The services sector, in particular tourism, is one of the major contributors to Africa’s economy through such functions as providing foreign exchange and employment. It is therefore crucial that governments and the private sector are increasingly working together to grow the sector, that accounts for approximately 7.8% of the African GDP.
“We believe that business opportunities and investment potential within Africa’s tourism sector are significant. It’s a vast market that holds promise for businesses looking for new markets,” said President and CEO of Corporate Council on Africa. Florizelle Liser was addressing the ongoing 41st Annual World Tourism Conference in Kigali, Rwanda on Tuesday.
Sharing the same platform, UNCTAD’s Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi commended intra-African tourism, saying that due to its non-seasonality, and characterized by conference, medical, education, and business tourism; is one of the fastest growing tourism in the continent, providing more sustainable support to the hotel industry. “Over the past 10 years, intra-African tourism grew from 34% to 44% of the total number of tourists in Africa, with a projected growth of 50% over the next 10 years,” said Kituyi.
The Role of Online Travel
In this light and in today’s globally digital world, tourism related businesses are striving to position themselves on the online map. The travel sector is one that has over the years evolved in its online presence, notably from the mid 1990’s. Today, most travelers for both business and leisure plan their trips, book their hotel stays and flights online. In a report published earlier this year by Jumia Travel highlighting Kenya’s hospitality trends, 96% of primary travel searches in the country are done online.
44% of them are made less than a week before check-in, while 25% of the customers search and book a hotel room online the same day. Globally, the number of bookings made on the internet stand at 148.3 million while the percentage of same day hotel reservations via smartphone stand at 65%. Also speaking at the 3-day Kigali conference whose theme is – Unlocking Africa's Potential Through Tourism – Jumia Travel’s Country Manager Cyrus Onyiego, noted that “the convenience brought about by the availability and accessibility of services online at the travelers’ comfort, has been a key contributor to this evolution that has made a vivid impression on the travel industry.”
By enhancing travelers’ options, online travel is changing tourism trends in the region. Thus, adopting unique and seamless models such as online payments will help relevant players including travel agents, hotels, and even government ministries to give tourism consumers personalized experiences, while maintaining strong margins.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.