“Lies, damned lies, and statistics,” the adage seemed to have found an audience with the panellists at the recently concluded job summit.
Industry experts and business leaders at the summit told participants that accurate data, or at least close to accurate, is the foundation for sustainable development and holds tremendous potential for understanding unemployment and job creation. There was a consensus amongst various speakers that Botswana’s data on labour market is not reflective of reality.
Dr Risco Mutelo, founder of Namibia Biometric Systems, said that there is urgent need for systems that allows planning for the future. He gave an example of the system that they are working on that will make corruption in the tender process futile. “The system will provide readily available results,” he remarked.
Mutelo, an expert in biometric systems, said that they also working on a system that will link employers and job seekers. The defining feature of this system will be its ability to generate reports on the number of job seekers and the qualifications they hold. Moreover, the system will curb nepotism as it will be very difficult to fool the system.
“You need statistics to understand their qualifications,” Mutelo said, asserting that such understanding is critical for proper decision making. Such decisions will entail on which critical fields of study to focus on instead of churning graduates in programmes that are already saturated in the labour market. Mutelo concluded by saying, proper data analysis is the cornerstone of development policies that seek to maximize on efficiency and productivity.
Economic data is crucial to potential investors and innovators. It allows them to estimate on their potential market share and future prospects. Although Botswana offers some economic data, Rapelang Rabana, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rekindle Learning, argues that the current economic data is not comprehensive.
“There is lack of sufficient data on economic activities”. She further said that impedes on the country’s ability to attract investors, she gave an example of technological entrepreneurs who require sufficient data so as to create relevant content for their targeted market. Rabana contends that the government should provide the structures of a well functioning economy then move aside to allow for the private sector to be competitive, she argued.
“The role of the government is to set up the government and get out of the way”.
Dr Joni Musabayana, deputy director, International Labour Organisation, South Africa office, said labour market policies are important, adding that sufficient data in the labour market is necessary as it guides labour market policies. Musabayana has been assisting Botswana- through the Ministry of Finance and development Planning- in coming up with employment policy for close to four years.
He explained that the International Labour Organisation have advised governments in Southern Africa, to provide them with labour surveys every two years. So far only 10 countries have acceded to that but Botswana is part of the five countries that are still to ratify the agreement. In his address, he implored Botswana to take data seriously.
During the participants and inputs session at the summit, a representative from the Botswana Statistics Office confirmed that they are aware of their shortcomings and they are working on them. She clarified that they are in the process of starting quarterly labour market reviews, emphasising that it will greatly improve on the statistics that will be able to closely portray the reality on the ground.
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.
The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.
In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.
Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.
China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.
Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.
On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.
According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.
The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.
Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.
According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.
The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.
Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.
Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.
Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana. The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.