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Saving lives saves the economy  

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Botswana is not performing well in the road safety sphere as the country continues to record high numbers of fatalities from year to year. The recorded deaths over the last three years are 462 in 2018,457 in 2019 and 325 in 2020.

According to the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVAF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Michael Tlhagwane, road safety does not only save lives, but it also reduces the resources spent on road accident victims.

These resources could be channeled to other challenges that we face as a country like the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and for economic development. As stakeholders we should work towards the same goal of “Zero road crashes to Preserve lives”.

Mr. Tlhagwane said preventing road traffic crashes is everybody’s responsibility and it involves appropriate behavior on the road, including obeying all road rules. In this era of COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are congested.

Therefore, if people continue to cause road crashes because of reckless driving, drunken driving, driving cars that are not roadworthy, as well as failing to observe road safety signs, we will end up having more road crash victims who need to be cared for. This results in putting more strain on our health care system that is already overwhelmed by the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

Road crashes pose a real threat to the economic development as those who sustain injuries and perish on road crashes are the youth who are the future of our beloved country. The social and economic trauma that comes with being involved in a road crash is far reaching, as many are left with permanent injuries leading to disability and children are left as orphans.

Road crashes can be avoided if we all practice safety on the road by planning our trips on time, avowing unnecessary movements, using road worthy vehicles, observing all road signs, and driving sober.

Mr. Tlhagwane noted that as of the 27th of June 2021, 179 people had lost their lives in road crashes, as compared to 119 deaths recorded as at the 27th of June 2020. He said the reduction in the number of road crashes recorded in 2020 was attributable to national lockdowns and movement restrictions between April and May 2020.

Statistics indicates that 95% of road crashes are caused by behavioral factors such as such as driving above the recommended speed limits, recklessness, inappropriate overtaking, distracted driving and driving under the influence of liquor and drugs.

One of the strategies that the Fund use to create awareness on speed is the use of the LED Speed Variable Message, which is a mobile Speedometer mounted on roadsides to monitor traffic speed.

According to Mr. Tlhagwane, as per the statistics recorded from the LED device placed in different speeding zones on 31st May 2021 with the device was placed on a 60km/h zone, 110 076 cars were recorded on the road and from this number, 48 575 were driving above the recommended speed limit.  This means 44.1% of the cars were over speeding, and the highest speed recorded was 170km/hour.

The MVA Fund CEO also said they were seeing a lot more pedestrians involved in road crashes because they do not obey road safety practices.

“They do not adhere to basic safety practices like crossing the roads at gazetted spots. They also do not observe incoming traffic before crossing the road,” Mr. Tlhagwane said.

He added that pedestrians also have a habit of crossing roads while texting on their mobile phones or listening to music with earphones on.

“Even when drivers hoot to try and caution them of an impending danger, they do not hear the car horn because of loud music on headsets. We just want to encourage people to cross at gazetted spots and adhere to the basics of road safety,” he advised.

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5 top safaris in Botswana that you shouldn’t pass up on

25th July 2022
MoAfrika

Seventy percent of Botswana is desert, making it one of the world’s least populous nations. Though landlocked, this African nation is teeming with big cats, lions, leopards, and other top predators.

Here is a list of the greatest Botswana safari excursions, ranging from the most luxurious to the most adventurous, and suitable for families with children of all ages.

1. Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park is the second largest in Botswana and contains a wide variety of habitats, from savannah and woodland to floodplains and marshland. Chobe is known for its outstanding sunset game viewing on river cruises during unforgettable Botswana safaris.

This is a favourite activity for newlyweds on their honeymoon in Botswana because it provides a great view of the animals as they come down to the watering hole as the sun sets.

Chobe National Park is home to an abundance of animals. In addition to massive herds of elephants and buffalo, you might also see giraffe, kudu, tsessebe, lions, cheetahs, and maybe even leopards in this region.

2. The Okavango Delta

The emerald delta, considered by many to be Africa’s most beautiful region, spreads across an area of approximately 15,000 square kilometres (5,000 square miles) during the rainy season, transforming the landscape into a network of winding channels, lagoons filled with lilies, and islands of verdant vegetation.

Elephants, buffalo, and giraffe, as well as lions, hyenas, and even rare wild dogs, can all be found in this safe refuge for wildlife during Botswana safaris. The semi-aquatic red lechwe antelope is abundant here, and birdwatchers won’t be dissatisfied.

3. The Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a vast semiarid landscape in southern Africa, covering an area of approximately a million square kilometers and covered in a rust-red landscape.

Since most of the locals are San Bushmen, this is an ideal destination for those in search of solitude alongside and enriching cultural experience.

All thanks to the rains, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve undergoes some of the most astonishing terrain shifts on the planet. In the desert, lakes form temporarily, then marshy areas develop, and then the ground dries up again.

Large herds of impala, zebra, and oryx attract predators like the famed black-maned lions, who come to drink as the water level rises.

4. Makgadikgadi Pans

Observe the surreal vistas of the Makgadikgadi Pans, where salt sparkles in the sun for as far as the eye can reach, for a change of pace. The largest salt pans in the world can be found in the Kalahari, which was once covered by a lake the size of Switzerland millions of years ago.

Stone Age remains coexist with fossil-rich beaches and old baobab trees. The vultures just add to the atmosphere of mystery.

Because of the extreme conditions, the local fauna is migratory and extremely tough. Makgadikgadi is home to a variety of unique desert creatures, including the aardvark, aardwolf, brown hyenas, and meerkats.

