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Botswana may record increased investment

DLA Piper Africa Botswana managing partner: Terrence Dambe

Botswana could record an increase in investment by foreign and domestic investors this year, this is despite the COVID-19 fourth wave anticipated before the end of 2022, according to DLA Piper Africa, an international law firm with business lawyers in African countries.

In its 2022 report, the firm indicated that its survey shows that investors are interested in investing Southern African countries including Botswana. 

In the report the firm noted that with the lifting of COVID-19-related travel restrictions and the end of lockdowns in many countries, there appears to be a slow but, increased appetite for investing in Botswana and other Southern African countries. The report stated that the recent Gross Domestic Production (GDP) growth projections place Botswana among the countries that could attract more investors this year.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development recently announced that Botswana now expects economic growth of 9.7% of GDP for 2021, compared with the 8.8% forecast in February 2021, helped by higher diamond sales and a recent rebasing of GDP accounts. 

“Botswana’s growth rate is projected to be the highest in Africa for 2021. Fitch ratings S&P revised the country’s economic outlook from negative to stable. This positive news bodes well for increased investment in 2022, particularly in the diamond mining sector,” reads the report in part. 

DLA Piper Africa Botswana managing partner, Terrence Dambe said another factor which could attract more investors to Botswana is its high vaccination rate which could minimize the impact of the expected COVID-19 fourth wave. “With experts talking of the prospect of a possible COVID-19 fourth wave before the end of the year, it remains to be seen whether or not a possible rise in infections will put a damper on investment prospects. The current vaccination rates in Botswana are very encouraging in terms of both availability of the vaccines and uptake by the eligible population. This provides hope that a fourth wave will either be avoided or greatly diminished or not have a significantly negative impact on economic activity and investments,” said Dambe.

Dambe said following the improvement in demand for diamonds in the international market the diamond industry, is among the sectors which could record increased investment in the next 18 months.  He said in Botswana, diamonds, which are the mainstay of the economy, greatly improved international sales, following the 2020 30% fall in diamond sales by Botswana’s biggest diamond mining company, Debswana Diamond Company (a 50/50 joint venture between the government and De Beers.

 “The sales of rough diamonds rebounded by 41% in the first half of 2021, driven by the reopening of key markets the US and China. The more favourable trading climate has resulted in renewed interest, with diamond cutting and polishing companies wanting to establish manufacturing facilities in Botswana. This is no doubt welcome foreign direct investment that bodes well for increased economic activity,” said the renowned lawyer.

According to Dambe farming and agribusiness are the sectors which are expected to attract more investment this year. He said this will be possible because government has made improved food security a national priority. “This has given rise to renewed interest in farming. We foresee the agriculture sector and its entire value chain being a major sector for growth, providing increased formal and informal employment opportunities and stimulating the growth of small, medium and micro enterprises,” he said.

Investment Monitor Africa, a research company on global economic issues, has identified Botswana among five (5) African countries that look ready for increased investment in 2022.  Investment Monitor Africa economist, Christine Patton said the recent removal of Botswana from the list of countries susceptible to money laundering, terrorist financing and other illicit money flows has sparked optimism and should help efforts to diversify Botswana’s economy and attract foreign investors.

According to latest published statistics by Botswana Investment and Trade Center (BITC), Botswana recorded foreign direct investment amounting to P1.456 billion while domestic investment stood at P1.608 billion in 2020.

Business

Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

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.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

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.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

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.
MTN’s evolution

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.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

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.

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