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Business conference to charge Botswana’s high income economy dream

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.

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Business

The Bulb World starts operations in South Africa

8th April 2021

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

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Business

‘Oil exploration will have minimal impact’

30th March 2021
Okavango-River-Basin

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.

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Business

Pakmaya yeast penetrates local market

30th March 2021
Pakmaya Africa Sales Manager: Cem Perdar

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 BusinessPost that 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.”

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