Reports from Beijing China indicates that the world’s second largest economy has reserved US$60 billion (about P662 billion) for African investment in form of loans, grants & capital injection into mega developmental projects amongst others.
The announcement was made by President of the People’s Republic of China XI Jinping when officially opening the 2018 Forum on China –Africa Cooperation in Beijing China on this Monday where President Masisi was also in attendance. According to information from Beijing the funds will be channeled to projects aligned to the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative covering telecommunications, construction of roads, bridges and sea ports, energy, and human capacity development.
The money which will be spent in the next 3 years entails $15 billion being categorised as government grants, $15 billion (about P166 billion) as interest free loans and $20 billion (about P221 billion) of credit lines and USD 5 billion (about P55 billion) for financing imports from Africa. Chinese President remarked that, “China and Africa can forge a stronger comprehensive and strategic partnership. China promises to engage with Africa on a principle of sincerity and real results,” said President Xi Jinping.
He further added that, “China’s 1.3 billion people and Africa’s1.2 billion want a shared future,” China-Africa trade volume amounted to 170 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up from just over 10 billion dollars in 2000, according to data from China's ministry of commerce. President Jinping reiterated that that China will continue strengthening its engagement with Africa as it continues to pursue win-win partnerships with the continent. "China and Africa have forged closer ties since the last century. We have jointly successfully identified and implemented highly transformational projects on the continent," he said
According to President Jinping China invested a total of $170 billion in Africa in the last 3 years.He explained that the Road and Belt Initiative-the framework within which his country seeks to grow its trade and investments in Africa, China looks at building mutually beneficial relationships with African nations driven by a desire to achieve shared prosperity for the future good and wellbeing of mankind.
In the context of prior to joining other African countries for the Forum, President Mokgweetsi Masisi led a delegation of cabinet ministers, business people and government investment agencies to his first state visit as President of Botswana. Accompanied by over 70 business people facilitated by Botswana Investment & Trade Centre (BITC) President Masisi officiated at the China-Botswana Business Forum in which views were exchanged on how the two countries can work together in broadening and expanding current investment collaborations and trade volume.
At the end of his three-day state visit to China before attending the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) President Masisi disclosed that China extended a grant amounting to P340 million to the government of Botswana. This adds onto the 136 million pula grant already extended to Government of Botswana announced last week for construction of Kazungula Primary School in the Chobe district.
The project entails teaching blocks, administrative building, dining hall, living quarters, for principal and teachers, gatehouse, equipment and auxiliary facilities China also announced a fortnight ago that it will write-off three of Botswana loans amounting to P80 million pula. While in China Botswana delegation visited leading technology companies amongst mobile accessories maker Huawei.
Minister of Transport and Communication, Kitso Mokaila revealed last week that as china releases the 60 billion American dollars investment for African countries, Botswana is positioning itself for funding either in form of loan or grant for the construction of more rail networks as well advanced ICT infrastructure.
“ We are eying financing and technical support for mega infrastructure projects to aid our transformative agendas such as the development of the coal industry , pertaining to that is the Mmamabula – Lephalale rail network as well as major ICT infrastructure as you know China is well advanced in that area” he said.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.