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Electra Mining Botswana attracting top names and industry support

Leading local and international suppliers to the mining, industrial and power generation sectors have embraced the business growth opportunity that Electra Mining Botswana presents in the region.

Komatsu Botswana, Atlas Copco Botswana, Hansen & Genwest, Cummins SA, Phoenix Contact, Worley Parsons RSA, Haas Factory Outlet CNC Machine Tools SA and Redpath Mining South Africa are amongst the many companies that will be exhibiting at this year’s show, which will be taking place at the Gaborone Fairgrounds from 12-14 September.

The Botswana Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (formerly the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources) has endorsed Electra Mining Botswana again this year. Support has also been given by the Botswana Chamber of Mines and the South African Capital Equipment Export Council, both of whom will be exhibiting.

Botswana has recently been ranked as the most attractive economy for those interested in investing in Africa, according to the latest Africa Investment Index (AII) (April 2017), by the Quantum Global Research Lab. Botswana comes out tops out of 54 African countries and scores highly across a range of categories such as credit rating, current account ratio, import cover and ease of doing business.

Commenting on the Index in the Africa Investment Review (AIR) (Q2 2017), Milton Delo of Quantum Global Research Lab, states that: “Botswana has a high ranking on the business environment factor due to the relatively efficient legal and regulatory environment, which are conducive to smooth business operations. Secondly, the country has a relatively low risk profile as depicted by the credit rating, current account ratio and import cover”.

These research findings along with the projected growth of Botswana’s economy of 4.2% in 2017, as highlighted in the February budget, signify future growth potential across industries. “As a company, we recognise the opportunity for business to grow significantly in Botswana over the next few years and through our investment in Electra Mining Botswana we are creating an environment that will stimulate trade across the industries we serve,” says Gary Corin, Managing Director of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, organisers of the show in partnership with Botswana-based Soapbox Communications.

Vuyiswa Mojela, Director of Soapbox Communications agrees. “As a citizen of Botswana and having dedicated years to supporting businesses in their endeavours to flourish and grow, my company is dedicated to working together with our partners, with government and other stakeholders to deliver a first-class trade exhibition that will support and benefit all those involved.”

A premier showcase of current and developing technology, new products, equipment and machinery, and the latest systems and services, Electra Mining Botswana will enable visitors to connect with leading service providers, industry business leaders and government representatives.  With access to technical expertise, the opportunity to view live demonstrations of products and equipment, and access to the free-to-attend seminars, visitors will gain valuable knowledge and insight which will assist them in their own businesses.

Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery is a member of the prestigious Montgomery Group, one of the most widely respected exhibition companies in the world with trade shows, consumer shows and specialist projects currently spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. They are also a member of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO). Soapbox Communications is a diversified and 100% Botswana citizen-owned Company, which has brought great insight, experience and knowledge to the show which will benefit all stakeholders involved.

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Botswana on high red alert as AML joins Covid-19 to plague mankind

21st September 2020
Botswana-on-high-alert-as-AML-joins-Covid-19-to-plague-mankind-

This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.

The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.

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Finance Committee cautions Gov’t against imprudent raising of debt levels

21st September 2020
Finance Committe Chairman: Thapelo Letsholo

Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.

He was speaking in  Parliament on Tuesday delivering  Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a  motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.

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Gov’t Investment Account drying up fast!  

21st September 2020
Dr Matsheka

Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.

The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.

The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.

The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.

This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.

Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.

Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.

However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.

Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.

When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.

This  as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.

Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.

The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.

Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.

In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.

Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.

Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.

Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.

Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance   Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”

He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”

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