. Let’s get to work and make the Zimbabwean economy more beautiful.

Feel free to download and view our Groot Group Corporate Brochure with detailed approach to our Industrial Ecosystem Model.

Are There Any Smart People Left in Africa?

More and more US entrepreneurs are launching companies for mining in space. Apart from the much recently publicized, Planetary Resources Inc., which aims to mine an Asteroid circling near the Sun, Moon Express Inc., is another one of many US companies that seek to mine certain rare minerals on the Moon and it expects to land on the moon by 2013.

Here is the case; some of the serial entrepreneurs in developed countries have almost exploited and exhausted most, if not all, the ideas to turn them into profitable companies, and now are starting to focus on space mining and exploration.

But what are the entrepreneurs in Africa doing? Sleeping, drinking themselves to death, or just loathing around?

Africa countries have some of the most educated people, just like in other developed countries. But some of the factors that may brain drain Africa is that most of these foreign educated Africans never return to their home countries in Africa, they end up staying where they have studied and work for the companies in those countries.

But a few who return to their home countries in Africa, they walk around; bragging and boasting around because of their papers (degrees) and academic achievements, then they get jobs in governments and simply become useless. Because in their job posts, they are not expected to meet any certain quotas or milestones, and mostly after work every day, they go out to drink themselves out. Then the next day they go to work, with a much hangover, and that makes them even more less productive. But at the end of each month, they receive their generous paychecks whether they have done any work or not.

All in all, they rarely do anything impactful to come up with real innovations that could help transform their economies and raise up their communities’ standard of living.

If I am wrong, please tell me even just 5 innovations that were developed in Africa.

Nearly everything that we use today in our homes and at work, from automobiles, planes, electricity, etc., were invented in countries outside Africa; mostly in the US.

My question is this; are there any smart people living in Africa? Are there any entrepreneurs in Africa?

There’s a silly and perhaps racial saying; all the smart people who were born in Africa have left Africa, and only the dumb ones are still living in Africa. Is this true?

So what is really the issue that hinters a rapid economic development and growth in Africa?

Is it perhaps because more Africans become politicians or politicians wannabee instead of engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs (not shebeen owners) who develop real innovations that solve some of today’s intricate problems?

The Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) .na to Launch for Global Registration

The domain .na ccTLD will soon become available for global registration, and keywords such as talk.na, food.na, money.na, wine.na, etc., could be awesomely good for online branding.

The abbreviation for “.NA” is branded for “National” as “.WS” is for “World Site”, see http://dotna.info for more information.

This could be another “gold rush” in Internet domain names as potential registration customers may be those who plan to use the .na domain names for their online branding need, while some may elect to register certain generic English words as .na domain for their future use.

Of course you wouldn’t be able to prevent domain name speculators from grabbing certain .na kewords as domain names for their domain name aftermarket speculation.

Is There More Room for a New Country Domain Extension (ccTLD)?

You’ve seen different country domain extensions such as .tv, .co, .ws, .cc?

In the US, banks use special identification “N.A.”, such as Chase, NA; PNC, NA; Citibank, NA; etc., with NA stands for “National Association”, to indicate a national bank.

.na is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) assigned to the Republic of Namibia.

.na domain names could be branded as “National” to indicate “national” for anything, and can be made available for registration globally through companies commonly referred to as accredited registrars, such as GoDaddy.com, Network Solutions, eNom, etc.

Any company, organization, or entrepreneur can use a .NA domain for their online branding needs, such as “news.na”, “bank.na”, “money.na”, etc.

.na will soon become available for registration worldwide through certain accredited registrars.

The portion of the registration fee for the .na domain name could help generate more than US$3.7 million (N$27 million) per year for the next 20 years, a total of US$74 million (N$533 million), for the Ministry of Education of Namibia that can go toward revamping schools through Namibia.

Visit dotna.info for more information.

Writing and Presenting a Business Plan That Doesn’t Suck!

What makes or breaks a startup anywhere is partially by having a good business plan.

Such as most entrepreneurs in Namibia that I meet daily don’t have good and winning business plans. A conservative business plan for the Namibia market (financial institutions) should be simply, made up of; Executive Summary (written after the business plan), Company Summary, Organizational Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, and Supporting Documents sections.

