The Ministry of Investment, Trade & Industry (MITI)’s Market street days will go a long way in advancing entrepreneurship development in the country, MITI Minister Bogolo Kenewendo has said. The ministry will, starting today (Saturday), host a series of events called Market Street Days country wide to showcase locally produced goods.
“The intention is to expose our manufactures and producers to potential consumers, this coupled with other initiatives like the EDD will develop our manufactures and good producers to the standards required for international market windows such as AGOA,” Kenewendo said. Kenewendo noted that at these street markets, producers will appreciate exactly what consumers are looking for as there will be first hand face to face dialogue. “Once our producers appreciate where they can improve, they will do exactly that and in due course we will have export ready commodities for uptake by both local and global market,” she said
According to information from the Ministry, the objective of the Market Street Day is to among others, showcase locally-manufactured products and to bring together producers and retailers together. The event will also present a networking platform for businesses to share knowledge and ideas with a view to expanding their market base.
The Market streets kick-starts a series of undertakings by the ministry which last week outlined a new road map anchored around three mandated deliveries. One of the apexes under the ministry’s new blueprint is SMME development. Minister Kenewendo underscored recently that her ministry takes Small Micro & Medium Enterprises sector seriously as a key economic vehicle that creates jobs and income for many ordinary Batswana hence the SMME Development as Apex number 1.
Furthermore to continue facilitating SMMEs growth Honorable Kenewendo highlighted that her ministry will develop a supplier directory by sector and region. She explained that this will facilitate stakeholders such as business community and local authorities to have access to service providers within their jurisdiction.
Taking into account Botswana’s population of just over 2 million which is often considered too small for business, the country’s focus is now in taking advantage of its Southern African Central location and inter-border trade arrangements to penetrate the over 500 million people SADC market and consequently the continental consumer space. To create the much needed jobs, Botswana observes the need for mass industrialization outputting competitive goods and export ready products that can be absorbed by the international market.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Peggy Serame noted that the Market Street days, which provide a platform for views exchange and business dialogue could in turn even reduce the country’s import bill. “We are exposing our local produce and citizen manufactured products to potential traders and dealers because the market streets are taking place at strategic areas where the public can easily access and potential business partners can also indulge,” she , adding that it has been observed that Botswana continued to import some goods while they were available locally. “This is also what we are trying to address now through this platform. Participants in the trade and retail value chain would know what is available locally and ready for market uptake.”
She underscored that her Ministry will explore export-led growth by promoting export of goods for which the country has a comparative advantage. “Under the new road map the Export Development basket will encompass creation of market access through negotiation of trade agreements with strategic partners, identify priority sectors according to export readiness and capacity as well as implement rigorous development strategies of export incentives.” MITI also intends to robustly combat regulatory impediments for SMMEs and local manufactures.
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.