Connect with us
Advertisement

Tenders have killed the innovative entrepreneur

The first annual job summit was a success. It was a success in a sense that it gave a platform to business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry experts to discuss ways of creating jobs. But all the brilliant suggestions from panellists and participants were nothing new. It was a talk we have all heard often.

In fact I have written before that people know what needs to be done in reviving the economy so it could accommodate the unemployed. Talking and doing are two different things, what we fail to achieve is to implement all the brilliant ideas.


But it was the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s remarks that really made me wonder if he really understands the true nature of the country’s problems. This country’s problems run deeper, as they have been long in the making. The vice president remarked that the government has done enough to facilitate for the private sector to create jobs. On the surface he is correct, but on deeper inspection, the government has not only failed the private sector but citizens who dream of better lives. I will explain.


It goes without saying that Batswana are no longer hopeful about their future prospects. The economy is still dependent on diamonds, government has put a freeze on hiring, and salary increments haven’t been inspiring, the lethargic relationship between the private media and government, the dysfunctional politics, unemployed graduates, water and power crisis and the ever rising cost of living.


Indeed, it would appear that the realization that Botswana is no longer the land of opportunity that it has long claimed to be. To be sure, Botswana has many opportunities that are yet to be explored and enjoyed by the majority of citizens. But it is the economic inequality that has left so many dejected. They wonder why there is no longer trickledown economics anymore. Despite their hardwork and contributions, they are not getting their fair slice of the pie.


The things that they are told to be grateful for, free education and free health, are equally failing them. They have to endure long queues in hospitals and clinics and only to find out that the doctor is not there or their medications is not in the inventory. The pride and joy of receiving a degree has been replaced by nervousness as they contemplate what to make of their lives.


Batswana have become fearful and distrustful of the government. They doubt the government’s commitment towards them, when they speak of the government they do so in hushed tones lest they get sidelined in sharing the pie. Whether this fear is justified or not, is neither here nor there. It’s not exactly as if the government itself inspires trust and renewed hope. In fact the government has allowed for this fear and distrust to continue unabated. But we need to talk about this.


We should be having a deep debate on the growing inequality that threatens to tear our society. Inequality of opportunity has become pervasive, so has corruption both in the private and public sector.  In terms of inequality, it’s like we have a two tier economy, for them and for us. The same could be said about the courts of law. We live in disparate worlds of economic freedom.


It hasn’t always been like this. Those who have seen the golden era of Botswana’s economy look back to those days with great fondness. That Botswana era had been exciting; it was the darling and envy of neighbouring countries. There was a powerful sense of belonging, people could actually see their lives improving for the better. They had hope and on equal measure they could pin those hopes in their children to be successful. But that era is gone. The Botswana of today has become a cash cow. Money seems to be the only thing that matters.

People who prized developing the country and improving the quality of life of every citizen are being sidelined; they have been replaced by the ones that are more ruthless in the individualistic pursuits. They are cutting deals and looking out for themselves. They are consumed with avarice.


The private sector cannot create jobs given the prevailing circumstances. Those who are affected mostly are the youth, as the vice president rightly pointed out. Tenders have killed the innovative entrepreneur, he has been replaced by the tenderpreneur who is looking out on fleecing the government.

After all one can instantly become rich through tenders, but that wealth accumulation does not trickle down to the majority of citizens. Needless to say, the business of tenders is not sustainable in the long run. But the greatest danger lies in the citizenry resigning to the fact the only way to make it is through tenders.

The proliferation of briefcase companies that get millions of pula through tenders, yet do little in terms of expanding to build sustainable companies has done little to create employment. It’s shocking when the government encourages such behaviour, even encouraging people to engage in these get rich quick schemes.


 Those with strong connections to the government and private businesses wield so much power. They are the ones that control the flow of capital, they disregard laws and ethics all in pursuit of personal gains. Thomas Piketty, the controversial French economist, argues that the disparity between economic growth and investment growth, is the manifestation of inequality. Basically, Piketty is saying capital begets capital, on the same though chain, the rich will continue getting richer while the poor suffer.


We should never allow inequality to be the new normal, it’s not something that we can view as being inevitable. The government should come out strong against corruption, this could help in instilling hope amongst the citizens. The pursuit of money should never make us forget that we should coexist together, and that means acting honourably not gainfully. We need to reawaken the Botswana were hope filled the air, when people genuinely believed that if they work hard enough they will make it in life.

Continue Reading

Business

Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

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.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

Business

Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

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.

Continue Reading

Business

Global CEOs Back Plan to Unlock $3.4 Trillion Potential of Africa Free Trade Area

23rd January 2023

African heads of state and global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting backed the launch of the first of its kind report on how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa to guide businesses in entering and expanding in this area.

The report aims to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, sub-regional and continental value chains and accelerating industrialization, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, by area and number of participating countries. Once fully implemented, it will be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the potential to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. Conceived in 2018, it now has 54 national economies in Africa, could attract billions in foreign investment, and boost overseas exports by a third, double intra-continental trade, raise incomes by 8% and lift 50 million people out of poverty.

To ease the pain of transition to its new single market, Africa has learned from trade liberalization in North America and Europe. “Our wide range of partners and experience can help anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions in business and production dynamics,” said Børge Brende, President, and World Economic Forum. “The Forum’s initiatives will help to ease physical, capital and digital flows in Africa through stakeholder collaboration, private-public collaboration and information-sharing.”

Given the continent’s historically low foreign direct investment relative to other regions, the report highlights the sense of excitement as the AfCFTA lowers or removes barriers to trade and competitiveness. “The promising gains from an integrated African market should be a signal to investors around the world that the continent is ripe for business creation, integration and expansion,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Regional Agenda, Africa, World Economic Forum.

The report focuses on four key sectors that have a combined worth of $130 billion and represent high-potential opportunities for companies looking to invest in Africa: automotive; agriculture and agroprocessing; pharmaceuticals; and transport and logistics.

“Macro trends in the four key sectors and across Africa’s growth potential reveal tremendous opportunities for business expansion as population, income and connectivity are on the rise,” said Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat.

“These projections reveal an unprecedented opportunity for local and global businesses to invest in African countries and play a vital role in the development of crucial local and regional value chains on the continent,” said Landry Signé, Executive Director and Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Regional Action Group for Africa.

The Forum is actively working towards implementing trade and investment tools through initiatives, such as Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, to align with the negotiation process of the AfCFTA. It identifies areas where public-private collaboration can help reduce barriers and facilitate investment from international firms.

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme, Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world. For further information,

Continue Reading