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Botswana to ease doing business

President Mokgweetsi Masisi this week oiled his administrative machinery by boldly committing to make Botswana great again as far as ease of doing business and investment attraction is concerned.

Masisi assured  a High Level Consultative gathering in Gaborone on Thursday that he will spearhead an undertaking that will make Botswana’s best investment attraction destination in Africa and the world as well as loosen regulations and the go how of setting up a business in Botswana. Botswana has in recent years shown to decline on international rankings by several global investment institutions and economic organizations.

The Africa Investment Index (AII) 2018 report by the Quantum Global Research Lab  placed Botswana on fourth position as far as investment attraction is concerned, a three (3) spots decline compared to the 2017 Index which placed the landlocked middle income country on position 1. The latest report by the World Bank also ranked Botswana on position 81 out of 190 countries in the ease of doing business index compared to the 71st position in the previous report. This according to the first citizen is worrisome.

 “You will agree with me that this is of great concern and we need to redouble our efforts to attract and make it easier for companies to set up and do business in Botswana. You will have noticed in the agenda that the World Bank Group will present an update on how we are progressing in the Doing Business rankings and principally what we need to do to improve the situation,” he said.

Masisi said this before high raking government officials, captains of industries, cabinet ministers, corporate and stakeholder leaders borrowing from his inauguration speech when he ascended to the highest office in the land last month. “In my inauguration address, I made a commitment to prioritise the fight against unemployment, particularly amongst young people.

I am determined to work very hard to facilitate the creation of as many jobs in this economy as I possibly can. Jobs are, and will continue to be created when Government positions itself to do what it ought to do and to not do that which it ought not to do,” he said, adding that his government will create a conducive environment for the private sector to flourish and it is the private sector which will create jobs on a sustainable basis. “In that context, Government should be seen as a facilitator and enabler in the creation of jobs.”

According to Masisi, his government will play this facilitator role through continued dialogue and commitment to support the private sector’s efforts through reforms that will improve the doing business climate to expand investment and create employment, among other things.
In the past few years, Government has been engaged in a series of business friendly reforms across all sectors to improve the business climate. Cabinet has initiated a number of legislative amendments that support this agenda, including the approval of the Regulatory Impact Assessment Strategy, whose objective is to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the regulatory framework.

Masisi reiterated that this was done with broader objective of diversifying our economy adding that his administration has prioritized the implementation of the Cluster Development initiative across a number of sectors explaining that the three sectors that have been earmarked are beef, tourism and financial services. “The remaining sectors of mining and diamond beneficiation will be implemented as soon as possible,” he said. 

Furthermore the President explained that capacity building has started, with the focus on the Cluster teams, who are being trained to immediately roll out the methodology to private sector companies.

“This has been followed up by first level sector-wide consultations, with representation from all value chain players within the sectors, the engagements will be strengthened further, with the aim of fostering strategic action lines that will generate a change dynamic that will make companies and industry more competitive in the targeted sectors.” He further underscored that public-private partnerships will be crucial to propel this country to greater heights in terms of economic diversification, creation of employment and sustainable economic growth.

“Through this project, private sector companies will be assisted with the tools to enhance their competitiveness, accompanied by appropriate interventions from Government to address challenges in the doing business environment.”

Masisi lamented that with existing initiatives such as Special Economic Zones, Botswana Ones Stop Service Centre, Online registration of business government is confident that Botswana will bounce back to be the number 1 investment attraction place in Africa “With this in mind and in the spirit of reforming ease of doing business in Botswana, Cabinet has therefore decided to make adjustments & reorientation to our immigration position. Investors who have been struggling with VISAs, permits etc will now be facilitated as expeditiously as possible.”

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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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