There is potential market for cattle hides and skin in Ethiopia which Botswana could take advantage of, the United Nations Development Programme Economic Advisor, Fitsum Abraha has noticed.
Abraha said there is a desperate need for Botswana leather in Ethiopia and he knows this because several factory owners have asked him to link them up with Botswana leather traders so as to open up the intra-Africa trade between the two countries.
In fact he said a delegation from Ethiopia is due to visit the country anytime soon in a mission to open up the trade, “This is one nitch market for Botswana. After slaughtering, its skin is not put to much use. Most of it is wasted. Ethiopia produces a lot of leather products. The country do have large numbers of cattle but is not utilising theirs skin because it is not of good quality,” Abraha added.
The Economic Advisor was speaking during a side interview at the ongoing expert meeting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe which is discussing the agro-industry development for food and nutritional security in Africa.
Abraha said since Botswana has well managed cattle due to the quality standard of the European Union (EU), it could export its processed leather to Ethiopia whose leather industry is evolving very fast.
Ethiopia is fast becoming the world best producer of leather products such as foot wear, jackets, bags and others and Abraha’s view is that it has overtaken Italy which mostly produces for the rich class.
Abraha further advised that Botswana could get lessons from Ethiopia which has a Leather Training Institute and has produced good leather factory owners who are successfully selling their products to the international market.
According to the Economic Advisor, the Leather Park, which is due to be opened in Lobatse, the town hosting the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), very soon, could work together with the Ethiopian Leather Institute for the development of the leather industry in Africa.
Both Botswana and Ethiopia are land linked countries and Abraha sees that as a potential challenge in the transportation aspect of the trade between the two countries. “It would therefore mean that large quantities of the products would have to be air lifted and that could cause the end products to be a bit expensive,” further contended Abraha.
However the Economist’s view is that the bottom line is that, the two countries would financially benefit from the trade given that other natural resources that they are depended on have their own limitation. Botswana is the world top trader in diamonds which is the major source of income for the country followed by tourism and beef trade.
However Abraha said technology would soon take diamonds out of the market because the new synthetic diamond is slowly taking over the market. “Meat cannot be modified and as long as humans are there, it can be consumed. The best thing for Africa is to avoid selling raw products but sell modified goods and convert them into other resources. Returns from them should be inverted into other such as improving the hides and skins industry, make rivers into irrigation tunnels and reduce the consumption rate of the budget,” Abraha further advised.
His contention was that it is very important to realise that development does not come by consumption, but rather by saving and investment.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.