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Over a million people have access to banking services – Bank of Botswana??

Over 1.1 million people now have access to banking services in the country, translating to 70 percent of the adult population and an increase of 10.7 percent compared to 2017, the Bank of Botswana (BoB) announced in its Banking Supervision Annual Report for 2018.



In 2017, the bankable adult population stood at 64.4 percent translating to one million people then.

"Access to banking services, as measured by the ratio of number of depositors to adult population, improved from 64.4 percent in 2017 to 70 percent in 2018. The number of depositors grew by 10.7 percent from 1 million in 2017 to 1.1 million in 2018, while adult population increased by 2.1 percent from 1.56 million," the BoB said.



During the period under review, Botswana had 10 licensed commercial banks and three statutory banks.

"During 2018, five bureaux de change were licensed, while nine bureaux de change licences were revoked.  As a result, the number of licensed bureaux de change decreased from 61 in 2017 to 56 in 2018," BoB said in its review of the banking sector operations in 2018.

The ongoing restructuring operations by banks resulted in the opening of new branches and closure of some.  As a result, banking operations increased from 143 to 147 in 2018. 

The number of automated teller machines (ATMs) also increased from 473 to 523.

"Most of the new ATMs have more functions, including deposit taking capabilities, thus improving convenient access to transactional banking services.  With respect to geographical distribution of the branch network, the South East District, which includes the capital city, Gaborone, led the concentration of branches at 64, followed by the Central District at 33. 

Central District had an increase of one branch, while the branch network for the other districts was unchanged," BoB said.

Commercial banks maintained a dominant share of total industry asset , deposits, loans and advances compared to statutory banks.  On the other hand, the market shape of statutory banks fell slightly with respect to total assets, deposits, loans and advances, with 6.7 percent, 5.8 percent and 7.7 percent at the end of 2018, respectively, compared to 7.5 percent, 6 percent and 8.1 percent in 2017.



"Five banks continued to dominate the banking sector and accounted for 88.7 percent, 87.9 percent and 87.8 percent of total assets, total deposits, and total loans and advances, respectively, in 2018, although slightly lower than the respective proportions of 89.5 percent, 88.5 percent and 88.7 percent reported in 2017."

On pension fund assets, the ratio fell from 45.5 percent in 2017 to 41.6 percent in 2018, owing to a slight decrease of 3.7 percent in valuation of pension funds.

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The aggregate household savings in the banking sector and pension funds was P92.8 billion compared to the household borrowing of P35.1 billion.  On this measure, the household sector was, therefore, a net saver in the economy," BoB said.

It added that total loans and advances were at P58.3 billion compared to P54.2 billion in 2017, while foreign currency dominated loans increased by 19.1 percent.
"As result, the ratio of foreign currency dominated loans to gross loans and advances increased to 7.8 percent in 2018, while it was 7.1 percent in 2018.

"All banks complied with the Foreign Currency Exposure Directive by maintaining foreign currency exposure to unimpaired capital ratios within the required 15 percent, five percent and 30 percent limits for major, minor and overall foreign currency exposures,
respectively."



Total credit to the household sector increased by 6.2 percent from P33.1 billion in 2017 to P35.1 billion.  The shape of mortgages, however, declined to 27 percent in 2018 compared to 28 percent in 2017, while the proportions for credit cards and motor vehicles were unchanged at three percent and five percent respectively.

The private sector maintained the highest share of deposits of 71 percent, while the share deposits for the public (Government and Parastatals) and household  sector remained at nine percent and 20 percent, respectively, in the same period.

On employment in the banking sector, BoB said the number of people directly employed increased from 5 176 in 2017 to 5 270, representing a 1.8 percent growth, albeit at a slower pace than the 2.4 percent in 2017.

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While there was an increase in staff complement for some banks, there was a decrease with respect to seven banks.  The decline in employment at these banks was due to retrenchments, staff resignation and closure or merging of branches by some banks.

"The number of expatriates employed by the banking industry fell from 66 in 2017 to 60 in 2018.  Overall, the staff complement for small banks increased by 3.1 percent, from 485 in 2017 to 500 in 2018, for the large banks, the level of employment rose by 2.2 percent from 4 137 in 2017 to 4 226," the BoB announced.

Banks also continued to diversify, develop and improve their products and services to meet evolving customer needs and to accommodate and harness industry and market innovation in areas of potential business growth.

"

During 2018, banks introduced 14 new products and services covering a wide range of banking services, namely, transactional accounts and mobile-banking services were designed to foster growth of customer base and retention of existing ones (thus financial inclusion), hence mainly featured enhancements and lower service fees," it said.

The BoB also conducted on site examination of 10 bureaux de change to access their compliance with the Bank's regulations.

"The on-site examination indicated that one bureau de change complied with all the provisions of the regulations, while all others violated various aspects of the provisions of regulations.  Six bureaux de change were fined a total of P12 320 for violating regulations. 

Two bureaux de change were cautioned for non-compliance, while another had its licence suspended for three months.  The suspended bureau de change subsequently ceased operation and voluntarily surrendered its licence," the Bank said.

It noted that most of the recurring violations by bureaux de change related to failure to take reasonable measures to obtain information about the true identity of persons on whose behalf financial transactions were conducted and failure to continually train employees.

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Business

Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Business

Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswanas ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTNs evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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Business

BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers.

Explaining the theme, the institutions treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnels for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create Said Pinard.

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