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After taking a two-year hiatus due to the highly contagious COVID-19 contagion and health restrictions put in place, the Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC) is finally back.

Regarded as the ultimate trend-setter and launcher of careers, GIMC is an annual showcase of music, dance, poetry, comedy and interactive highlights enjoyed through performances and showcases. Taking place in Gaborone in one week, everyone in the world of music from fans to media flock here to discover the next big thing.

Organized by independently focused entertainment guru, Fish Pabalinga of Leapfrog, this series of events is a music genre melting pot of choral, jazz, punk and any other genre and sub-genre you want to celebrate. With a record fair food, art and beverages from local vendors, this truly is the biggest entertainment platform in Botswana.

Pabalinga told South African radio station, Power FM that GIMC was founded in 2014 as a platform to showcase talent that exist in Africa, and exporting it to the world. He said music enthusiasts from neighboring countries do attend the GIMC, indicating that there are also some from as far as Uganda and Nigeria.

Fashion lovers are also catered for, as the GIMC Champagne Picnic was designed exactly for style and popping champagne. This time around the Picnic welcomed spring in style, serenaded by DJ Reina, Lian, Soulman BW, Hapex Guru, Eugene Jackson, JAM N.I, N.S.I, Rudo Grey and DJ Teaz. The theme of the Champagne Picnic was “Clicquot in the sun.”

The Fitness and Aerobics part of the GIMC was held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC). The warm ups were done by Mpho, followed by a challenge coordinated by Anne. Giddie took over the Zumba exercise, while Chyna did the Kata Bo. Still at the fitness event, DJ Teaz took health fanatics to Cloud9 with some Afro Tech beats. This is an event supported by Bomaid.

Also held at the GICC was the GIMC Jazz. The young songstress Dato Seiko did not fail. She cemented it on our faces that she was born for this, following in the steps of her older brother, Mapetla of ‘Skhokho’ fame. Equally talented musician, Fifi Afrika also blew jazz lovers away with a live performance. Transition hit maker, Samantha Mogwe, proved to be a force to reckon with. What stood out about her was the gown which was designed by Kefseddy Design.

A series of events followed, including choral, comedy and theatre. But as it has been made a norm the highlight of the GIMC is the Festival. This is the very last item on the GIMC agenda that sees night crawlers up on their feet all night, dancing the night blues away.

Whatever your genre- Hip-hop, Amapiano, Kwasa-kwasa, Afro-pop or anything, GIMC festival always has something tailor-made for everyone. Hosted by the bubbly Poloko Mosarwa, or Phlyhoney if you’re fancy, the festival has cemented itself as the festival of choice for those looking to experience new trends.

Upon arrival at the venue, the national stadium, many of this event’s devotees were making their way into the stadium. Security Systems guards were busy at work, ensuring that tickets are valid. Not only that, the entire night everyone was safe under their watch. I must say these gents and ladies deserve some bells.

Anyway, I arrived at the time FME DJ’s were on stage, turning it up and everybody seemed contented. Ancestral Rituals followed after Shilly Mingz. These are the young gents who have brought a new style in the music scenes with drums and beats. Clearly, Ancestral Rituals are headed to the top as they are the most booked group in Botswana right now. And of course, they are giving Team Distant a run for their money.

“If she trippin, leave the b**** alone/Thats why you never catch a nigga sober/Hot boxing till this beef is over/I’m never scared got no pistol on me/Krapa, fasa baba lets/Start rolling up the jets/Krapa, fasa baba lets/Start rolling up the jets.”

If you are a number one fan of hip-hop, you will know that these are the lyrics of the famous rapper, Emtee. They are taken from his all-time hit, Roll Up. And indeed, Emtee rolled up the GIMC festival. He returned to Botswana after a long time. And in the same breath, Mafikizolo, Team Distant and DJ Ngwazi effortlessly delivered.

Vee Mampeezy, Charma Gal and Franco also returned to the GIMC festival and did their little magic the same way their followers expected. Even though people waited for a long time for her to turn it up, self-proclaimed Queen of Africa Makhadzi of Nisarengi fame, wrapped up the festival with her electrifying performance. Makhadzi was supposed to perform at 2AM but was held up at the border.

With that being the case still, Makhadzi made way to the stage around 7AM, wrapping up GIMC in style. Her loyal followers waited to witness the magic she displayed at the Miss South Africa finale not so long ago. With all said and done, it is safe to say GIMC is back.


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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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