For a small business that took off in 1992 the idea of a cross border trade was only a dream. Today Dynamic Road Services employs over fifty young Batswana and has since undergone a rigorous transformation exercise having benefited from the De Beers Seed Transformation Program.
The lady at the helm of the company, Shingi Chaza has been equipped with enough ammunition and mindset to transform their business and the community. As one of the prerequisites for applying a company needs to have annual revenue of between US $150,000 and US $15 million. Being from second generation, Shingi Chaza has an ambition of being an established business leader and advance away from the early- stage entrepreneurs.
She now attends the global program offerings from the high calibre professors of the Stanford Business School. Together with other 10 Batswana Business leaders who won were selected to enter the program, she goes to West Africa every 2 months to gain management training and networking support. The whole idea is to develop the skills, tools, and mindset to grow and scale their business, create jobs, and lead the region to greater prosperity.
Chaza a General Manager of an End to End business model with seven people in the managerial roles said her dream is to create more jobs for Batswana. She was flying in from Ghana last week and says ever since she started the program the business has experienced a lot of changes at the workplace and their customers are appreciating the transformation. “Employees are coming up with fresh ideas and they have also instilled in themselves a sense of ownership towards the business,” she said.
The program also helps leaders to come up with innovative thinking that has shaped most of the successful companies. “As small entrepreneurs we have learnt that this is not about big conglomerates that can do it, we do and refine it. It takes one’s focused efforts,” she shared. Chaza also said sometimes as small business sometimes they fail because they don’t have the right support. She explains the program as highly interactive. Unlike a traditional classroom, this year-long program will have you out of your seat, collaborating with peers, brainstorming ideas, and learning by doing (practical).
The program is a four one- week sessions that take place over the course of the first eight months, you will work with Stanford faculty to explore topics ranging from leadership, strategy, and business ethics to accounting, marketing, and value chain innovations. ‘The ultimate goal is to create your company’s transformation plan, a detailed action plan for your business with concrete steps to help you grow and scale over the next three to five years.’
According to their website in between sessions, a Seed- trained facilitator will lead in- company workshops to help them gain buy- in with their team; the facilitator will also provide ongoing support for small peer groups, called Leadership Labs. At the end of the eight months, they will present their transformation plan to Seed- trained staff and their peers. “This is a five year plan strategy,” said Chaza.
During the final four months they will work on implementing their transformation plan and attend Leadership Labs to share challenges and successes with peers. And, after the program is officially over, the networking and support continues, not just in their region, but across the entire STP community of current and former participants. Chaza says they all have a shared vision of uplifting Africa from poverty.
She is however very sceptical about the proportion of women leaders taking part in the program.She says amongst a team of 10 leaders from Botswana they are only two ladies something which is worries her. She called on other women to come on board and apply for the program next year.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.