While the nation wrestles with budget deficits, some good news has emerged on the other deficit front; the nation’s trade deficit appears to be taking a corner, with the January trade statistics having offset the trend of deficits recording a trade surplus.
Statistics Botswana’s latest International Merchandise Trade statistics monthly digest for the month of January reports that Botswana recorded a trade surplus of P3, 052.4 million. Botswana has been recording sustained trade deficits for some time now; dragging the economy down.
In January, the country spent P3, 928.8 million on imports, showing a decrease of 38.6 percent (P2, 470.2 million) from the December 2015 value of P6, 398.9 million. A comparison of January 2016 import figure to January 2015 import value shows a decrease of 11.5 percent (P509.5million), from P4, 438.3 million recorded during January 2015 to P3, 928.8 million recorded during the reference month. The decrease in import value in both cases is due to the low value of diamond imports for aggregation.
For the same period, Botswana earned P6, 981.1 million, from its exports showing an increase of 32.5 percent (P1, 711.9 million) from the December 2015 value of P5, 269.3 million. Statistics Botswana has attributed the increase as a result of more exports of rough diamonds during the current period. Total exports for January 2016 show a rise of 20.8 percent (P1, 201.7 million) from the January 2015 value of P5, 779.4 million.
According to the data, diamonds dominated both the exports and imports in January.
The composition of imports by principal commodities for January 2016 shows that Diamonds contributed the most to total imports (P3, 928.8 million).Other commodities included machinery & electrical equipment with 14.2 percent (P558.3 million); Fuel 13.7 percent (P538.9 million), Food Beverages & Tobacco with 12.9 percent (P508.7 million) and Chemical & Rubber Products with 8.6 percent (P339.2 million).
Diamonds constituted the bulk of exports with 87.3 percent (P6, 092.3 million). These exports consist of diamonds from diamond polishing companies as well as those from the aggregation process. Copper Nickel and Machinery & Electrical Equipment contributed 5.9 percent (P409.1 million) and 2.4 percent (P169.4 million) respectively, to total exports during the month under review.
During the period under review, the statistics agency stated that South Africa contributing 76.7 percent (P3, 012.1 million), while Namibia contributed 1.9 percent (P73.0 million). The European Union supplied imports valued at P276.3 million, accounting for 7.0 percent of total imports. The main contributor in this region was Belgium, having contributed 3.3 percent (P129.4 million, followed by Germany with 1.6 percent (P62.7 million) contribution to total imports during the same period.
Asia as a block, supplied imports valued at P236.9 million, representing 6.0 percent of total imports. China contributed 1.9 percent (P74.4 million) while India supplied 1.5 percent (P58.5 million) of total imports during the month under review.
In January Botswana earned P6, 981.1 million, from exports with 32.2 percent (P2, 249.2 million) destined to SADC. Namibia and South Africa received 17.3 percent (P1, 210.8 million) and 13.7 percent (P954.1 million) respectively, of total exports during the month under review.
Exports destined to the EU were valued at P1, 485.5 million, representing 21.3 percent of total exports during the period under review. Belgium received most exports destined to EU, having received 19.5 percent (P1,360.1 million) .Asia as a block received exports valued at P1, 956.9 million, representing 28.0 percent of total exports (P6,981.1 million) during January 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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.