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Debswana revives BPL fortunes

Debswana Diamond Company has agreed to donate P 5 million to the Botswana Premier League (BPL), to boost the 2019- 2020 football sponsorship. The move, seen as a kind gesture by the diamond company, comes at a time when premier league title sponsors, Botswana Telecommunication Cooperation Limited (BTCL), reduced their funding from P13 to P 5 million per season.

 The contribution by the leading diamond company is only meant for this season alone but an announcement is pending owing to the sudden death and bereavement of their former Managing Director, Albert Milton. The company is fresh from renewing First Division League sponsorship, after nearly refusing to commit further. Debswana’s input means that the elite league will experience a slight rise in this season’s sponsorship, after a few months of uncertainty and speculation.

However, reports vary on the amount Debswana is promising. Some say the donation sits at P2 million.  BTC remains resolute and has offered P 5 million while Barclays Bank, soon to be renamed to ABSA, agreed to sponsor the league with P 7.6 million for two seasons. Effectively, this means that Barclay’s sponsorship value sits at P3.8 million for a season. BPL is expected to group these amounts and run and administer a league that threatens to become poor.

As this publication was going to print, the premier league was running helter-skelter to secure monies for Man of the Match awards. In previous seasons, Man of the Match of a televised game received P 1000 with P250 BTC airtime. While Debswana’s move is a welcomed development, elite clubs continue to cry foul that this season does not promise a bright future. The clubs will be televised but no amount of profit will go to their pockets because of the running cashless contract between the league and state owned broadcaster, Btv.

As of last week, the premier league board was said to be hard on the ground striving to break down monthly remunerations of the elite clubs. Because of the known problems surrounding the domestic game, the ultimate prize money is expected to go down from P 1.3 million to P 600 000. This was confirmed by this publication’s moles a week ago and nobody from the league management office has denied it.

However, the league officials are adamant that monthly grants will improve. In previous seasons, elite clubs received P35 000 mobilization fees over a period of 8 months. It is rumored that the remuneration will stand to change although it is not proudly maintained at Lekidi football center. When asked to clarify Debswana’s hand in this season’s sponsorship, Botswana Football Association media liaison officer Tumo Mpatane out rightly denied any knowledge about Debswana sponsoring the elite league. He, however referred this publication to [BFA CEO] Mfolo Mfolo’s office for further understanding.

“I do not know anything to do with Debswana sponsorship; it has never come to our offices. Please check with Mfolo,” Mpatane said in a brief telephone interview. Mfolo is the Chief Executive Officer of the football association. However, WeekendSport has been told that both BTCL and Debswana will not be there in the coming football season. This will leave ABSA with a bigger room to extend and expand sponsorship negotiations.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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BFA to pay Taylor P330 000

7th March 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has been ordered to pay its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone Taylor over P330 000 as a compensation for her unfair dismissal last year February.

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