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Barclays Botswana’s Van De Merwe exits in October

After many speculations about the departure of the Barclays Bank Botswana’s (BBB) Managing Director (MD) Reinnete van de Merwe, the Board Chairman Odumetse Motshidisi confirmed the news at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday in Gaborone.  

The outgoing MD who has been with the Botswana Bank since 2014 has noted that although she is departing she remains a part of the bank and will always be available to offer support where necessary. Speaking on the departure, the Board Chairman highlighted that Reinnete leaves Barclays with a strong and capable Executive team as well as highly engaged and motivated employees.  

He noted that he had the privilege to watch the outgoing MD drive the Bank to greater heights. He cited that she led the Bank through some of the most difficult years in its history and successfully started off necessary changes that will transform the Bank into an effective and efficient organization.  Motshidisi is confident that the Bank will be able to withstand the unprecedented market challenges. Although not confirmed, sources have revealed that the MD will leave in October this year.

When reflecting on her journey, the outgoing MD noted that under her leadership they successfully executed their strategy over the last couple of years in a challenging economic environment and they remain positive on an upward trajectory. Van de Merwe highlighted that recent data from the statistics authorities shows that full year 2017 GDP growth was 2.4 percent while Inflation remained close to the lower bound of the Bank’s medium-term objective range of 3-6 percent during 2017, and was 3.2 percent in December 2017.

She observed that price developments were in the context of moderate domestic demand pressures, restrained growth in personal incomes and benign external price pressures. The outgoing MD Highlighted that even though the Pula depreciated against the South African Rand (ZAR)  in the fourth quarter of 2017 as the rand strengthened in the light of change in the ruling party’s leadership they have remained ground strong.  On the other hand, she further highlighted the Pula-US Dollar exchange rate was 9.87 in December 2017 compared to 10.31 in September 2017, reflecting an appreciation of 4.4 percent.  

Even after going thorough this trialing times, it has been established that the Bank’s Strategic Focus has resulted in  Business reporting a remarkable Profit before tax (PBT) of P558 million for the period ending 31st December 2017 representing a year- on-year growth in performance of 13 percent when  in comparison to the profit in the previous year. Net Interest income increased at 9 percent Year on Year (YoY).

The Bank has explained that despite interest rate cut of 50 basis points, driven by increased customer transaction volumes in Retail and Business Banking, Loans and advances to customers increased by 14 percent year-on-year to P10.7bn.  The bank realized a revised impairment collection process led to a 45 percent decrease on credit impairments. The AGM also provided information on the Bank’s plan to adapt part of a newly refocused Pan African business approach which is set to be a key component to growth.

The new strategy has placed the bank at a level where they want to continue being market leaders and growing Corporate and Business Banking in chosen sectors. Among other things including digital growth, the bank also wishes to deliver commitment of shared growth with an approach that speaks to mutual benefit and a positive change in communities.

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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