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Stan Chart Botswana profits up 21%

The Botswana Stock Exchange listed banking entity, Standard Chartered Botswana Limited has recorded exceptional results in 2021, despite challenging economic conditions during the year, according to the company’s annual report released this week.

According to the company’s financial results, the bank’s underlying profit before tax increased by 42 percent (P77 million), while profit after tax increased by 21% to P60 million and non funded income increased by 2% driven by improved business volumes.

The financials show that return on equity improved by 110bps to 5.8% while customer deposits up by 6% year on year, amidst the challenging operating environment. The bank stated that loans and advances to customers have been on a growth trajectory during the year.

The bank stated that results reflect a slight improvement in business momentum, responding positively to the gradual economic recovery following the peak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and mid 2021. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant threat with a direct impact on productivity and business momentum. Despite this, the Bank remained buoyant,” reads the bank’s financials.

In the annual report the Bank Chief Financial Officer Tapiwa Butale stated that the bank remains in a safe and sound financial condition. “We remain fully committed to robust risk management, embracing innovation while ensuring that we achieve the right risk outcomes when adopting new technologies and digital capabilities,” she said.

She stated that the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the economic climate throughout 2021 and added the continued focus on enhancing risk management capabilities and leveraging the bank technology will help it to emerge stronger from the pandemic, as a more sustainable, innovative, and resilient and client centered bank.

Commenting on the results Standard Chartered CEO Mpho Masupe said the Bank has navigated its way through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and shall continue to be agile and ready to adapt to a constantly changing landscape.

“We are confident that we will deliver on our 2022 strategy, building on 2021 business momentum which is steadily returning to pre- COVID-19 levels in line with the recovery of the economy,” he said. Masupe said his bank intends to augment its digital offering.

“We heed the call of our clients and we introduced the card-less cash solution on our mobile banking app. We shall continue to leverage on our digital capabilities across the group as we seek to accelerate digital adoption and have 80% of our clients transact digitally by 2022,” said the CEO.

Masupe said Standard Chartered’s digital banking journey in Botswana continues to forge ahead, with the launch of the first of its kind Express Banking Centres. He said as clients accelerate their pivot to digital, the bank will continue to digitize its products and services with the intent to deliver world class solutions.

“In line with this digital agenda, we started the year on a high note, with the official launch of the Straight2Bank NextGen (S2B NG), an upgrade to the award winning S2B online banking platform which provides our corporate clients with superior, real time, intuitive and flexible online banking. We are confident that we will deliver a sustainable performance in 2022 and increase shareholder value,” he said.

Standard Chartered has indicated that investments in digital platforms to deliver its digital strategy have started to yield results with costs starting to decline by 3.4% year on year to BWP189 million. The bank added that the digital strategy aims to avail a full digital experience to its clients for any transaction they undertake with the Bank.

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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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