Botswana courts billionaires at Dubai Expo†
The Botswana delegation at Expo 2020 Dubai participated in a networking session with the Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMMC) to meet potential investors and lure them to Botswana.†
The delegation, led by Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Mr Lefoko Maxwell Moagi, comprises of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Keletsositse Olebile, CEO of Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), Mr Mmetla Masire, and Botswana Stock Exchange CEO, Mr Thapelo Tsheole.
The networking session was hosted by the Executive Chairman of the DMCC, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, who had the opportunity to have the first-ever Diamond Viewing by ODC. The DMCC Executive Chairman hosted a variety of high-level executives from other countries along with Botswana.
DMCC Free Zone is the largest free zone in the UAE, with more than 18,000 registered members as of 2021. In 2018, DMCC was named number one global free zone for a fourth consecutive year by the Financial Times FDI magazine. DMCC recently launched the Middle East’s first Google for Entrepreneurs Global Tech Hub with AstroLabs Dubai.
DMCC supports commodity trading through organizations such as the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), the Dubai Pearl Exchanges (DPE), DMCC Trade flow, and the Dubai Good Delivery Standard (DGD) for Gold, the DMCC Tea Centre, and the DMCC Coffee Centre. The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) was established in 2004 to facilitate the diamond and coloured gems market development.
Dubai ranks third behind Antwerp and Mumbai in the leading global diamond hubs in trade, growing from $300 million (Dh1.10 billion) in trade in 2002 to $26 billion in 2016. The Dubai Pearl Exchange (DPE) provides facilities for traders in pearls and holds events like the World Pearl Forum. In early 2011, DPE had the first pearl auctions outside of the Far East.
DMCC offers financial products. These include Dubai Commodity Asset Management (DCAM), Dubai Shariah Asset Management (DSAM), DMCC Trade flow, and the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX).
Still, in Dubai, Botswana participated in the Mineral Beneficiation and Financial Services engagements to position Botswana as the African hub of mineral processing industries. The Delegations participated in a hybrid meeting between Botswana and Australian companies in the mining sector, participating at the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai.
A high-level business and government delegation led by Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Mr Lefoko Maxwell Moagi, accompanied by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) CEO, Mr Keletsositse Olebile, addressed the Australian delegation on Minerals and Green Technology on investment opportunities in Botswana.
As part of the Botswana delegation, the Minister and CEO were accompanied by the Morupule Coal Mine Chairman and Managing Director (MD), Dr Bonny Matshediso and Mr Edwin Elias. They were tasked with highlighting the Coal Beneficiation landscape in Botswana. For his part, the BITC CEO, Mr Olebile, presented opportunities for “Doing Business in Botswana”.
Following the engagement, the Minister and his entourage were taken on a guided tour of the Australian Pavilion. They got an appreciation of the various minerals and products mined out of the country.
BITC, together with Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), participated at the Global Business Forum Africa (GBF) to position Botswana as the best Financial Services Hub in the continent of Africa.
The GBF Africa is a high-level business forum that provides an opportunity for Botswana to engage in dialogue to foster our economic growth. GBF Africa involves prominent stakeholders, leading decision and policymakers, as well as industry experts.
Botswana Stock Exchange showcased Botswana’s Financial Service’s framework and offers. The Former President of Botswana, Mr Festus G. Mogae, is in attendance, who graced our Expert Hub. Mr Mogae is in attendance at the invitation of his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Stargems Group establishes Training Center in BW
Internationally-acclaimed diamond manufacturing company StarGems Group has established the Stargems Diamond Training Center which will be providing specialized training in diamond manufacturing and evaluation.
The Stargems Diamond Training Institute is located at the Stargems Group Botswana Unit in Gaborone.
‚ÄúIn accordance with the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS) which holds the principle that through education and skills development as well as the strategic alignment between national ambitions and individual capabilities, Botswana will become a prosperous, productive and innovative nation due to the quality and efficacy of its citizenry. The Training Centre will provide a range of modules in theory and in practice; from rough diamond evaluation to diamond grading and polishing for Batswana, at no cost for eight weeks. The internationally- recognized certificate offered in partnership with Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School presents invaluable opportunities for Batswana to access in the diamond industry locally and internationally. The initiative is an extension of our Corporate Social Investment to the community in which we operate,‚ÄĚ said Vishal Shah, Stargems Group Managing Director, during the launch of the Stargems Diamond Training Center.
In order to participate in this rare opportunity, interested candidates are invited to submit a police clearance certificate and a BGCSE certificate only to the Stargems offices.¬† Students who excel in these programs will have the chance to be onboarded by the Stargems Group. This serves as motivation for them to go through this training with a high level of seriousness.
