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Gender diversity and inclusion in African businesses continues to show improvement

Over the last five years, the case for diversity and inclusion has looked good for Africa. In 2020, 38% of senior management positions in African businesses are held by women, compared to 29% of global businesses.

The African average has steadily risen from 23% in 2015 to 38% in 2020. The changes are reflective of the actions that businesses are taking to improve or preserve the gender balance of their leadership team. 78% of mid-market businesses globally and 85% in Africa, are actively working on removing barriers to gender parity at senior levels according to the latest research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report.

The number of businesses driving initiatives such as ensuring developmental opportunities (34% globally, 45% in Africa), creating an inclusive culture (34% globally, 38% in Africa) and flexible working (31% globally, 39% in Africa), have all seen an increase across all initiatives measured by the report.

Aparna Vijay, who recently took over as Partner in charge of the Corporate Services division of Grant Thornton says, “It is extremely encouraging to see deliberate action taking place as mid-market businesses ramp up activities that encourage progress and accessibility to leadership positions for women. The last couple of years have seen a sharp rise in the representation of women at a senior level within African businesses, and this is also evidenced within the Botswana market.

With women such as Ms Naseem Banu Lahri, Ms Motshabi Mokone and Ms Jane Tselayakgosi taking on roles as Managing Director of Lucara Botswana, Managing Director of Absa Life Botswana and Group CEO of Hollard Insurance Botswana, respectively, the possibilitie looks positive for women in senior leadership roles in Botswana.”

With many mid-market businesses now being intentional in their efforts to boost equality, markets may continue to see more women in leadership positions over the coming years as initiatives are embedded and begin to show results. Aparna says, “If we want to continue to see more women in senior positions, businesses need to be intentional. Policies that ensure diversity of thought at the decision-making table, that address equal opportunity in career development and bias in recruitment and develop inclusive cultures can’t just be a “nice to have” – they are a must. Once implemented, these policies must be enforced and regularly reassessed to judge their effectiveness. When that is combined with real commitment from senior leadership, only then will real transformational change take place.”

Significant findings:

• 38% of senior management positions within mid-market African companies are held by women (29% globally)

• 98% of African businesses have at least one woman in senior management (87% globally)

• 85% of mid-market African businesses are actively working on their gender balance (78% globally). Common initiatives include:

● Ensuring equal access to developmental opportunities (45% in Africa, 34% globally)

● Enabling flexible working (39% in Africa, 31% globally)

● Creating an inclusive culture (38% in Africa, 34% globally)

● Mentoring/coaching (38% in Africa, 26% globally)

● Reviewing recruitment processes (27% in Africa, 26% globally)

● Gender quotas (27% in Africa, 22% globally)

● Reward for senior management linked to targets (23% in Africa, 23% globally)

● Unconscious bias training (19% in Africa, 21% globally),

• The number of women at CEO level in Africa has increased from 11% in 2019 to 22% in 2020 (15% in 2019 to 20% in 2020, globally), while those in CFO roles has increased from 30% in 2019 to 43% in 2020 (dropped from 34% in 2019 to 30% in 2020, globally).

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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