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BEDP drives local exporters to economic makeover

The University of Botswana through Department of Marketing in collaboration with Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC) hosted a two day Botswana Exporters Development Programme (BEDP) training workshop for local exporters.

The BEDP is designated to develop a pool of appropriately skilled exporters and to contribute to a growing number of actively involved exporters in the now ailing economy. According to Professor Rina Makgosa, head of the department of Marketing in the University of Botswana, the programme is meant to drill the local exporters to be able to penetrate adequately foreign markets and take their businesses abroad.

She said some businesses or manufacturers have good products which can suit foreign markets as well as contribute to economic growth and diversification. She said action was lagging behind, hence the workshop intends to stimulate action to develop progressive exporters.
The workshop training covered aspects such as the necessity of why local companies should export, the need for diversifying the export trade and how exporters can penetrate the outside market environments. The initiative attracted representatives from small medium exporting businesses and large exporters such as Senn Foods.

Professor Edward Marandu challenged the local businesses to take exporting serious because of the good reasons that make Botswana to be exporting hub such as Botswana being an open economy. “The economy in Botswana is very open and therefore for exporters there is need to diversify the export base which is mainly mineral exports,” he said. Marandu further underscored that exporting comes with opportunities such as getting foreign exchange by the country, and creating employment opportunities because of the high level of production which is involved in exporting.

“Exporters also need to consider expanding into other new foreign flourishing markets such as South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. For now Botswana’s market is mainly limited to EU, SADC and USA which are congested in the meantime,” said Marandu. Although exporting is normally faced with trade barriers such as lack of adequate access to the markets due to limited resource constraints, the exporting businesses were encouraged to seek assistance from local organizations such as Botswana Export Credit Insurance (BECI) and BITC which can offer support to the exporters in terms of identifying markets for their goods and enhancing export competitiveness and readiness amongst the exporters. Regional and international trade agreements such African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), COMESA and SADC which also helps in marketing businesses of the party member states.

For her part, Dr Catherine Phambuka Nsimbi said exporters will always come across obstacles such as culture, religion or language barriers and risks as it entails entering the new territory. She therefore advised that intensive market research should be conducted by an exporting business and urged that the use of technology such as E–Commerce for marketing and advertising. She noted with great concern that research has shown there has been a decline in the textile export industry which used to be flourishing in the early 90s. She said that there is therefore need for formation of business clusters by local manufacturers who export.

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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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