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Households hit by increase in sugar prices 

Households are reportedly bracing themselves for more increases in sugar prices as Botswana is unable to import sugar products from South Africa and Eswatini. 

Some consumers in Gaborone confirmed that sugar prices have already skyrocketed in the country following Botswana’s decision to import sugar from Brazil. Official comment from authorities was not immediately available. 

Namibian Agricultural Trade Forum recently issued warning bells that Botswana and Namibian sugar packers should brace themselves for sugar price increases as the two neighbouring countries are faced with extreme difficulties in obtaining sufficient white sugar from their Southern Customs Union (SACU) suppliers, being South Africa and Eswatini.

Ian Collard, Chairperson of Namibian Agricultural Trade Forum, said in note that Namibia along with Botswana and Lesotho-who are all net importers of sugar-have always been able to import sufficient quantities of white and brown sugar from Eswatini and  South Africa.

“However, in recent years, supply from these two sugar-producing countries has not only become more costly but has also started to lessen each year from around December up to March, when the annual sugar production season ends,” he said. He said the result is that non-sugar producing countries have been forced to look for sugar suppliers outside of the Customs Union.

However, “a massive tariff protection of effectively 40% exists to protect the South African and Eswatini producers, which makes importation of non-SACU sugar from world markets non-viable and extremely costly” for Namibian and Botswana sugar packers, he warned. Collard’s fears are not unfounded. 

Reports from Namibia show that the first break bulk consignment of 20 800 tons imported by Botswana from Brazil was successfully offloaded at Namport recently.The importation and handling as well the storage of this consignment has been facilitated by Sea Rail Botswana, the terminal operator for the Botswana Dry Port, situated at Walvis.

“Our efforts have finally borne the much-desired fruits with this first consignment of 20 800 tons’ break bulk sugar imports, which is the first of many to follow,” Business development partner at Namport Phillemon was quoted as saying. He added that another shipment of 15 000 tons of sugar is expected to arrive in the second half of 2022, as this is expected to become a regular business for the port of Walvis Bay.

Collard said the situation is not helped by the fact that, due to riots, strikes and reduced sugar harvests, South Africa and Eswatini, the only two sugar producers in SACU, have run out of refined before the new sugar harvest season kicks off. Therefore, Collard warned, neither country will be able to supply Namibian with refined sugar for the two month, April and May.

He said due to the non-availability of refined sugar in SACU coupled with the high tariffs that are in place on sugar imports from world market suppliers, an increase of 20% of price of white sugar will have to be implemented by some Namibian suppliers effective 7 April 2022.

The recent development comes at a time when there was an introduction of a new tax in Botswana in the form of a health promotion levy (or sugar tax) in recent years. The Ministry of Finance and Development stated that the levy on sweetened beverages was introduced at a rate of 2 thebe per gram of sugar above a content of 4g of sugar per 100 milliliters. While it did not provide a study, the Ministry explained that the levy was meant to control the excessive consumption of sugar in Botswana.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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Global CEOs Back Plan to Unlock $3.4 Trillion Potential of Africa Free Trade Area

23rd January 2023

African heads of state and global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting backed the launch of the first of its kind report on how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa to guide businesses in entering and expanding in this area.

The report aims to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, sub-regional and continental value chains and accelerating industrialization, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, by area and number of participating countries. Once fully implemented, it will be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the potential to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. Conceived in 2018, it now has 54 national economies in Africa, could attract billions in foreign investment, and boost overseas exports by a third, double intra-continental trade, raise incomes by 8% and lift 50 million people out of poverty.

To ease the pain of transition to its new single market, Africa has learned from trade liberalization in North America and Europe. “Our wide range of partners and experience can help anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions in business and production dynamics,” said Børge Brende, President, and World Economic Forum. “The Forum’s initiatives will help to ease physical, capital and digital flows in Africa through stakeholder collaboration, private-public collaboration and information-sharing.”

Given the continent’s historically low foreign direct investment relative to other regions, the report highlights the sense of excitement as the AfCFTA lowers or removes barriers to trade and competitiveness. “The promising gains from an integrated African market should be a signal to investors around the world that the continent is ripe for business creation, integration and expansion,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Regional Agenda, Africa, World Economic Forum.

The report focuses on four key sectors that have a combined worth of $130 billion and represent high-potential opportunities for companies looking to invest in Africa: automotive; agriculture and agroprocessing; pharmaceuticals; and transport and logistics.

“Macro trends in the four key sectors and across Africa’s growth potential reveal tremendous opportunities for business expansion as population, income and connectivity are on the rise,” said Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat.

“These projections reveal an unprecedented opportunity for local and global businesses to invest in African countries and play a vital role in the development of crucial local and regional value chains on the continent,” said Landry Signé, Executive Director and Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Regional Action Group for Africa.

The Forum is actively working towards implementing trade and investment tools through initiatives, such as Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, to align with the negotiation process of the AfCFTA. It identifies areas where public-private collaboration can help reduce barriers and facilitate investment from international firms.

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme, Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world. For further information,

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