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PPPs critical to unlocking economic diversification – Kenewendo

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo kenewendo says partnerships with the private sector by government are imperative in the growth, protection and empowerment of the productive sector in Botswana.

She was speaking at the Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) Brand Refresh in Gaborone recently. ‘’As you would be aware, we have as the Government of Botswana decided to pay a specific focus on Small, Medium Enterprise development and we believe that with partners from the private sector, we can grow the sector and be globally competitive.’’

‘’We are implementing the doing business reforms, opening up new markets for both goods and service-the latest being an agreement with the EAC as part of the TFTA, and we strive to create an enabling environment for all to compete and grow from home brand to international players,’’ she said.

Kenewendo observed that opportunities are endless, citing that the BIC is a leader in short term insurance with about 25% market share. ‘’There is more to conquer in Botswana and the rest of the region, therefore I challenge you because I see partners that can change our generation of wealth creation an open floodgates of unending opportunities for many generations to come as will be witnessed by BIC brand refresh,’’ she said.

‘’We take pride when heritage brands like Botswana Insurance Company revamp and refresh their mandate for a renewed purpose and cause but still rooted on their legacy and heritage. We live in a highly competitive global market where firms, industries and countries alike reflect on their natural endowments and more to deliver value. BIC has aggressive ambitions of half billions in revenues and yet invests in an organizational culture of excellence and accountability. Your growth is also synonymous with the country’s, as we are both going through transformation which we hope brings many folds of prosperity,’’ Kenewendo underscored.

However, Kenewendo underlined that as BIC modernizes the brand, it should develop the services it offers. ‘’Modernization is not about a good looking brand; it is about alignment with modern principles of inclusivity. In the last fin scope survey, it was reported that there is only twenty-six percent uptake of insurance services in Botswana. Only thirty-five, twenty-seven and seventeen percent are served in urban, semi urban and rural areas respectively. This means there are still many opportunities of growth to advance inclusive insurance products,’’ she said.

Some of the issues that must be considered for inclusivity, Kenewendo stressed are affordability, adding that 61% of the population cite cost as the main barrier to accessing insurance. Kenewendo stated that there is need to push for more financial education and assurances should be given for the need of insurance against risk. She stressed that there should be a focus on the productive sectors especially the Small, Medium Enterprises SMEs.

Further, she noted that it is important for BIC to create a stellar brand that customers will reminisce, and a trademark that they can associate themselves with and that transcend markets. For his part, Chief Executive Officerof BIC,  Newton Jazire noted that as a company, they are committed to opening new paths and opportunities: ‘’Our employees, clients and brokers are the true engine of our inspiration, we are here to make their lives better. As a brand, trained to make our clients and stakeholders lives better, powered by unique value proposition of well-kept promises and culture of value creation, our efforts that refabricate across all industry, our name and culture will never be forgotten.’’

He further said selling products and services that are suitable to markets needs is a necessity designed to help build strong foundations upon which the entire industry could thrive. ‘’We have created insurance legacy which is unmatched by any home brand, we never forget who we are, we are built to last and our name has to be remembered, after all time does not forget.’’

Jazire pointed out that the new logo demonstrates their traditional strength, perspective of corporate governance, market reputation and credibility. He said it will also reflect of their capabilities, new energies and innovation and serve to differentiate BIC from their competitors.
BIC is one of the country’s oldest companies for financial inclusion providing risk related services. Established over forty-four years ago, BIC championed and ushered in short term insurance services. In 1975, the company reregistered through the Ministry’s flagship OBRS. It is the first insurance company to be issued in Botswana.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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