The Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) recently held its 4th Extra-Ordinary Meeting of its Board which saw a record number of Private Sector representatives from the Region in attendance.
The outgoing Retosa Board members, comprising of Public Sector representatives from Member States in the Region, handed over to the new Retosa Board, which comprises of representatives of the Tourism Authorities and Apex private sector Tourism bodies. This new board structure, is a significant milestone in the life of this 20-year old organisation which was recently restructured, with a new value proposition for its key stakeholders, and a new vision which will be achieved through focused marketing and strategic investment.
Following a formal nomination process, Botswana, represented by Ms Lily Rakorong, CEO of HATAB (Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana) was unanimously elected as the new Chairperson of Retosa. In welcoming the new board members, Dr Sem Shikongo, Chairman of RETOSA and Director of Tourism and Gaming, Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia, said “Namibia wishes to thank the SADC countries for all the support they provided during Namibia’s tenure of the past 4 years. We sincerely wish the new board all the best in achieving the renewed mandate and the two key objectives: to increase competitiveness of the Region and, increased and improved global tourism market share for the Region.’
In accepting the baton from the outgoing chair, Ms Rakorong said, “I am humbled for this opportunity to lead a team of very experienced people. My role is just to co-ordinate everyone who plays a key role towards securing the smart partnership between the Region’s private sector players and RETOSA. The SADC governments have now the urgent task to activate the tourism coordinating unit at the SADC Secretariat which is a key requirement for the completion of the RETOSA transformation.” Ms Rakorong is deputized by Mr MD Maqutu, the CEO of Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation.
“As a member of RETOSA, South African Tourism would like to congratulate the new board led by Ms Lily Rakorong. We look forward to working with RETOSA in forging smart, innovative and pragmatic partnerships that will contribute towards building and growing an economically vibrant and resilient Africa,” says South African Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sisa Ntshona.
RETOSA’s revised repositioning strategy aims to move the SADC region share of tourism from its current 2% of global tourist arrivals and receipts respectively to 5 % within the next decade. This new vision is firmly founded on strong partnerships with the private sector operating in the region – a steep departure and a serious shift in paradigm from past practice which had seen more preoccupation with governments or public sector. Intra-Regional Tourism is essential to a thriving tourism economy in Region.
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.
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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.