I just finished writing a business plan as a consultant, and it looks awesome. But I don’t wanna do this no more. It’s too much time consuming.

But if you expect to get a business loan from any financial institution, you’ve got to have a winning business plan, outlining everything in great details, but remember, business analysts who review your business plan for funding consideration don’t really read everything in your business plan. They read your executive summary first, and if it makes sense, then they jump to your financial projections.

And if it interests them, then they look at your management summary under your Organizational Plan, but everything else in your business plan is just an added value.

I’ve seen people walking around with business profiles, (yes, a business plan should be no more than 32 pages long), but these entrepreneurs usually have on average documents that they call, “a business plan”, but with only 4 pages long, not in the right format, no financial projections, no break-even analysis, and then they complain to everyone that they can’t get a loan from the bank, because they are not well-connected, and that the banks are run by racist white people.

But they forget about their own presentation as outlined in their business plans.

And the mistakes most of them make is that, they pay someone to write their business plans, but because they were not fully involved in writing it, then when coming to the bank asking them to do a presentation and defend their business plan, then they have no clue on what to say, let alone explain what’s written in the business plan.

They have no clue on how to explain where they got the figures in their financial projections. But again, they complain why Namibian banks don’t fund black owned businesses.

The Namibia Ministry of Trade and Industry has a division; Project Planning Unit, whose staff are paid to solely help Namibian SMEs with their business plans development, but I am not sure how many Namibians know about this service.

I wish I had the time to help do workshops and seminars on how to write a winning business plan in Namibia. Because if I can say one thing that I’ve learned from the development of our Groot ecosystem, it’s writing a business plan; with the latest business plan for our Groot development that, our team and I wrote, and from that we are raising more than N$6 billion (US$800 million) for Groot Town Center and separately US$900 million for our 900 MWe Gas Power Plant in Namibia. These are just 2 projects which are part of our 60+ different projects for our Namibia ecosystem development. Also, we are preparing to write our business plan for our Swaziland Ecosystem Development whose development budget is currently set at US$10.7 billion.

From this experience, I have learned a great deal on how to write and present a business plan to the financial lending institutions and venture capitalists.

For the US market, I’ve written many business plans, but the language that’s used in business plans for the US VCs, especially for tech start-ups is different from the Namibian market. One simple word in US could mean something completely different from what it may mean in Namibia.

For example, for the US market, I can write; “a killer app…”, or “a disruptive technology”. Using such as these phrases for the Namibian market (due to political correctness), they may be viewed and construed differently, in a very very very very bad way.

Look, if you want to get a business loan from any bank or VCs, you’ve gotta have a good business plan, but also you must be able to present and defend what’s stated in your business plan. If you had paid a consultant to write your business plan, try to understand how that consultant came up with the dollar value in your financial plan and what those graphs mean.

A good business plan should be more quantitative than qualitative, and use more graphs to explain your market and financial details. So, go out there and write a killer business plan for your disruptive innovative solution.

The Development of the 900 MWe Gas Power Plant By Groot Property Group in Namibia is a Matter of National Urgency

Since the very beginning, Namibia has always relied on electricity supply from South Africa and in recent years, from Zimbabwe, with Zimbabwe supplying about 150 MWe to Namibia, and the rest from South Africa.

In 2010, the Caprivi Interlink Connector was inaugurated to supply 300 MWe to Namibia but it’s shared among Zambia and Botswana. Yes, it has a capacity to supply up to 600 MWe to the three mentioned countries. However, sometimes it may experience congestion in signal flow due to heavy use by any country with the most demand at any given moment.

A few years ago, Zimbabwe informed Namibia that it would no longer be able to supply electricity to Namibia as from sometimes in 2013, same with South Africa. And with the recent Japanese Nuclear Power Plant disaster, many countries have started looking at other options of electricity generation as alternatives to Nuclear Power Plants, with Germany stated that it would phase out its Nuclear Power Plants within 7 years and rely on renewable energy.

