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US investors express interest in housing

Investors from United States Of America (USA) have expressed interests in partnering with Botswana’s Private Sector in developing affordable housing property.

The Americans who are renowned for constructing affordable houses for the past five years in Africa were in Botswana presenting their proposal saying they had keen interest in developing approach will ensure the delivery of complete community eco-systems that will include access to core services that include schooling, healthcare, retail outlets

Imison is a leading international construction technology in Africa. Imison has built thousands of structures throughout Africa that include low cost to luxury homes, schools, clinics, social infrastructure and hotels. Imison has a proven track record of delivering to remote sites on very large scale using up to 95% local unskilled labour.

Stephen de Blanche the Director at Imison Africa Construction Company said they have done their research and realized that Botswana has a serious housing shortage for civil servants as well as student’s accommodation.

The Botswana Housing Corporation’s lowest house/flat prices in the current market are in excess of P330 000. Clearly this shows just how out of reach the BHC houses are for many ordinary Batswana.  The low income or no income citizens of this country are not in the BHC’s strategic market aim.

“We have been constructing affordable accommodation using innovative ways in Africa for 4-5 years developing full communities in a short space of time. It’s a solution that we are proposing to Botswana,” said de Blanche.

Imison’s target is to provide accommodation for civil servants in the 16 districts of Botswana as well as student’s accommodation at Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA).

Shortage of accommodation for civil servants has been identified as one of the major factors contributing to poor service delivery. Blanche highlighted that their plan is to at least develop 1700 units and each community having supporting structures like schools, clinics and fire stations. For BIUST, Imison is targeting to build 1000 units of accommodation and 500 units for the Botswana College of Agriculture.

The estimated initial investment needed for constructing civil servants accommodation is P1.2 billion. The thinking is that The funding could be structured as a combination of Commercial Bank Funding (2 Years Grace Period during the construction, 5 Years Terms Loan (Principal &Interest) to service commercial bank debt and a Pension Fund or DFI Longer Term Financing (2 Years Grace Period during the construction, 7 Years IR Only, followed by 6Years (P&I). To service the full needs, FAR Property & Partners together with BHC could also explore the Bond Markets using Residential Mortgage Backed Securities or REITs.

Blanche added that in-order to develop the 1500 units for students as well as the 1700 units for civil servants accommodation they would want government guarantee and access to land.

Responding to the Americans proposal, Assistant Minister for Education Unity Dow said “there is a housing shortage in Botswana and we need houses urgently, BHC does not have the capacity to deliver.” Dow added that she had to postpone BIUST opening due to shortage of student’s accommodation.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
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.

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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.

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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.

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