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Ministry of Finance delays taxing high income earners

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has resolved to adjourn the initiative of allowing only high income earners and those with additional income to file tax returns.

This decision was reached taking into consideration the present state and day-to-day running of the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS). When answering a question in Parliament, the minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo said it has been established that BURS has been experiencing constraints which have cumulatively hampered effective delivery of services to taxpayers hence the delay of the initiative.

  He said among these constraints is shortage of staff which has proved to be the main challenge as it handicap BURS` service delivery. Debt management, tax audits and investigations are said to be mostly affected by the said shortage of man power.  With predicaments of this kind, the ministry of finance sees it fit to avoid more complications hence resorting to putting off its initiative so as to allow BURS to recuperate.

Matambo said in addressing BURS` challenges and ensuring that their initiative is implemented, a significant investment in the use of information technology has been made by BURS. “Investment in the use of information technology is believed to eventually come in handy more so that the world has transformed into a global village. More over the investment is expected to simplify processes and enhance operations,” said Matambo.

 Furthermore, a blind eye has not been turned on the issue of manpower shortage as the ministry in collaboration with BURS is working on increasing manpower resources. This was also was highlighted by Mathambo in parliament when he said his ministry pride itself with excellence and enforcement in areas that requires urgent attention.

It has also come to the knowledge of this publication that BURS has since 2017 implemented a new organizational structure which provides for additional manpower for the better carrying out of its tax revenue mobilization and border management mandates. Development of skill is also one of the strategies that BURS has embarked on to overcome its challenge. This strategy when presented to the parliament by minister Matambo was said to be used in the fight against new generation tax avoidance such as transfer pricing and treaty shopping. Matambo highlighted that collaboration with revenue authorities and international organizations is being implemented so as to train and build BURS officials in critical skills.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is confident that the implementation by BURS of the ongoing measures will go a long way in addressing the resource constraints that is confronted with more so that they have collaborated with African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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Global CEOs Back Plan to Unlock $3.4 Trillion Potential of Africa Free Trade Area

23rd January 2023

African heads of state and global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting backed the launch of the first of its kind report on how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa to guide businesses in entering and expanding in this area.

The report aims to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, sub-regional and continental value chains and accelerating industrialization, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, by area and number of participating countries. Once fully implemented, it will be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the potential to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. Conceived in 2018, it now has 54 national economies in Africa, could attract billions in foreign investment, and boost overseas exports by a third, double intra-continental trade, raise incomes by 8% and lift 50 million people out of poverty.

To ease the pain of transition to its new single market, Africa has learned from trade liberalization in North America and Europe. “Our wide range of partners and experience can help anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions in business and production dynamics,” said Børge Brende, President, and World Economic Forum. “The Forum’s initiatives will help to ease physical, capital and digital flows in Africa through stakeholder collaboration, private-public collaboration and information-sharing.”

Given the continent’s historically low foreign direct investment relative to other regions, the report highlights the sense of excitement as the AfCFTA lowers or removes barriers to trade and competitiveness. “The promising gains from an integrated African market should be a signal to investors around the world that the continent is ripe for business creation, integration and expansion,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Regional Agenda, Africa, World Economic Forum.

The report focuses on four key sectors that have a combined worth of $130 billion and represent high-potential opportunities for companies looking to invest in Africa: automotive; agriculture and agroprocessing; pharmaceuticals; and transport and logistics.

“Macro trends in the four key sectors and across Africa’s growth potential reveal tremendous opportunities for business expansion as population, income and connectivity are on the rise,” said Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat.

“These projections reveal an unprecedented opportunity for local and global businesses to invest in African countries and play a vital role in the development of crucial local and regional value chains on the continent,” said Landry Signé, Executive Director and Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Regional Action Group for Africa.

The Forum is actively working towards implementing trade and investment tools through initiatives, such as Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, to align with the negotiation process of the AfCFTA. It identifies areas where public-private collaboration can help reduce barriers and facilitate investment from international firms.

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme, Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world. For further information,

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