In a move likely to attract public scrutiny, the Public Procurement Asset and Disposal Board (PPADB) has rejected Botswana Police Services (BPS) ‘s decision to directly appoint Huawei Technologies Botswana for expansion for the second consecutive time.
According to documents seen by this publication, the PPADB at its sitting of 29th July did not approve “Request by Botswana Police Service for direct appointment of Huawei Technologies Botswana (Pty) Ltd, ICT Dynamix (Pty) Ltd, and Hiwing and Mechanical Technologies for the Supply, Delivery, Installation, Configuration and Commissioning of Additional Cameras and LTE System to the Existing Safer City Solutions for Botswana Police Services for a period of two (2) years.”
Reports indicate that the tender is worth between P200 million to P300 million.
The tender (Tender No: PPADB 0/5/2/1-1), submitted on 26th July 2021, was “not approved” by the PPADB.
It is understood that BPS submitted this tender after the Board rejected it at its sitting of 15th July 2021.
The tender bearing the same number, PPADB 0/5/2/1-1, submitted by BPS to BPS and “not approved,” was also titled: “Request by Botswana Police Service to re-tender for supply, delivery, installation, configuration and commission of additional cameras and LTE System to the existing Safer City solution for Botswana Police Service Tender No. Ser 5/2/1(1) by inviting Huawei Technologies Botswana, Hiwing Mechanical and Electrical Technology Corp, and ICT Dynamix Pty Ltd.
After the Board did not approve this tender, it further “withdrew and set aside the approval of the direct appointment of Huawei and ICT Dynamix for the same tender and advised BPS to submit an appropriate request before the Board to progress the procurement.”
While PPADB did not disclose reasons why it rejected the direct appointment of Huawei for more than two consecutive times, sources close to the Board and BPS have informed this publication that after it was instructed (by PPADB) to resubmit the tender by the Board, BPS again put up Huawei Botswana Technologies’ name for direct appointment as its bidder of choice instead of going for a competitive open tender.
It is understood that BPS is caught between a rock and a hard place because the way the project is designed is such that only Huawei can expand it; hence, the BPS continues to submit the same company name for continuity purposes. Reports indicate that the PPADB is under pressure from local companies querying the wisdom of appointing the same company now and then without floating the tender. They could also bid for the expansion of the safer city project.
Sources say Botswana Police Services had tried several times to explain in its submissions before the PPADB the circumstances under which it finds itself. However, the latter is not allegedly budging, insisting that BPS submit an “appropriate” tender.
The multi-million project was launched around 2017 to keep Gaborone and Francistown much safer and secure by virtue of being the country’s major centres of development and economic drivers. The BPS had also intended to roll out the project to other parts of the country if it proved successful.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.
The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.
Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa
A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.
COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”
According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.
“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”
Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”
Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.
Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.
“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.
For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.
“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.
Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.
The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ, Patrick Thedi said, “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”
As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.
Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele, who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.
The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as well as bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.
TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050, has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.