5. Moremi Wildlife Reserve

Moremi is a system of rivers teeming with lily pads, hippos, and a beautiful array of colorful birdlife (about 500 species), and is widely considered to be one of Africa’s most diversified wildlife sites.

Herbivore herds are also widespread, and it is not uncommon to see elephants drinking at the water’s edge. The superb predator sightings that come with such an abundance of prey are exciting, but the black and white rhino that wander the area are perhaps even more so.

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Letshego launches the LetsGo digital mastery programme

21st June 2022

Letshego Holding Limited (Letshego Group) has officially launched the LetsGo Digital Mastery Programme at an event held at Masa Protea Hotel in Gaborone. This follows their recent recruitment campaign for 10 candidates across Botswana, where over 1,000 applicants applied for the programme.

The Letshego Group is a truly African multinational organisation committed to achieving social impact through its retail financial services strategy across 11 sub Saharan markets. Letshego first opened its doors in Botswana 23 years ago and today has over 3,000 employees including Direct Sales Agents, or “Digital Eagles”.

Letshego customers include individuals, as well as micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs). Letshego Holdings Limited (holding company) is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, with subsidiary listing on the Namibian stock exchange. Presence markets include Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Eswatini, Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana

Following the rigorous selection process of the candidates. 15 brilliant minds were announced for the enrolment in the programme, compromising 10 members of the public and 5 Letshego employees from across its 11 country footprint. This is part of Letshego’s people-first strategy that aims to build future-fit communities where digital or tech is used as a strategic enabler for growth and economic development.

“Today we confirm the successful candidates for Letshego’s inaugural LetsGo Digital Mastery Programme, as you are our first COHORT of Digital Associates to our Digital mastery Programme in the region, you will be trail blazing a path and setting the standards for our future cohorts in Botswana, as well as our next Mastery cohorts set to launch in other Markets,” said Letshego’s Group Chairman Enos Banda.

Qualifying applicants demonstrated foundational digital expertise, and a passion to expand their aptitude into digital financial skills and hands on regional experience within the swiftly evolving financial sector.

“By 2100 one in a three people will be African- this means that by the end of this century, our region, Sub Saharan Africa, will be home to almost half of the young people on the globe. Finding innovative ways to empower fellow Africans with digital and entrepreneurial skills will not only build future leaders but also support future economic growth”, said Banda.

Recruitment was managed by Letshego’s education and leadership training partner, ‘Fast Forward innovation’ compromising a world class approach with a series of exercises, tests and interviews. Psychometric assessment were used to measurable, objective data and comprehensive view of suitability, enabling scientific credibility and objectivity in the selection process.

In congratulating the candidates Banda said that they are excited to welcome the 15 bright young individuals to LetsGo and they look forward to seeing them flourish and grow in to tomorrow’s bright young leaders. Banda further added that these Digital Associates have managed to navigate and process through a thorough and intense selection and today they are awarded their tickets to a journey that is destined and designed to open doors and dynamic opportunities for personal growth to ultimately brighten their future

This was followed by practical projects where candidates were introduced to Agile Methodology and tested on their digital ideas, personal planning and ability to deliver. Finally, the candidates were taken through a series of interviews with Letshego Executives to discuss potential, verify experience, qualifications, drive and organisational fit.

Letshego’s Intern Group Chief Executive Aupa Monyatsi added that The LetsGo Digital Mastery Programme is a unique way they are extending the benefits of digital transformation outside of their organisation. “Though this programme we are supporting the Botswana Government’s objective to build a knowledge-based economy, as well as empowering individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets and skills to spur sustainable and innovative development to grow future leaders and benefit our nation,” Monyatsi concluded.

The 18-months LetsGo Digital Mastery includes a practical learning sponsorship worth over P500, 000 per candidate to develop a digital business idea through training and practical learning. The candidate will gain expertise and become confident digital leaders with international exposure. At the end of the programme, the candidates will be enabled to grow innovative digital ideas from the sand box and ideation phase to a minimum viable product and to grow and scale existing business ideas by harnessing digital technologies.

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Bofinet engages stakeholders on data protection and cyber security

21st June 2022

On Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st June 2022, Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet) will hold breakfast seminars with the banking and financial services sectors to engage on data protection and cyber security issues.

The aim of the seminars is to create awareness about the impending Data Protection Act (2018) and how BoFiNet can partner with the industry to assist them to comply with the Act. During the engagement sessions, the Data Protection Commissioner, Ms. Kepaletswe Somolekae will address the industry on the Data Protection Act, which came into effect in October 2021; and a grace period of 12 months was given to persons and organisations that have custodianship of personal data, to ready themselves to comply with the Act.

This grace period comes to an end in October this year. Another speaker at the event, Mr. Chris Johnson of African Cyber Security, will share with the attendees, the latest trends and insights on cyber security in Africa.

BoFiNet will also share with the stakeholders an update on the data centre project currently being undertaken by BoFiNet at Botswana Innovation Park in Block 8. Known as Digital Delta, the data centre is a 1,000sqm, 400-rack vendor-neutral facility that BoFiNet will complete later this year, that will provide colocation and Internet Exchange Point (IXP) solutions for the local market.

BoFiNet is a wholesale provider of telecommunications and ICT services to licensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Value Added Network Service Providers, Public Telecommunications Operators in Botswana and internationally. The company owns and operates the largest fibre network infrastructure in Botswana.

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