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Industrialization still too slow to meet the 2030 target – report

Despite recent progress, industrialization in least developed countries is still too slow to meet the 2030 target. This is according to United Nations 2019 report on Sustainable Development Goals released recently.

According to the report, the growth of manufacturing in both developing and developed regions slowed in 2018, attributed largely to emerging trade and tariff barriers that constrain investment and future expansion. Despite the slowdown, the global share of manufacturing vale added in Gross Domestic Product GDP increased marginally-from 15.9 per cent in 2008 to 16.5 per cent in 2018, when it began to plateau. In LCDs, the share of manufacturing in total GPD increased 2.5 per cent annually between 2015 and 2018.

However, that still falls short of the pace needed to achieve a doubling of the MVA share in GDP by 2030, and calls for accelerated action. The disparities in industrial productivity between rich and poor nations remain stark. For instance, MVA per capita was only 114 US Dollars in LCDs compared to 4.9 in Europe and Northern America, in 2018.

Inclusive and sustainable industrialization, together with innovation and infrastructure, can unleash dynamic and competitive economic forces that generate employment and income. They play a key role in introducing and promoting new technologies, facilitating international trade and enabling the efficient use of resources. However, the world still has a long way to go to fully tap this potential.

LCDs, in particular, need to accelerate the development of their manufacturing sector if they are to meet the 2030 target, and scale up investment in scientific research and innovation. On a positive note, the carbon intensity of manufacturing industries declined at an annual rate of almost 3 per cent from 2010 and 2016, showing a general decoupling of CO2 emissions and GDP growth. Total official flows for economic infrastructure reached 59 Billion US Dollars in 2017, an increase of 32.5 per cent in real terms since 2010. Further, impressive gains have been made in mobile connectivity.

It was noted that small-scale industries in the poorest countries lack the financial services they need to grow and innovate. Such industries are the backbone of industrial development in developing countries. With a relatively small amount of capital investment and a predominantly local resource base, small-scale industries generate a substantial amount of employment and self-employment.

However, one of the biggest challenges those industries face is access to loans or lines of credit for everyday business activities. Adequate financing is crucial for those industries to grow, since it allows them to innovate, improve efficiency, expand to new markets and create new job opportunities. While 31.5 per cent of small-scale industries worldwide benefit from loans or lines of credit, regional differences stand out. For instance, more than half of all small-scale industries in Latin America and the Caribbean receive those types of financial services, compared to 20.7 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Higher-tech manufacturing is growing worldwide, except in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN report. Recent years have seen a steady shift away from resource-based, low-tech manufacturing activities towards those that are medium-high to high-tech. Those higher-tech manufacturing sectors are often reliant on the latest technologies and produce a wide array of consumer goods, from computers, televisions and other communications devices to appliances and other household equipment. The demand for such products tends to increase as income levels rise.

The share of medium-high and high-tech industries in total MVA increased from 40.5 per cent in 2000 to 44.7 per cent in 2016, with large differences across regions. In Eastern and South-Eastern Asia and in Europe and Northern America, for example, over 47 per cent of total MVA came from higher-tech sectors in 2016. In contrast, the shares in Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa were only 1.9 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of medium-high- and high-tech MVA in total MVA actually fell between 2000 and 2016, but rose in all other regions.

Global spending on research and development has reached 2 trillion US Dollars a year, with wide disparities among countries. The report underlined that the proportion of global GDP invested in research and development increased from 1.52 per cent in 2000 to 1.68 per cent in 2016. In absolute terms, global R and D investment reached 2 trillion in 2016, up from 739 billion in 2000. That represents an average annual growth rate of 4.3 per cent when adjusted for inflation. Wide disparities are found among regions.

In Europe and Northern America, 2.21 per cent of GDP was spent on R and D in 2016, compared to 0.42 per cent and 0.83 per cent, respectively, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia. Such disparities indicate the continued need for strong policy support for increased financing for R and D in developing regions.

Further, the report noted that fixed-broadband internet connections remain out of reach for many people. But coverage of mobile-cellular signals and mobile-broadband internet has expanded rapidly, now reaching almost the entire global population. In 2018, 96 per cent of the world population lived within reach of a mobile-cellular signal, and 90 per cent of people could access the internet through a third generation or higher quality network.

However, while most live within range of these signals, not all are able to take advantage of them. The cost of accessing internet remains too high for many, particularly the most disadvantaged and at-risk populations groups. In fact, just over half of the world’s population is currently using the internet, with rates much lower in LCDs, about 20 per cent.

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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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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s 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.
MTN’s 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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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 institution’s 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 personnel’s 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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