A well-resourced family from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based in Abu Dhabi is said to be willing to inject about 300 million USD to resurrect the sleeping copper-nickel giant, BCL, WeekendPost has learnt.
According to sources, Sadique Kebonang‘s countless trips to Dubai, one of wealthiest economies in the world, has beard fruits, it is reported that last week a delegation from the Emirates Investment Group led by billionaire, Abdulla Mangoosh visited Botswana and was introduced to the second citizen by Minister Kebonang.
Ever Since government ‘s decision to put Bamangwato Concession Limited on provisional liquidation last year October 7, Kebonang who had just assumed the ministerial roles at the new Minerals , Green Technology & Energy Security has been spending most of his time on the skies flying to wealthy economies scouting for investors to reopen the mine.
Last year November at the African industrialization Day Commemoration in Selibe Phikwe, the minister announced that together with the Minister responsible for water & sanitation services they were engaging on a rigorous exercise to woo investors to Botswana in a bid to open businesses under the energy, minerals and water sectors.
Information gathered by this publication reveals that Kebonang’s wealthy Arabic team has met the chairperson of the Mineral Development Corporation, Reginah Sikalesele-Vaka as well as Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi and Selibe Phikwe Economic Revitalization Strategy Coordinator, Linah Mhohlo in highly classified and confidential closed meetings to discuss amongst other things possible investment into the liquidated BCL mine.
Sources indicate that Linah Mhohlo who has been working closely with Minister Kebonang to resource the negotiations with finance and investment acumen played a pivotal role in striking a Memorandum of Agreement with the Dubai billionaires. WeekendPost is informed that should everything go according to plan, restarting of the BCL complex mechanism will be commissioned in no time. The Mine which is currently under care and maintenance by provisional liquidator will be open for construction and commencement of refurbishment and switching on its most valuable asset, the smelter which is estimated to cost investors over 400 million pula.
However a little delay may arise from liquidation corridors with issues of satisfying creditors who are legally protected by law. Information reaching this publication indicates that although delays may arise from ironing out legal issues and settling BCL debts, a plan is in place to speedup final liquidation and avail BCL assets to potential investors.
A source from the government enclave tipped this publication that government may pump more money into liquidation to settle creditors in a bid to prevent a situation where Dubai buyers are discouraged, “Government may end up having a significant stake in the new BCL, however the independent investors will own most of the BCL,” said the source who preferred anonymity.
While in Botswana, Abdulla Mangoosh a United Arab Emirates citizen, founder and Chairman of Emirates House Group (a billion dollar Investment Empire) who is said to be a close ally of Dubai royal families, The Sheiks, visited Francistown and Selibe Phikwe, the areas affected by BCL demise.
Mangoosh allegedly also met Selibe Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit team as well as Special Economic Zones Authority. The Emirate Investment Group is said to be also exploring other business ventures apart from mining. WeekendPost gathered that Mhohlo’s involvement provides more of diversified investments to completely transform the Selibe Phikwe economy from BCL dependence.
A source within Phikwe Economic Recovery strategies told this publication that the Dubai investors will also explore putting money into agriculture and food processing, turning Botswana into their investment base of trade & logistics hub linking all Southern African countries.
Indian born nationalized Botswana citizen and wealthy business man, Satar Dada, who has interest in almost all business sectors in the country is said to be featuring within the Abu Dhabi-Botswana investment undertakings.
Information surrounding BCL reopening suggests that the motor magnate extended a helping hand to Mineral Development Corporation last week when he transported the Dubai investment gurus in his executive private jet. Satar Dada who has since admitted to upon enquiry that he availed his flying machine, says he was only assisting to harness investment. However reliable sources attach Dada to possible partnerships interest with the Emirate cash spinning business men. Dada commands a significant stake in agriculture and food industry especially chicken poultry and egg production, he also literally runs Botswana motor industry.
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.
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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.