Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has on the 5th of October launched operations of one of its investments, Nampak DivFood Botswana in Lobatse. Officiating at the launch was Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Vincent. T. Seretse. Nampak DivFood Botswana is a Joint Venture between Nampak and BDC with 74% and 26% shareholding respectively.
The operation is a Lobatse based manufacturing plant specialising in the production of can ends or lids. Nampak is Africa’s largest packaging company which operates from 28 sites in South Africa, 15 sites in the Rest of Africa, as well as 8 sites in the United Kingdom. The group participates in extensive collection and recycling initiatives and continues to invest significant time and resources into the development of sustainable products.
In his welcome note address, Mr Bashi Gaetsaloe highlighted that the partnership between BDC and Nampak DivFood came to being after the review of Can Manufacturers Botswana business model. He mentioned that due to significant and prolonged challenges faced by the business, there was need for a turnaround strategy which was achieved by introducing Nampak as a technical partner.
“BDC identified Nampak as the best technical partner for this project for various reasons including: their technical expertise, experience; regional reach with a strong market as well as business ethos including commitment to green technology.” Gaetsaloe stated. He further added that Nampak DivFoods Botswana will be exporting 100% of their production thereby contributing to diversification of exports and foreign earnings for the country. During his keynote address the Minister reiterated that BDC’s mandate which remains crucial and relevant to date, is to promote and facilitate economic development of Botswana through funding of commercially viable enterprises in the country by partnering with both local and foreign investors.
The minister cited that the Corporation’s joint-venture operation with Nampak is therefore at thevery core of the principle of their foundation and the development of the country’s manufacturing base. “In delivering its mandate, BDC contributes towards Government’s broad objective of diversifying the economy, growing exports, and generating returns for the shareholder.” The Minister underscored this last point by highlighting that: “as the Government’s investment arm – BDC must create meaningful returns for its shareholders.”
The honourable Minister further stated that the Government of Botswana is passionate about industrialising Botswana and growing the economy. “We will continue to seek such partnerships, attract foreign direct investment and actively pursue a diversified and private sector led economy. “He confirmed. He continued to assure the business community that his Ministry will continue to create a conducive environment for local and foreign investors that seek to do business in the country. Seretse stated that in order for Botswana to be competitive in the world economy, the private and public sectors must be able to engage in trade, and offer high quality products and services, and gain market share locally, regionally and internationally.
Speaking to this point Mr Gaetsaloe mentioned that in delivering their mandate it is crucial that solid partnerships be fostered between the public sectors and the private sector. He further stated that at BDC, commercial viability and sustainability are key tenets that they pursue in any venture undertaken. “BDC will continue on an aggressive path of developing partnerships with the private sector as it is our mutual interest to strive to expand our businesses and achieve economic growth and sustainability for the country. We have developed an ambitious strategy premised on among others partnerships and regional reach which we believe will attract more giants of Nampak capacity going forward,” Gaetsaloe emphasised.
In closing Mr Gaetsaloe stated that in light of the strong forces reshaping the global and regional economies, multi-national and national corporations, new challenges continue to emerge which require continual repositioning. “At BDC we believe that the future of Botswana lies in our ability to create sustainable and globally competitive industries. Businesses should be ready to adopt smart processes and the latest technologies to ensure that they can compete regionally and internationally.
Not only does this abode well for the enterprise, but it also cements Botswana’s position as a destination for FDI.” Concluded Gaetsaloe, “We are proud that this JV between BDC and Nampak is shining example of a locally-based firm with the competitiveness and efficiencies to penetrate regional markets. In conclusion, the Minister extended his appreciation to Nampak for having the appetite to bring their business into Botswana. He further commended BDC for delivering on its mandate, and encouraged the Corporation to invest in more sustainable ventures that will develop the country’s economic landscape.
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.
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.
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.
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.