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Ease of doing business: Botswana up 1 notch

Botswana has slightly improved its position in the ease of doing business, according to the World Bank’s latest report. Botswana moved one notch up to the 71st position in the bank’s 2017 Doing Business report.

The report places Botswana as the third best country in Africa to do business, maintaining the same position as in the previous 2016 report. The country trails behind Mauritius and Rwanda. In the latest report, Mauritius is ranked 49th after going down by 17 spots but retained its spot as the best country to do business in Africa. Rwanda is the second best country in Africa after going 10 spots up to 56th position.

Botswana managed to move a place up following the country’s decision to make it easier to deal with construction permits by streamlining procedures. This was achieved by abolishing the requirement to submit a rates clearance certificate,

Doing Business focuses on regulation that affects small and medium-size enterprises, operating in the largest business city of an economy, across 11 areas. Ten of these areas—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also publishes indicators on labour market regulation which are not included in the distance to frontier score or ease of doing business ranking.

”The economic literature has shown the importance of such regulations for firm and job creation, international trade and financial inclusion,” the report stated.

The report which is in its 14th edition is titled “Equal opportunity for all”, and for the first time, the Washington-based development lender, took gender factors into consideration in assessing how easy it is to start a business, register property and enforce contracts.

“Why is it important to incorporate a measure of gender differences? First, around half of the world’s population is female and therefore it is important that Doing Business measures aspects of regulation that specifically impact this large group. For some years now the Women, Business and the Law data have shown, for example, that in some economies a female entrepreneur faces more obstacles than her male counterpart for a variety of economic and business activities. To the extent that these obstacles are ignored, the Doing Business data will be incomplete,” the report explained.

According to the report, in the previous year leading to the current year, 137 economies worldwide implemented 283 business regulatory reforms. “This represents an increase of more than 20% compared to last year. In fact, the number of economies that implemented at least one reform increased from 122 to 137, indicating that there are more economies trying to improve in the areas measured in Doing Business.

Of the economies in Europe and Central Asia, 96% implemented at least one doing Business reform,” before adding that Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the second-highest incidence of reforms, with 77% of economies implementing at least one reform captured by Doing Business.

However the report also noted that compared to previous years there is a lower number of top improvers from Sub-Saharan Africa even though this region accounts for over a quarter of all reforms globally. This comes after Kenya was the only African country that made the biggest improvement, moving 16 places up to be ranked 92nd in the latest ratings.

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Matsheka seeks raise bond program ceiling to P30 billion

14th September 2020
Dr Matsheka

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.

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Lucara sits clutching onto its gigantic stones with bear claws in a dark pit

14th September 2020
Lesedi La Rona

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.

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Botswana Diamonds issues 50 000 000 shares to raise capital

14th September 2020
Diamonds

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.

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