Ministry of Investment Trade & industry (MITI) will in the remaining part of the National Development Plan 11 spend over P1.7 billion on developing enabling infrastructure and facilities for the highly anticipated Lobatse Leather park and various projects under Special Economic Zones
This was revealed by Minister Peggy Serame when delivering the Ministry’s Budget estimates for NDP 11 Midterm review. Serame told lawmakers that in the 2 and half financial years remaining, the ministry will pump in all the necessary resources to ensure the full operationalisation and implementation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and the Leather Industry Park. She said the two projects will create thousands of jobs – during construction and operation. The members shared that SEZ Airport projects are already underway.
LOBATSE LEATHER INDUSTRY PARK
Conceptualized in the previous National Development Plans the much anticipated Leather Park was conceived from various studies undertaken by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) that uncovered many blockages in the leather value chain.
The purpose of establishing the Leather sector park is to unblock those limiting factors in the value chain and revive the leather industry in Botswana. The leather industry has relied on imported finished leather and hence making it difficult to quickly develop the SMMEs.
The leather park is expected to catalyze manufacturing of all leather products in the country. This project is aimed at processing all the hides and skins generated locally into finished leather.
The leather sector park with a common effluent treatment plant was adopted as a development model to address lack of finished leather for our SMMEs and create enabling environment for them. It is envisaged that the project, once fully operational, will create more than 5 000 jobs.
Minister Serame told parliament that her ministry intends to spend a whooping P890 million in the Leather project. Business case review was completed in November 2019 the tender for construction of facilities was closed on 21s August 2020 and construction is expected to commence next year.
SPECIAL ECONMIC ZONES
The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) policy was adopted by the Government of Botswana to attract world class domestic and foreign investors by offering them serviced land, developed, infrastructure, state of the art technology, beneficial inter-sectoral linkages, improvements in economies of scale, specially trained skilled labour force and targeted economic incentives.
The SEZ policy‘s cardinal aim is to diversify the economic and export base of Botswana beyond the diamond mining sector. Eight strategic areas across Botswana have been identified for promoting the development of a variety of industries that will lead to the diversification of the economy through public sector, private sector and public-private partnerships.
Selibe Phikwe, Francistown are among the areas that will push this agenda. Minister Serame told parliament that implementation of two special economic zones is thus at an advanced stage. Detailed design and land servicing at the Gaborone International Airport Special Economic Zone Boulevard 1 has commenced and is expected to be completed in November 2020.
She said the land servicing will avail 100 hectors and provide access serviced land to investors who wish to set up export focused businesses in Botswana. The other Special Economic Zone at advanced is the Construction of 12 Silos in Pandamatenga, in a bid to develop the area in to a premier arable farming and cereal production hub to feed Botswana and Southern Africa.
Minister Serame revealed that the tender for construction of the silos was awarded in March 2020, while the completion of the project is expected in August 2021. For the remainder of National Development Plan 11 Serame revealed that her ministry will spend over P695, 300.00 million on Special Economic Zones projects.
Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.
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Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.
A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.
Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.
As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.
Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.
The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.
Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.
“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.
He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.
Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.
“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.
He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.
He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc
“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran
Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.
“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.
Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.
“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.
He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.
“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams
He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .
Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.
“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.