‚ÄúCommunity empowerment is one of our CSR principles. We believe that businesses can only thrive when their communities are well taken of. We are hoping that our presence will be impactful to various communities and economies. In the six countries that we are operating in, we have contributed through dedicating 10% of our revenues during COVID-19 to facilitate education, donating to hospitals and also to NGOs committed to supporting women and children living with HIV. One key issue that we are targeting in Botswana is the rate of unemployment amongst the youth. We are looking forward to working closely with the government and other relevant authorities to curb unemployment,‚ÄĚ said Shah.
Currently, Stargems Group has employed 117 Batswana and they are looking forward to growing the numbers to 500 as the company grows. Majority of the employees will be graduates from the Stargems Diamond Training Center. This initiation has been received with open arms by the general public and stakeholders. During the launch, the Minister of Minerals and Energy, ¬†Honorable Lefoko Moagi, stated that the ministry fully endorses Stargems Diamond Training and will work closely with the Group to support and grow the initiative.
‚ÄúAs a ministry, we see this as an game changer that is aligned with one of the United Nations’ Six Priority Sustainable Development Goals, which is to Advance Opportunity and Impact for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). What Stargems Group is launching today will have a huge impact on the creation of employment in Botswana. An economy‚Äôs productivity rises as the number of educated workers increases as its skilled workmanship increases. It is not a secret that low skills perpetuate poverty and widen the inequality gap, therefore the development of skills has the potential to contribute significantly to structural transformation and economic growth by enhancing employability and helping the country become more competitive. We are grateful to see the emergence of industry players such as Stargems Group who have strived to create such opportunities that mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy,‚ÄĚ said the Minister of Minerals and Energy.
Food import bill slightly declines
The latest figures released by Statistics Botswana this week shows that food import bill for Botswana slightly declined from around P1.1 billion in November 2022 to around P981 million in December during the same year.
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Moody‚Äôs Reaffirms African Trade Insurance‚Äôs A3 Rating & Revises Outlook to Positive
Moody‚Äôs Investors Service (‚ÄúMoody‚Äôs‚ÄĚ) has affirmed the A3 insurance financial strength rating (IFSR) of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) for the fifth consecutive year and changed the outlook from stable to positive.
Moody‚Äôs noted that the change in outlook to positive reflects the strong growth in ATI‚Äôs membership base – that has resulted in improved portfolio diversification, strengthened capital adequacy, and the good profitability despite the challenging operating environment. In addition, ATI benefits from its preferred creditor status (PCS) amongst sovereign member states which protects it from the risk of default by member sovereigns through securing recoveries against claims paid on guarantees.
The strong membership and equity growth are some of the key considerations for the consistent reinstatement of ATI‚Äôs A/Stable rating by Standard & Poor‚Äôs and Moody‚Äôs rating, over the years. Also supporting the rating affirmation are; consistent improvement in financial performance, commitment of its shareholders who continue to uphold the preferred creditor status, its high quality and conservative investment portfolio as well as strong relationships with a number of global reinsurers that provide significant risk-bearing capacity.
With the change in outlook to ‚Äúpositive‚ÄĚ, ATI is now better placed to provide enhanced support to its member countries, attract additional shareholding and grow its portfolio. The positive outlook is an indication that if ATI continues to demonstrate its strong underwriting performance and ability to recover claims under the preferred creditor arrangements, among other factors, an upward pressure towards an upgrade may be generated. The Moody’s press release can be accessed from¬†here
Commenting on the rating, Africa Trade Insurance Chief Executive Officer Manuel Moses said: ‚ÄúThis positive revision is in line with our 2023 – 2027 strategic objectives in which we set to improve our rating outlook to positive in the first year, and achieve an upgrade of at least ‚ÄúAA‚ÄĚ/Stable rating by both Moody‚Äôs and S&P within this Strategic Plan period. We aim to achieve this by doubling our exposures and increasing our capital to more than USD1 billion.‚ÄĚ
ATI‚Äôs mandate is to provide trade-credit and political risk insurance, as well as other risk mitigation products to its member countries and related¬†public and private sector actors. These insurance products not only directly encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment as well as local private sector investment in our member countries, but also contribute to intra- and extra-African trade.
About The African Trade Insurance Agency¬†
ATI was founded in 2001 by African States to cover trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. ATI predominantly provides Political Risk, Credit Insurance and, Surety Insurance. Since inception, ATI has supported US$78 billion worth of investments and trade into Africa. For over a decade, ATI has maintained an ‚ÄėA/Stable‚Äô rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard & Poor‚Äôs, and in 2019, ATI obtained an A3/Stable rating from Moody‚Äôs, which has now been revised to A3/Positive.