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Botswana may export cement soon

If all goes according to plan, Botswana could move from being an importer of cement to net exporter in a period of one year. This has been highlighted by Botswana Investment & Trade Centre (BITC) Chief Executive Offer Mr Keletsositse Olebile during a tour of Matsiloje cement manufacturing facility this week.

Previously known as Matsiloje Portland Cement owned by the Francistown based Nortex Group, the cement manufacturing facility has been acquired by Whale Rock Cement, a Namibian leading Portland cement maker, and things are already happening.

Whale Rock Cement has converted the Matsiloje facility into a world class cement manufacturing plant, utilizing cutting edge technology and leveraging on its decades long experience in the production of cement products.

Producing a top tier commodity meeting international standards, under the name Cheetah cement, the facility currently employs 50 local employees, and it is estimated to employ 200 locals at full capacity. The plant is currently producing 100 000 tones of cement and will produce 900 000 tones when fully operational.

The company produces two main types of cement Portland 42.5 N and Portland 32.5 N cement in strength. It currently supplies construction companies, Hardware Stores such as Buy and Build, Build Quick, Builders warehouse, BMS, Apex and individuals.

The Botswana Investment & Trade Centre(BITC) Chief Mr. Keletsositse Olebile told members of the media on the margins of the facility tour that Botswana has been importing cement for a long time, as such Cheetah Cement will play an integral part of reducing import bill substitution as well as anchor high demand of cement in Botswana.

When we go all out on investment attraction missions we coil our targeted sectors around what we largely Import in our country, so currently cement is one of them we import around 620 000 tones of cement per annum, we believe that is a lot and we can do something to substitute this import bill explained Olebile

Mr Olebile explained that Whale Rock cement was linked to Botswana s Matsiloje Portland Cement through the facilitation of Botswana Embassy in Namibia, under the guidance of His Excellency Ambassador Comma Serema.

We helped the company set up in Botswana, they are currently using the same old facility, but according to their assessment, prospects are looking good and they have committed to expanding this facility to move from 300 000 tonnes per annum currently produced to 900 000 tonnes, which will be more than our demand as Botswana, this then means that from this facility alone we will be able to meet our local demand and further able to export

The Matsiloje Portland Cement closed in January 2018 due to competition from South African imports. When operational it produced around 30 000 tonnes of cement per annum. The company produced the lime it used for its cement and it sourced other raw materials from South Africa and fly ash from a power station at Morupule.

According to Global Cement Magazine the Matsiloje Portland cement facility was originally commissioned and operated by a different company between 2000 and mid 2001 before the operator went into liquidation. Nortex took over the plant in 2006, providing a US$4.4m overhaul to bring it up to modern standards before recommencing production in 2009.

Apart from import Botswana s cement demand is currently met by cement grinding facility, which makes the bulk of cement made in Botswana, operated by South Africa’s PPC under a local subsidiary, PPC Botswana.

This 0.4Mt/yr facility is the result of a plan that dates back to the 1980s that sought to establish an integrated cement plant close to a limestone reserve at Naka-la-Phala. However, investigation of the reserves showed that they would not economically support an integrated cement plant in the long term.

The joint partners in the project, PPC and the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), decided to establish a grinding plant close to the capital Gaborone instead. Construction of the plant began in 1994 and it sold its first cement in 1996. It remains the largest cement production site in the country decades later

As it has almost zero integrated cement manufacturing capacity, most of Botswana’s cement needs are currently met by imports of both cement and clinker. These mainly come from South African cement producers that have been grappling with relatively poor sales at home. Around half of the imports are from PPC, which also supplies clinker to its Gaborone grinding plant from its nearest South African facilities.

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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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