Botswana’s imports and exports fell in August, hobbled by the low value of diamonds, data from Statistics Botswana has revealed.
The Monthly Trade Digest released by Statistics Botswana this week, indicates that August imports decreased by 7.4 percent (P382.8 million) from the July 2015 value of P5, 143.2 million, while exports were valued at P3, 026.5 million, a decrease of 34.4 percent (P1, 585.8 million) from the July 2015 value of P4, 612.3 million.
“The decrease in August 2015 total imports as compared to July 2015 has been attributed to low value of diamonds imports. The decrease in exports is largely due to rough diamonds from the aggregation process not being exported on a monthly basis” SB stated.
Comparing the August 2015 import figures to August 2014 import value shows a decrease of 21.7 percent (P1, 323.1 million), from P6, 083.4 million recorded during August 2014 to P4, 760.4 million recorded during the reference month. Total exports show a fall of 61.9 percent (P4, 926.9 million) from the August 2014 value of P7, 953.4 million to P3, 026.5 million in August 2015.
Export values are high during the months when rough diamonds from the aggregation process are exported and are low when there is no significant exportation from the aggregation process.
The monthly digest shows that the composition of imports by principal commodities for August Fuel contributed the most to total imports (P4, 760.4 million), having contributed 20.0 percent (P953.8 million), followed by Machinery &Electrical Equipment with 17.2 percent (P816.6 million) and Food, Beverages & Tobacco with 13.0 percent(P620.6 million). Diamonds, Chemicals & Rubber Products and Vehicles & Transport Equipment contributed12.7 percent (P603.9 million), 11.2 percent (P534.4 million) and 9.1 percent (P431.1 million) respectively, to total imports during the month under review.
Botswana‘s main trading partners are South Africa, Namibia, European Union, United Kingdom, Asia, China, Japan, Israel and Belgium.
According to the digest the bulk of Botswana’s imports 70.8 percent (P3, 372.2 million) came from South Africa the European Union (EU) was the second major source of imports supplying imports valued at P513.5 million, translating to 10.8 percent of total imports during August 2015. Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom contributed 6.8 percent (P325.6 million), 1.5 percent (P72.6 million) and 1.1 percent (P51.8 million) respectively to total imports during the same period.
Asia as a block, supplied imports valued at P277.9 million, representing 5.8 percent of total imports. India and China contributed 1.4 percent each, to total imports during August 2015, at values of P68.5 million and P65.6million respectively. Canada supplied 5.3 percent (P250.2 million) of total imports during the month under review. Zambia and Mozambique provided 2.1 percent (P99.0 million) and 1.6 percent (P74.3 million) respectively to total imports during August 2015.
Total exports for August 2015 were valued at P3, 026.5 million, with 33.1 percent (P1, 002.6 million) destined to SADC. South Africa and Namibia received 18.9 percent (P570.9 million) and 10.4 percent (P314.1 million) respectively, of total exports during the month under review. Exports destined to Asia were valued at P837.6 million, representing 27.7 percent of total exports during August2015. Israel received most of the exports destined to Asia at the value of P240.6 million, which is 7.9 percent of total exports.
A trade deficit of P1, 733.8 million was recorded in August 2015.
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.