Botswana World Bank Office in collaboration with Ministry of Investment, Trade & Industry (MITI) gathered over sixty (60) representatives from private sector, government, and academia to discuss Botswana’s draft National Entrepreneurship Policy.
The two-day event, held this week on Monday and Tuesday is the first-ever entrepreneurship policy discussion convened in Botswana to study the draft policy formulated by MITI. Giving welcome remarks at the event held in Masa Centre, Gaborone, World Bank Botswana Country representative Xavier Furtado said his office has as one of its key priorities assisting Botswana with its National Economic Diversification efforts as well as assist the country with the pressing issue youth unemployment.
Xavier explained that the event was meant to create a platform of deepening consultations around the draft policy and also to ensure that the policy in its current draft form is speaking directly to the needs, challenges and priorities of key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship network of Botswana. Mr Furtado noted that Innovation and entrepreneurship are key aspects of a dynamic business environment, a competitive economy and inclusive growth.
“A wide range of factors are vital for innovation and entrepreneurship to succeed. These factors include, inter-alia, appropriate skills, knowledge, access to finance and a regulatory environment that enables entrepreneurs to start and efficiently grow their enterprises,” he said. Xavier further explained that World Bank Global Entrepreneurship Network is supporting the policy development process by helping to convene the policy hack which is meant to harness the experience and perspectives of the core actors in Botswana’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, so their views are reflected in the new policy and its implementation.
He said the Entrepreneurship Policy Hack provides a platform to ensure that the draft National Entrepreneurship Policy reflects a common understanding of the key challenges facing Botswana's entrepreneurs as well as inform a common vision for prioritized solutions that can accelerate entrepreneurship in Botswana. The hack comprised thematically focused working group discussions addressing key themes identified in the current draft of the National Entrepreneurship Policy.
“The Entrepreneurship Policy hack provides a platform for an open dialogue with stakeholders on improving the business environment in Botswana, which is critical to the growth of the economy ,Inclusive citizen participation and engagement in the policy making process is essential to successful policy development and implementation,” said Furtado.
Delivering key note speech at the event Minister of Investment, Trade & Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo explained that the ever changing and disruptive technologies pose opportunities and challenges to traditional industries thus Governments grapple with unexpected and unfamiliar regulatory issues. She explained that in response, a new approach to public policy making has emerged, one that is based on dialogue and sandbox-type idea exchanges, namely the Policy hackathon.
“To this end, the Policy hack is defined to help both public and private sector leaders from entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world to experiment and leverage this approach,” said Kenewendo. The Minister further unpacked that prior to the development of National Economic Policy 2019, SMMEs development and Entrepreneurship Policy in Botswana was based on the SMME policy of 1999.
In 2013, the then Ministry of Trade and Industry commissioned a study to review the Policy and come up with a holistic National Entrepreneurship Policy for Botswana, which will provide a broad and inclusive framework for all initiatives geared towards the promotion of entrepreneurship and SMMEs development in Botswana.
The National Economic Policy was further explained as an instrument developed to provide a framework to stir the creation of new start-ups and expansion of existing enterprises with high growth potential, as well as addressing the challenges that may constrain their development. “The NEP2019 emphasizes export-led growth, hence it is focused at fostering entrepreneurship as well as promoting SMMEs development with a view to creating globally competitive industries,” said Kenewendo.
She said it further emphasises strengthening coordination among all institutions involved in entrepreneurship and SMMEs development for effective implementation of the Policy. “Our role today is to be active listeners to the concerns, feedback and suggestions that are going to be generated as part of this collaborative and co-creation process”, said Honorable Bogolo Kenewendo, “My Ministry commits to take on board all the insights derived from the policy hack and will ensure that they are considered for adoption into the NEP”. Kenewendo explained that the Policy hack will assist MITI to further review and refocus the Policy before resubmission to Cabinet, and subsequently to Parliament, more especially the Policy implementation matrix.
