After starting off the year 2022 on a 13 year high in January and February at a record 10.6 percent, Inflation has started cooling off, registering a 0.6 percentage points drop in March, Statistic Botswana has reported.
According to the Consumer Price Index released by the country’s central data authority on Tuesday, the major contributing groups to the March 2022 inflation rate were Transport at 5.4 percent, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels at 1.3 percent, Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (0.9 percent) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (0.7 percent).
The inflation rates for regions between February and March 2022 indicated that the Cities & Towns inflation rate recorded a drop of 0.7 of a percentage point, from 10.8 percent in February to 10.1 percent in March. The Rural Villages’ inflation rate stood at 9.9 percent in March 2022, a decrease of 0.7 of a percentage point from the February rate of 10.6 percent, while the Urban Villages’ inflation rate went down by 0.5 of a percentage point, from 10.4 in February to 9.9 percent in March 2022.
The national Consumer Price Index went up by 0.3 percent in March 2022, from 116.3 registered in February to 116.6 in March. The Urban Villages index increased from 116.7 in February to 117.0 in March 2022, recording a growth of 0.3 percent. The Rural Villages index rose by 0.3 percent, from 115.6 in February to 115.9 in March 2022, while the Cities & Towns Index moved from 116.4 in February to 116.6 in March, an increase of 0.2 percent.
The group indices were generally moving at a stable pace between February and March 2022, with changes of less than 1.0 percent. The Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group index rose by 0.6 percent, from 115.3 in February 2022 to 116.0 in March 2022.
This was attributed to a general increase in the constituent section indices, particularly; Oils & Fats (1.4 percent), Vegetables (0.7 percent), Bread & Cereal (0.7 percent) and Meat (Fresh, Chilled & Frozen) at 0.7 percent.
The Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels group index registered a rise of 0.3 percent, from 117.6 in February 2022 to 118.0 in March 2022. The increase was mainly due to the rise in the constituent section index of Rent Paid by Tenants (0.5 percent) and Materials for Maintenance & Repair of Dwellings (0.4 percent).
The Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco, Clothing & Footwear and Recreation & Culture group indices each showed an increase of 0.3 percent between February and March 2022, from 122.2 to 122.5, 108.7 to 109.0 and 105.4 to 105.7, respectively. This was owed to the general increases in the constituent section indices.
The All-Tradeables index rose by 0.3 percent in March 2022, from 118.7 recorded in February 2022 to 119.1 in March 2022. The Imported Tradeables Index moved from 119.7 in February 2022 to 120.1 in March 2022, a rise of 0.3 percent. The Domestic Tradeables Index realised a growth of 0.3 percent from 115.9 in February to 116.2 in March. The Non-Tradeables Index moved from 113.2 in February to 113.3 in March, recording an increase of 0.1 percent.
The All-Tradeables inflation rate was 13.1 in March, registering a drop of 1.2 percentage points from the February rate of 14.3 percent. The Imported Tradeables inflation went down by 1.7 percentage points, from 18.0 percent in February to 16.3 percent in March 2022.
The Non-Tradeables inflation rate registered a rise of 0.1 of a percentage point, from 5.7 percent in February to 5.8 percent in March. The Domestic Tradeables inflation was 4.9 percent in March 2022, the same rate as in February 2022.The marginal drop in inflation in the month of March mirrors expectations signaled by Bank of Botswana last year.
The Central Bank’s forecast in December 2021 noted that inflation could start dropping in the second quarter of 2022, reverting to the objective range upper limit of 6 percent in the third quarter. BoB had initially said inflation would fall back into objective range second quarter of 2022 but later revised its expectations to third quarter of 2022 on the back of new development in the consumer space.
Inflation rose from 8.4 percent in September to 8.8 percent in October 2021, remaining above the upper bound of the Bank’s medium-term objective range of 3 – 6 percent, mainly attributable upward adjustment in domestic fuel prices in October 2021.
The Central Bank said inflation would only revert to objective range limits in the third quarter of 2022, mainly on account of the dissipating impact of the upward adjustment, during 2021, of value added tax (VAT) and administered prices from the inflation calculation; which altogether contributed 5.9 percentage points to the current level of headline inflation.
In particular to the revised forecasts, Bank of Botswana said in late 2021, that domestically some of the factors that ticked in were the expected increase in private school fees in the first quarter of 2022 as well as a possible increase in domestic fuel prices in response to developments in international oil prices. In line with the bank’s forecast, fuel prices were recently increased in response to ongoing shocks in global commodity prices stemming from Russia – Ukraine war.
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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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.