Botswana ‘s private sector mouth piece Business Botswana(BB) in collaboration Government will next month host the annual NBC(NBC) in Francistown. The Conference is Botswana‘s major meet between government policy makers, stakeholders, business community and the entire private sector.
The high level event provides a platform for interactive dialogue, views exchange and policy review on the country‘s economic transformation agenda. When briefing the media this week, Business Botswana (BB) revealed that the conference will spark conversations around pushing Botswana’s High income economy dream. Going into its second year in partnership with Botswana’s leading bank First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) the conference brings a revamped and charged platform for transformative engagement.
Bigger, better and more interactive the event will be held under the theme “Breakthrough a High-Income Botswana- the Role of the Private Sector in Charting the Path.” The organizers In addition to the usual officiating and address by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, one of the new exciting features in this year’s conference is an intimate interactive session with president Maisi titled “A Conversation with the President” which will provide an opportunity for the business sector to hear President Masisi’s thoughts on the growth of business in Botswana.
When giving a brief overview of event organizing committee chairman of the NBC Tobake Kobedi said presentations and views exchanges will be deliberate on identifying economic paths to move Botswana from an upper middle income to a high income economy in line with Vision 2036. He said the conference will bring together top government officials and business leaders under one roof to formulate new ideas and craft new innovative paths that endeavor to transform Botswana‘s economy to export and private sector led
“The aim is to see broaden domestic investment and see Botswana businesses compete on global scale, “he said. Kobedi explained that the conference’s deliberation and discussions will be anchored around three key topics being Innovation, human Capital and the Small Medium Enterprises Sector.
He observed that the NBC was alive to the private sector’s role in gearing the country towards a high income economy and by giving the business community the platform reflect and facilitates their participatory role and contribution towards the national Vision 2036. The conference has attracted a number of other partnerships and sponsorship such as Air Botswana and Botswana Railways as both entered in an agreement with Business Botswana to offer transportation for delegates and participants at tailor made packages.
Kobedi also highlighted that Bank of Botswana will host the participants to a cocktail dinner on the sidelines of the conference at which De Beers Botswana Director and Vision 2036 Chairman Neo Moroka will deliver Key note address in a informal interactive discussion over meals and drinks.
Marketing and Communication Director at FNBB Obonye Malope noted that it was compelling for the bank to join forces with Business Botswana again this year because FNB as a financial institution was alive to efforts of propelling the country from middle income to a high income. “We as FNBB are proud official partners of NBC, for the second time as we want to provide the private sector with innovative business solutions and want to be drivers of transformative economic development in the country," she said.
Malope reiterated that the conference theme was also speaking to FNBB's strategic commitment to foster growth and economic diversity from which all Batswana can and should benefit. Malope also noted that, "As the leading Bank in Botswana, we recognize the key role that we play in facilitating the growth of a more diverse economy. This is why we have partnered with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development to introduce a Youth Value Proposition that provides youth funded businesses with a solution that includes Transactional, Investment, Insurance and Lending products.
Malope further noted that FNBB as a business stands to benefit from a more developed, vibrant and high income economy that Botswana seeks to archive. “We are committed to using all of our spheres of influence to contribute to this dream and this partnership with Business Botswana and Botswana Government to bring you this impactful event is one of a number of initiatives to this effect ,We also recognize that youth businesses have great and untapped potential to create employment and drive economic diversification and it is our responsibility as Botswana’s largest bank to help drive this” She said.
NBC Chairperson Kobedi also noted that other interesting features will be that of Representatives from World Bank & Switzerland to share with Botswana on key areas and transformative go-how in archiving a high income economy. “We will have presentations from the World Bank to lead us in unpacking the concepts of a high-income economy. Discussions around youth business and small to medium enterprise will also take the spotlight, as we explore how these can be mobilized to incorporate greater economic diversity for the country", said Mr Kobedi.
Joint venture between De Beers and Government of Republic of Namibia announces new plan, supporting economic, commercial, employment and community benefit, following receipt of royalty relief Namdeb Diamond Corporation (Proprietary) Limited (‘Namdeb’), a 50:50 joint venture between De Beers Group and the Government of the Republic of Namibia, today announced the approval of a new long-term business plan that will extend the current life of mine for Namibia’s land-based operations as far as 2042.
Under the previous business plan, the land-based Namdeb operations would have come to the end of their life at the end of 2022 due to unsustainable economics. However, a series of positive engagements between the Namdeb management team and the Government of the Republic of Namibia has enabled the creation of a mutually beneficial new business plan that extends the life of mine by up to 20 years, delivering positive outcomes for the Namibian economy, the Namdeb business, employees, community partners and the wider diamond industry.
As part of the plan, the Government of the Republic of Namibia has offered Namdeb royalty relief from 2021 to 2025, with the royalty rate during this period reducing from 10% to 5%. This royalty relief has in turn underpinned an economically sustainable future for Namdeb via a life of mine extension that, through the additional taxes, dividends and royalties from the extended life of mine, is forecast to generate an additional fiscal contribution for Namibia of approximately N$40 billion. Meanwhile, the life of mine extension will also deliver ongoing employment for Namdeb’s existing employees, the creation of 600 additional jobs, ongoing benefits for community partners and approximately eight million carats of additional high value production.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “Namdeb, a shining example of partnership, has a proud and unique place in Namibia’s economic history. This new business plan, forged by Namdeb management and enabled by the willingness of Government to find a solution in the best interest of Namibia, means that Namdeb’s future is now secure and the company is positioned to continue making a significant contribution to the Namibian economy, the socio-economic development of the Oranjemund community and the lives of Namdeb employees.” Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy for the Government of the Republic of Namibia, said: “Mining remains the backbone of our economy and is one of the largest employment sectors within our country.
