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CEDA to host joint CEO Forum

The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) will on the 2nd of November host a joint forum of Chief Executive Officers (Joint CEO’s Forum) of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI). This comes after the financing and advisory institution was awarded the rights to host the Joint CEO’s Forum ahead of other development finance institutions (DFIs) from Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa at a Joint CEO’s Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) in Kampala, Uganda.

 The WFDFI comprises of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI), the Association of Development Finance Institutions in member-countries of the Islamic Development Bank (ADFIMI), the Association of Development Finance Institutions in Latin America (ALIDE) and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and Pacific (ADFIAP).

The Joint CEO’s Forum which happens every two years was first held in 2012 in South Africa, followed by another forum in Malaysia in 2014.The event brings together participants from WFDFI member Associations in over 100 countries, CEO’s, Government Officials, representatives from Central Banks and private financial institutions as well as Ministers of Trade and Finance. The two day conference will be held under the theme “DFIs Sustaining Relevance in the Age of Disruption.” This year’s  Joint CEO’s Forum will discuss current trends in the global DFI environment, foster closer working relationship among CEOs and Senior Executives of DFIs, share and learn best practices in development financing operations and develop and strengthen partnership for cross-border investment promotion and financing.

“The theme is considered apt as it challenges the relevance of DFIs in today’s rapidly changing financial system and economic structure. While it is widely accepted that DFIs play a major role in facilitating development, their role, institutional structure, funding sources and success measures are largely dependent on the enabling financial system and economic structure within which they operate. The theme therefore compels DFIs to adapt and innovate so as to deliver services that speak to the needs and challenges faced by the people today,” said CEDA in a press release.

The financing agency further said that the term ‘disruption’ talks about innovation, shifts in demographics, societal behavior and needs, economic and market conditions as well as political, legal and regulatory regimes. “Therefore DFIs are challenged to tackle disruption by refining their objectives, optimizing board and government systems, improving efficiency in operations and accelerating progress and sustainability. Against this backdrop, it is no longer business as usual for DFIs.”

Mr. Thabo Thamane, the chief executive officer of CEDA, said that the forum comes at an apt time given the challenges that the global economy has faced in the recent past, and presents an opportunity to share experiences on how development finance institutions are facing these challenges. “For CEDA and Botswana this opportunity is even more pronounced given our commitment to entrepreneurship and empowerment; achieving economic diversification, encouraging competitive and sustainable citizen enterprises and creating sustainable long-term employment opportunities. The recent disruptions have therefore affected the Botswana economy and presented a challenging opportunity to effectively execute on our mandate,” He said.

He further explained that with rapid advances in technology such as e-banking and mobile banking, it is imperative for DFIs to adopt new technologies that will improve operational efficiency, risk management and service delivery, also adding that the forum will also discuss how DFIs can explore innovative sources of revenue to achieve sustainable development. There will also be a panel discussion aimed at getting thoughts and insights on sustaining the relevance of DFIs going forward

 “However, this is not to say that DFIs have become irrelevant as special policy institutions through which governments can mobilize and deploy financial resources to citizens for rapid development. Our aim is to discuss ways in which we can innovate and face these challenges head on so that DFI’s can remain relevant going forward,” said Thamane.

Mr. Thamane, who has been at the helm of the agency for the past 5 years, believes that forum will unlock opportunities in Botswana, emphasising that the country provides an exceptional location for hosting the event given its reputation as one of the world’s most outstanding places to do business. He said this has been made possible by zero tolerance to corruption, sound legal system and adherence to the rule of law, political stability and sustained periods of economic growth.

“Gaborone in itself as a city offers a wide array of activities to suit both the corporate and the tourist. The sights and sounds of the city will keep you entertained throughout the days of the Forum. I hope you will find the Forum very valuable and your stay in Gaborone enjoyable and memorable. Let me also invite you to use your visit to Botswana as an opportunity to explore other parts of the country. Botswana is a host to a World Heritage Site, the pristine Okavango Delta. We will be happy to assist you plan a memorable and a once in a life time trip,” Mr. Thamane said in a message to participants.

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

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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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

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.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

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.
MTN’s evolution

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.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

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.

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