Homegrown LED light manufacturing company, The Bulb World, has kick started operations in South Africa, setting in motion the company’s ambitious continental expansion plans.
The Bulb World, which was partly funded by Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) at the tune of P4 million, to manufacture LED lighting bulbs for both commercial and residential use in 2017, announced last year that it will enter the South African market in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of North West province under the auspices of North West Development Corporation (NWDC).
The company has already secured a deal with South Africa authorities which entails production factory shells and tax incentives arrangements.
The company founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ketshephaone Jacob has also previously stated that the company is looking for just under P50 million to finance its expansion strategy and is reaching out to institutional investors such as Botswana Public Officers Pensioners Fund (BPOPF) and government investment arm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC).
However, Jacob told WeekendPost that instead of sitting and waiting for expansion funding the company has started hitting the ground running.
“We have decided to get in the streets of SA, start selling lights from door to door, ” said Jacob who is in currently in Rusternburg to oversee the introduction of The Bulb World products in the market.
Jacob explained more brand activations will be undertaken in South Africa. “The plan is to do it the whole of North West and Limpopo province, through hawkers, we give the hawkers the lights to sell at a factory price and they put a mark up and make a living,” he said.
The Bulb World operates from Selibe Phikwe, it currently employees 65 young people, 80 % of which are Phikwe youth. The company plans to add 100 jobs this year alone as it forges ahead with its regional and continental expansion plans.
In July this year Bulb World products will hit South African Shelves: Pick n Pay, Checkers and Africa’s largest retailer Shoprite.
The Bulb World has been registered as a company in South Africa; the company will start producing lights from Mogwasa after striking a special economic zones deal with North West Development Corporation in North West Province South Africa.
“Over the next 10 years we are looking to create over 5,000 jobs in Africa. Through our expansion into all of Africa we will be able to create employment for various individuals in different sectors namely; manufacturing, distribution electronics and retail,” Jacob told this publication earlier this year.
Jacob said if all goes well, the plan is to have taken over Africa or rather penetrated, and have prevalent presence in the African market.
“We are gunning to have at least 30 percent market share by then. According to a 2016 Market Survey, the total valuation of sales for LED Lighting was 57BN, a portion of which we plan to have taken over by then,” he said.
While the company has set its eyes on Africa, Jacob said, the company has not fully exploited its local growth, indicating that there could be strategic factories built to supply neighbouring countries of Angola and Zimbabwe.
“There is potential for further local expansion as well to other areas of Botswana if things run smoothly as anticipated. Hopefully in the long-term if our fellow Africans and all these markets receive us well we are planning to build another factory,” he said.
“We are looking to build another factory in the Chobe/Ngamiland Area that will give priority to markets in Zimbabwe and Angola,” he said
The Maun based Okavango Research Institute (ORI) has downplayed the impacts of oil and gas exploration in part of Okavango delta arguing that given the distance proposed the likelihoods of negative impacts drilling these exploration wells on the surface water systems is likely to be negligible.
The Institution released a position paper titled ‘Proposed Petroleum (Oil and Gas) Exploration Operations in the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) No. 73,’ with findings stating that, in the event of discovery of economically viable hydrocarbon deposits, much more careful consideration of the impacts and economic benefits of development of the resource will be needed.
For example, the fracking process for gas and oil extraction is known to require large volumes of underground water.
It further argues that increased extraction of the underground water is likely to affect the water table level and further affect the overall water availability in the river-basin.
“The effect on water availability and use may become worse if surface water is reticulated or sourced by any means from the Kavango River. Should the exploration and fracking for oil and gas expand to Block 1720, 1721 and 1821, the impact on water availability and quality will be significant, especially if the wastewater is not well managed,” said the paper.
The research unit recommends close communication between the relevant Basin State Ministries (Mineral Resources, Environment) and the Permanent Commission on the Okavango River Basin, OKACOM, and other stakeholders must be facilitated.
