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Botswana’s e-commerce set to grow


Trade through electronic platforms (e-commerce) in Botswana is expected to significantly increase in the next two years, due to an increase on the use of internet, according to recent projections by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD).

Recent figures released by UNCTD show that total revenues generated in trade through electronic platforms has grown substantially from US$44.7 million in 2017 to US$83.2 million in 2019.  According to the figures, in 2020 revenue generated from the country’s e-commerce market was US$117million and it is projected to record compound annual growth rate of 15.8 per cent until 2024. By 2024, e-commerce revenue in Botswana is projected to reach US$210 million.

UNCTD has indicated that a recent survey revealed that in Botswana there are over 630,000 e-consumers, with US$132 revenue generated per user on annual basis, making Botswana the country with the sixth highest revenue per user in Africa. UNCTD says revenue generated per user is poised to increase to more than US$207 by 2024.

UNCTD Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Isabelle Durant indicated that internet awareness and digital skills have significantly improved in Botswana in recent years with the proliferation of mobile devices, smartphones, mobile broadband and social media, enabling large numbers of Botswana to gain familiarity with the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) devices and applications. 

She said with a growing overall smartphone penetration rate and a relatively high smartphone penetration rate among Botswana youth, the country has a large consumer population that could potentially be converted to the use of e-commerce. “With a burgeoning number of internet users in recent years, growing ICT literacy and popular use of social media, Botswana is poised to achieve a critical mass of tech-savvy youth who can help drive e-commerce both domestically and regionally, along with Botswana’s transition to a knowledge-based economy,” she said.

According to Durant, Botswana’s high literacy rate and high percentage of the population with at the least a secondary school education also helps to ensure a population that is e-commerce-ready. “Widespread use of English and exposure to ICT devices also position Botswana workers and citizens to be able to plug into e-commerce global networks.”

In a recent Botswana’s ICT policy review conducted to inform e-commerce strategy, UNCTD noted that another positive aspect expected to promote growth of e commerce in Botswana is the well developed legal and regulatory environment for electronic payments. “Its robust ICT and e-commerce-related laws and recently updated regulations also constitute an important pillar for creating an environment favorable to e-commerce development,” said UNCTD.

In the review report, UNCDT stated that some of the service sector segments well-positioned or to be developed for growth through e commerce in Botswana include the full range of professional services and Information Technology related support services for executing digital transformation projects, including the transformation of traditional commerce into e commerce.

UNCTD noted that the financial services, including payments, insurance and other financial services, ensuring secure online payments, providing foreign exchange and supporting trade and logistics facilitation is another sector expected to growth through e-commerce. The organization added that the tourism sector can also benefit from the development of e-commerce.

UNCTD noted that Botswana Post’s recent improvement to its postal service could help promote e-commerce. “By linking with, Botswana Post will have the ability to bring faster, cheaper, to-the-store and even to-the-door deliveries of e-commerce purchases from across the globe and that is an essential aspect of growing an online market,” said UNCTD.


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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