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Bid to cut P8 billion import bill

Government plans to ban some processed food imports

Government is planning to extend restrictions on some vegetable imports, to cover processed foods which can be produced locally, in its bid to cut the annual P8 billion food import bill.

Giving an update on the impact of restrictions on some vegetable imports this week, the Ministry of Agriculture stated that, the two year ban on some vegetable imports introduced in January this year, would be followed by restrictions on imports of some processed vegetables and food commodities which can be produced in Botswana.

The Ministry added that the new decision is expected to result with a significant cut in food import bill. Recent figures from Statistics Botswana shows that during the first quarter of 2022 the value of food imports was P2.9 billion. The Ministry of Agriculture believes that the ban on vegetable imports will ultimately result with reduction in import bill and noted that a further cut spending on food imports could be realized in few years to come as various initiatives are being implemented to develop and expand the local food manufacturing sector.

The ban on selected vegetable imports is already having a positive contribution to reduction on food import bill. We will release figures to prove that. In the last six months in 2022, we have ensured that a significant part of money spent on food imports, is now circulating in our country, instead of sending it to food suppliers outside Botswana, the Assistant Minister of Agriculture Molebatsi Molebatsi told parliament this week.

Senior official in the Ministry of Agriculture Mmoloki Khukhutha this week stated that government is closely monitoring changes in statistics in local vegetable production and there are signs that production from local farms have increased tremendously. We have seen an increase in quantities produced by existing commercial farmers while new farmers also started producing to fill the gap created after introducing the import ban on selected vegetables, he said. Statistics released by the Ministry last week shows that among vegetables confirmed to have increased in production quantity are potatoes and onions while tomatoes which are seasonal are expected to increase in supply by end of September. The senior official stated that statistics are being collected for other vegetables.

He stated that local farmers are proving that they can meet demand for vegetables and produce surplus for export market. Local farmers have positively responded to import restrictions and government attempt to stimulate food production in Botswana. While we still have challenges in quality, we have noted an increase in the number commercial horticultural farmers who have improved quality and quantity of produce from their farms.

He stated that hovernment is also focused on agribusiness value chain development including food processing, food preservation and packaging, a development which is expected to further cut food import bill for process and packaged food commodities. Currently processed vegetables and foods are not

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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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Business

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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