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Ngami farmers construct own abbatoir

The Nhabe Agricultural Management Association (NAMA) whose membership is a predominatly pastoral cattle farmers has resolved to build a 70 Million Pula abbatoir.

The conception of the project got assistance from the United Nations Development Programme and government of Botswana funded Ngamiland Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Programme. NAMA is exploring various fund raising options to fund the project. The project was initiated after farmers’ complained that the current abattoir in Ngamiland does not have the required capacity.

Consultant in the project, Dr Howard Sigwele explained during a recent fund raising dinner that about P70 million is required for capital investment excluding water, power supply and waste management. He added that both debt and equity is preferred for financing the project.

Dr Sigwele said equity is required from NAMA members in order to achieve ownership and active participation in the project. He also indicated that during kgotla meetings, farmers supported equity participation by producers. Dr Sigwele said that NAMA is requested to raise about P16 million whilst about P54m is mobilized from capital markets or through loans. He observed that farmers can contribute primarily through sale of their livestock and about P10 million will be required as working capital to purchase stock.

Dr Sigwele further indicated that with an average meat price increase of about 4.5 percent per year, the abattoir is expected to witness sales increasing from P 57 million in the first year to about P133 million in fifth year. He added that the abattoir is expected to make profit within the first two years totaling about P54 million after the fifth year. He also noted that the expected Rate of Return on Investment is about 22 percent after five years whilst the Net Present Value is estimated at P64 million after five years.

The financial assessment shows a viable private multi-species abattoir in Sehithwa, provided 100 cattle or equivalent are slaughtered daily during the weekdays. He also highlighted that potential external markets that will purchase meat from the abattoir include the DRC, some SADC countries, Middle East and Asia. Ngami area Member of Parliament, Thato Kwerepe welcomed the multi species abattoir adding that small stock that is owned by female headed households, will ultimately find a market.

“The overall positive impact of the community abattoir should go far beyond employment creation, but should be the bedrock of economic activity that leaves no one behind,” Kwerepe said. Kwerepe further observed that NAMA has embarked on a Motho le Motho Kgomo campaign to raise funds for the community abattoir. “I understand that ordinary farmers have donated and pledged livestock to this course and I applaud each and every one of you for the giant step,” he said.

Kwerepe said if many people contribute the little they have the project shall be realised soon. The MP also revealed that he has pledged a cow and he will liaise with NAMA to come and collect it. Ngamiland SLM coordinator, Innocent Magole explained that SLM project aims to help Ngamiland communities mitigate and adapt to environmental challenges and explore livilihood solutions.

Furthermore the project aims to promote the uptake of green technologies in Botswana by showcasing their viability to the people. Magole noted that UNDP also funded a charcoal production project in the Lake Ngami area. The production of the charcoal will be undertaken by Lake Ngami Community Trust, which is an entity engaging in community-based natural resources programme through fishing, tourism and other related services.

The charcoal project presents dual benefits. It promotes quality beef by controlling bush encroachment for cattle farmers in the area. From remains of the unwanted trees the community trust produce charcoal sold to the markets. Charcoal is produced from excess wood from a tree species called Acacia Erioloba also known as mogotho in Setswana.

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Opposition Will Never Achieve Anything- Nkaigwa

8th April 2021
Haskins Nkaigwa

Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms.  “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.

“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.

“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.

“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”

Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner.  He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.

Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.

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Botswana benefits over P100 million in grants from Japan

7th April 2021
Ambassador HOSHIYAMA

Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.

The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).

“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.

“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”

Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.

From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.

“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.

“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”

In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.

TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.

“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.

“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”

Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.

“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.

“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”

Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.

Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.

According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.

“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.

According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).

“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.

“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”

The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.

 

“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”

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Magosi pushes for Cabinet reshuffle

6th April 2021
President Masisi

Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.

The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.

This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.

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