France which relies on generating its power supply nearly 70% from its Nuclear Power Plant Generation has also stated that it will look at other options of renewable energy. The Obama Administration has authorized about US$50 billion in studying new technologies for cleaner, low cost and more efficient form of energy, and India as well as many other European countries are following the same step.

South Africa, during the recent Japanese Nuclear Power Plant disaster, had sent delegates to DRC to look at possibly importing electricity from DRC as an alternative should it shuts down its Cape Town Nuclear Power Plant. And if that happens, Namibia will be in the dark; no electricity.

My many meetings with NamPower Senior Executives as well as with Electricity Control Board, it doesn’t seem as if NamPower has an immediate solution to solve Namibia’s urgent electricity need. Their planned Gas Power Plant may be 6 years away from being developed and operational.

But, as we all know it, in Namibia, nearly 88% of the rural areas don’t have electricity. It costs about N$40,000 per each rural area homestead to pay for the NamPower’s Transformer in order for NamPower to connect electricity to the rural homestead, and then the homestead must keep up with the high monthly cost for the electricity. Hence more and more rural homes in Namibia have no electricity.

For the urban areas in Namibia, for those with postpaid electric meters, not prepaid, in their homes, the minimum fee charged per each month by NamPower is N$200 per each account whether one uses the electricity or not. These are the facts for electricity consumption in Namibia.

Yes, the wealth creation of any nation is directly proportional to the country’s ability to produce its own electricity. And Namibia, in 2009, it consumed only 3.2 TWe compare to other countries with almost similar population and industry composite sector such as Slovenia which consumed more than 13 TWe; and this gives us a clear level indication of productivity in Namibia; which in this case is at minimal.

We, at Groot Property Group, plan to develop, design and build a 900 MWe of Gas Fired Power Plant in the South of Namibia near the Kudu Gas field, and we rely on getting the Natural Gas to fire-power this Power Plant from the Kudu Field. And if for any reason that the Kudu Field will be unable to supply the needed Natural Gas for our planned Gas Power Plant, then we will seek to import it from Ghana and Nigeria using whatever methods that will work best.

Our Groot Town Center Ecosystem when fully implemented within 3 years will need 400 MWe, while at the same time, Namibia consumes the same amount of 400 MWe. Hence our plan to develop the stated 900 MWe Gas Power Plant is not just needed in Namibia but it’s a national urgency that must be looked at with great interest and consideration by the Office of the President of Namibia, as a matter of urgency. And we hope and look forward to working and partnering with NamPower as the distributor of the electricity from our planned Gas Power Plant.

Natural Gas is the second cheapest form of generating electricity, followed by Coal, but Coal is the dirtiest and most pollutant compound to the environment, and it’s the most riskiest in mining; more and more miners die each year from Coal mining. Most countries who use Coal to power their electricity production have more money to clean up some of the CO2 that’s generated by the Coal Power Plant.

Other technologies such as GeoThermal, Wind, Hydro, Solar PVC, etc, are too expensive compare to Natural gas, and Namibia is endowed with plenty of Natural Gas at the Kudu Gas field, enough to power Namibia for the next 100 years.

For our planned 900 MWe Gas Power Plant, we have compiled the best team in the world to help us design, develop and build it and be ready for operational within 18 months at the cost of about US$900 million. Our team and partners for our planned 900 MWe Gas Power Plant are up of Russians, Americans, and Japanese. And on Monday, June 13, 2011, I’m traveling to Germany to meet up with an engineering firm which is specialized in designing, engineering, and building Power Plants. This is the firm that we have asked to design, engineer, develop and build our 900 MWe Gas Power Plant.

Once we have this Power Plant operational within 18 months, in early 2013, it would enable Namibia, for the first time in the history of Namibia, to produce our own electricity for our own consumption. And when that happens, it should at least reduce electricity cost in Namibia possibly by as much as 40%, since by importing electricity from Zimbabwe and South Africa, we end up paying perhaps high costs and import fees and then may be pass these costs to the Namibian people.

For financing, we have put a great team of investors in the US who are interested in financing this Power Plant, however, Standard Bank has also indicated with great interest in financing part, if not all, for the development of this Power Plant.

We plan to build this Gas Power Plant in the South of Namibia, near the Kudu Gas field, where we have identified a land suitable for the development of this Power Plant.

