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IDM reflects on partnership with US Flagship University

Indiana University, one of the flagship learning institutions in the United States (US) is looking forward to enhancing its partnership with Institute of Development Management (IDM). The partnership has been in place since 2010.

Indiana University is a major multi-campus public research institution, grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, and a world leader in professional, medical, and technological education. It has consistently been ranked among top schools in the world.
IU is home to world-class business and music schools; the world’s first school of philanthropy, and US’s first school of informatics and largest medical school. It has countless other academic programs that are among the world’s best.

Indiana's Kelley School of Business is reputed to not only provide students with a rigorous academic curriculum, but it also builds leadership-development opportunities, such as student clubs and peer coaching, into each semester so students can grow their soft skills.

Kelley touts itself as the largest business-school alumni network in the world and has a 94% job-placement rate within three months of graduation. Top employers include Google, JPMorgan Chase, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Amazon, and PepsiCo.
Tim Smith, the university’s Director of International Relations and Business Development at Kelley School Business, alongside Professor Rex Stockton form Department of Counselling and Education Psychology are currently in Botswana to deliberate on the institution’s relationship with IDM.

Since the two institutions entered into partnership in 2010, both parties have enjoyed the benefits from that partnership. The partnership is premised on helping IDM to achieve its objectives by addressing the challenges facing the country, chief among them, public health and developing entrepreneurs. IU helped IDM to develop its BA in Public Health programme. The four year programme produced its first graduates in 2017.

“We are excited to further develop our relations with this visit. We will put in place a strategic plan on how we can leverage this relationship for a greater benefit. We want to contribute to Africa,” he said. “We also want to learn from them [IDM]. We want to ensure that our programmes are relevant. This can be achieved through understanding. Understanding comes through listening, and learning the context.”

Smith said businesses are changing and evolving and if they want to be relevant, the IU needs to play an active role on what is happening. “We will be thrilled to extend this partnership to the economy of the country. We want this partnership to be applied; we want this partnership to have an impact. How that will look is part of the discussion we are having now,” he said.

We started first with better understanding of the context. Now we are developing a working strategy to implement these action ideas. I think it is in action plan to start seeing those fruit. As part of the partnership, IDM staff has visited the IU campus in the US while in turn, the IU staff and students have also visited IDM campus in Botswana. The two institutions have been publishing papers together.

Professor Stockton said the relationship between the two entities have been fruitful since 2010. He has been involved in training IDM staff as well with engagements that include public entities such as NACA. IDM Country Director Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe said through the public health programme, that the institution formulated with the help of Indiana University, they are hoping that they will contribute immensely towards changing people’s lives especially looking at turning around the country’s fortunes in life expectancy, which is very low. Botswana’s life expectancy has averaged 55 over the last 10 years.

“Through our programme [Public Health], we believe we are training practitioners who change of the lives of the people by will bring these social determents of health. One of the challenges we are facing as a developing country is limitation in resources especially in the area of public health. We believe the contribution of IU is very important because it helped us to build the capacity that we need. Even now our students are already making an impact in the communities when we send them for attachment because they are already practicing what they learnt,” she said.

Dr Seitio-Kgokgwe said IDM is influential at national level. She gave an example of the institution’s contribution in developing the evaluation and monitoring programme as required in today’s world including by institutions such as World Bank. About 30 entrepreneurs, who were prize winners in last year’s Youth Business Expo have been enrolled under a special training programme, which is also part of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business contribution to the partnership.

The IDM was established in 1974 as a regional organisation in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (BLS) to help meet the management needs of the Region through management development activities including training, consultancy, research, and the establishment of a Management Resource Centre.

IDM has traditionally conducted consultancy projects in the BLS countries but, in recent years, these services have been used throughout the SADC Region. The expertise available from IDM is extensive, covering a wide range of subject areas in five core departments.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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