Government understood the fundamental impact of what the Namdeb mine closure at the end of 2022 would have had on Namibia. Therefore, it was imperative to safeguard this operation for the benefit of sustaining the life of mine for both the national economy as well as preserving employment for our people and the livelihoods of families that depend on it.”
Riaan Burger, CEO, Namdeb Diamond Corporation, said: “After more than a century of production, these operations were approaching the end of their life, but the creation of this new business plan means we can continue to deliver for Namibia for many years into the future. This is great news for the hardworking women and men of Namdeb, as well as for all our community partners who we are proud to have worked with over the years. We now look forward to starting a new chapter in Namdeb’s proud history.”
Botswana has recorded its first trade surplus for 2021 since the only one for the year in January.
The country’s exports for the month of July surpassed the value of imports, Statistics Botswana’s July International Merchandise Trade data reveals.
Released last Friday, the monthly trade digest reports a positive jump in the trade balance graph against the backdrop of a series of trade deficits in the preceding months since January this year.
According to the country’s significant data body, imports for the month were valued at P7.232 billion, reflecting a decline of 6.6 percent from the revised June 2021 value of P7.739 billion.
Total exports during the same month amounted to P7.605 billion, showing an increase of 6.1 percent over the revised June 2021 value of P7.170 billion.
A trade surplus of P373.2 million was recorded in July 2021. This follows a revised trade deficit of P568.7 million for June 2021.
For the total exports value of P7.605 billion, the Diamonds group accounted for 91.2 percent (P6.936 billion), followed by Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Salt & Soda Ash with 2.2 percent (P169.7 million) and 1.3 percent (P100.9 million) respectively.
Asia was the leading destination for Botswana exports, receiving 65.2 percent (P4.96 billion) of total exports during July 2021.
These exports mostly went to the UAE and India, having received 26.3 percent (P1. 99 billion) and 18.7 percent (P1.422 billion) of total exports, respectively. The top most exported commodity to the regional block was Diamonds.
Exports destined to the European Union amounted to P1.64 billion, accounting for 21.6 percent of total exports.
Belgium received almost all exports destined to the regional union, acquiring 21.5 percent (P1.6337 billion) of total exports during the reporting period.
The Diamonds group was the leading commodity group exported to the EU. The SACU region received exports valued at P790.7 million, representing 10.4 percent of total exports.
Diamonds and Salt & Soda Ash commodity groups accounted for 37.8 percent (P298.6 million) and 6.2 percent (P48.7 million) of total exports to the customs union.
South Africa received 9.8 percent (P745.0 million) of total exports during the month under review. The Diamonds group contributed 39.9 percent (P297.4 million) to all goods destined for the country.
In terms of imports, the SACU region contributed 62.7 percent (P4.534 billion) to total imports during July.
The topmost imported commodity groups from the SACU region were Fuel; Food, Beverages & Tobacco, and Machinery & Electrical Equipment with contributions of 33.3 percent (P1.510 billion), 17.4 percent (P789.4 million) and 12.7 percent (P576.7 million) to total imports from the region, respectively.
South Africa contributed 60.1 percent (P4.3497 billion) to total imports during July 2021.
Fuel accounted for 32.1 percent (P1.394 billion) of imports from that country. Food, Beverages & Tobacco contributed 17.7 percent (P772.0 million) to imports from South Africa.
Namibia contributed 2.0 percent (P141.1 million) to the overall imports during the period under review. Fuel was the main commodity imported from that country at 82.1 percent (P115.8 million).
During the months, imports representing 63.5 percent (P4.5904 billion) were transported into the country by Road.
Transportation of imports by Rail and Air accounted for 22.7 percent (P1.645 billion) and 13.8 percent (P996.2 million), respectively.
During the month, goods exported by Air amounted to P6, 999.2 million, accounting for 92.0 percent of total exports, while those leaving the country by Road were valued at P594.2 million (7.8 percent).
Founders from twenty companies have been accepted into the program from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa
The 4th Cohort of the Stanford Seed Transformation Program – Southern Africa (STP), a collaboration between Stanford Graduate School of Business and De Beers Group commenced classes on 20 September 2021. According to Otsile Mabeo, Vice President Corporate Affairs, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales: “We are excited to confirm that 20 companies have been accepted into the 4th Seed Transformation Programme from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The STP is an important part of the De Beers Group Building Forever sustainability strategy and demonstrates our commitment to the ‘Partnering for Thriving Communities’ pillar that aims at enhancing enterprise development in countries where we operate in the Southern African region”. Jeffrey Prickett, Global Director of Stanford Seed: “Business owners and their key management team members undertake a 12-month intensive leadership program that includes sessions on strategy and finance, business ethics, and design thinking, all taught by world-renowned Stanford faculty and local business practitioners. The program is exclusively for business owners and teams of for-profit companies or for-profit social enterprises with annual company revenues of US$300,000 – US$15million.” The programme will be delivered fully virtually to comply with COVID 19 protocols. Out of the 20 companies, 6 are from Botswana, 1 Namibia, and 13 South Africa. Since the partnership’s inception, De Beers Group and Stanford Seed have supported 74 companies, 89 founders/CEOs, and approximately 750 senior-level managers to undertake the program in Southern Africa.