This will facilitate sharing of the correct information on the desired intentions of the basin states and compromises sought for the sustainability of the ecosystems in the downstream of the Cubango-Okavango river Basin, states the position paper.
ORI as a key stakeholder with scientific information says it is positioned to provide scientific advice and guidance to decision-makers on the potential impacts of both exploration and development and operation activities.
It also recommends that while the impacts might be minimal at the exploration stage, environmental impacts during the development and extraction process are significant.
Findings also state that the SADC Protocol places a mandatory duty to make a notification of planned measures undertaken in any riparian state in cases where such measures hold the potential to cause ‘significant adverse effects.’
It further states that where the planned development is trivial and not expected to cause any significant harm, the development state is not under duty to notify other riparian states.
Given that the drilling in the Kavango Region in Nambia is merely for exploratory purpose and the possibility of harm is minor, it is therefore not surprising that the Namibian government did not inform Botswana.
However, should it be found that the oil can be profitably or economically exploited, the Namibian government would be under a duty to notify both Angola and Botswana.
The institution further states that to ensure sustainable development in the Okavango Delta the following in the context of exploration for and potential development of hydrocarbon deposits within the Cubango-Okavango River Basin, it must be considered that the Okavango Delta is a World Heritage Site listed in 2014 by UNESCO and one of the binding requirements of the listing is the non-permissible commercial mining of any mineral, gas or oil within the World Heritage Site.
It states that the Okavango Delta is also a RAMSAR site in which mining is not allowed.
Should the exploration for minerals, oil and gas be allowed, there is a high chance that a mineral, oil or gas may be found given that the Delta is sitting on karoo sediments and shale rocks which in other parts of the world have been found to be sources of oil and gas deposits. Should oil or gas be discovered, there will be a strong socio-economic pressure to mine oil or gas and create jobs for the masses.
Manufactured in Turkey, Pakmaya Instant Dry Yeast can be used in the production of various fermented products, as it is suited for both traditional and industrial baking processes. All kinds of breads, buns and fermented pastry products are typical examples of applications.
Pakmaya Africa Sales Manager Cem Perdar says Pakmaya has 4 plants in across the world, further indicating that all of the plants have the highest standards of quality certificates and approvals. Regarding raw material, molasses is the main ingredient for yeast. Concerning production activities, yeast manufacturing requires high know-how and capability. Pakmaya has all those capabilities and aspects more than 45 years.
According to Perdar, Pakmaya has been existent in African markets since 30 years. From South to North, Central to East and West, a consumer can find Pakmaya in nearly every part of Africa continent.
“With its high quality, rich product selection and good service, our brand has become the favorite yeast of many Africans. On the other hand, our distributors in African countries are working very hardly and loyally in order to promote our products in their markets. After some time, we are becoming like families with our exclusive distributors in Africa and this enables both parts to work harder and keeps our product sustainable in market,” he said in an interview this week.
The yeast manufacturing giant made its way to Botswana market. The company has been smoothly working with Kamoso Distribution, a local distribution company. Perdar told BusinessPostthat two entities have been working hard to earn is market locally.
“At the moment we have a good market share with them in Botswana market. I’m sure during 2021 long, we will be increasing our sales and market position. Soon we are going to start a marketing campaign in Botswana, so that means Batswana will see and recognize Pakmaya more and more. Pakmaya wants to be the best friend of bakers in bakeries and ladies at homes in Botswana.”
As per global COVID-19 regulations to curb the spread of the COVID-19, Botswana just like other country closed borders. Providentially, the restrictions did not affect the company destructively.
Perdar says “Kamoso Africa is a very important and strong partner in Botswana territory. With Kamoso’s hard work and strict measurements, we have done a very good job. So as Pakmaya, we have not suffered any distribution problem. Our partner is doing the needful at the reaching our products to end users.”
He further said “We are doing well in Botswana market and hoping to make much more. Our aim is to enter every single corner in Botswana territory. With our new marketing campaigns, we are planning to be the most preferred yeast in Botswana market.”