On Monday, June 13, 2011, a few of our team members and I plan on traveling to Germany to meet with the officials at the above stated engineering firm to discuss and negotiate our need for their engineering and services to design, develop, and build our 900 MWe Gas Power Plant.

I hope the Namibian government will ask some of their executives to accompany us to Germany, on this historic and urgently important trip for the above stated reason, only going to stay for 2 days, leaving on Monday, June 13, 2011 and returning to Namibia on Thursday, June 16, 2011. I also hope that some of the Namibian people would accompany us to Windhoek International Airport to wish us a safe and pleasant journey to Germany.

Our Sole Purpose

The development of this Gas Power Plant is for the best interest of Namibia, our country, our government, for our people, so that Namibia will become self-sufficient in producing our own electricity, using our own God-given natural resources.

In addition, more than 500 Namibians will be employed for the construction of this Gas Power Plant with about 50 Namibians will be permanently employed at the said Gas Power Plant. Other economic effects include the transfer of knowledge, skills and technology to the Namibians as a result of developing and producing our own electricity.

I hope, as you’ve read this far, that you would please shows us your continued support for our endearing effort, and please pray for us and our trip, as we make this historic and much and urgently needed development, to make this development happen fast to forever benefit our country, and all the people of Namibia, and our economy.

The Development of Groot Town Center Would Boost Population Growth for Namibia?

In the first 3 years of opening Groot Town Center, residential housing units at Groot would be more than 15,000 with additional of more than 5,000 apartment units.

And with an average of about 6.5 persons per 3-bedroom house and about 3.5 persons per 2-bedroom apartment, that’s about 97,500 persons per 15,000 homes, and 17,500 persons per 5,000 apartments, see Groot Living, for a gross total of about 115,000 residents of Groot, plus an estimated 55,000 daily visitors to GTC.

This will make Groot the fastest and busiest business and residential area in Namibia. And in 5 years, housing units could go up to 160,000 in the Groot area, and that would make half of the Namibian population to live within the Groot area.

The average income for the Groot residents would be about N$36,000 per month.

And, per NamWater executives, this is a very good business opportunity for NamWater and NamPower in Namibia.

Yes, since the majority of the people would want to go live in the Groot area, due to plenty of better paying job opportunities, then in other parts of Namibia, employers would upgrade their salaries and wages to better match the ones offered by employers at Groot. And because employers at Groot would experience a large influx of labor supply, then they will reduce their salaries and wages; making it more lucrative for the employees who are working in the areas outside Groot.

Thus, as employers outside the Groot area offer more better pay and fringe benefits, then the migration of people would flock back to other parts of Namibia in search of better paying jobs.

And because our Groot Town Center ecosystem is being planned for distribution and placement based on each regional comparative advantage, not all projects would be placed at Groot, then you’d have a well-balanced population distribution.

And as each region compete for the labor force, eventually salaries and wages in Namibia would reach a certain point, an equilibrium. And by that time, the aggregate well-being of the Namibians would be up, almost similar to those in developed countries. Actually, it will go up to about US$25,000.

And we all know that, when that happens, an inflationary pressure follows, but that’s the job for the Bank of Namibia.

Overall, Namibia would instantly experience poverty reduction, improved healthcare, better education, lower death ratio, increased fertility ratio, and hence an increased healthy population.

The side effect of all of this, is that there would also be a large influx of foreign nationals flocking to Namibia in search of better work. Most of them would be professionals with specialized skills. This would benefit Namibia in terms of skills-and-knowledge transfer, however, there could be an increased of certain diseases and or illness that some foreign nationals could bring them with them.

However, the Namibia’s Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Social Services should and must upgrade their systems of manpower and technology in order to help eliminate some of the possible risks as stated.

It must be clear that Namibia cannot close its border to some of the skilled foreign nationals due to the fact that nearly 80% of Namibia’s workforce is unskilled. Hence the first 5 years of implementing the Groot Town Center ecosystem could initially require the labor force by foreign nationals while Namibians upgrade their skills through various means of training.

But the good will weight out the bad and this is overall good for Namibia.