There was once a time when preparing for international travel required you to add “Buy forex” to your to-do list. This would entail a trip to your nearest bureau de change with your passport, visa, flight details, and confirmation of your blood type in hand. Okay, the last one may be an exaggeration, but you get the point – it was an unnecessary foray into your private matters. Thankfully, fintech is turning run-of-the-mill financial transactions into easy, convenient and confidential exercises, and currency exchange is not exempt – making it possible for globally minded individuals to travel, shop and invest abroad without any fuss.
The fintech fix
The global fintech market is a fast-growing one, and is set to enjoy continued growth, with forecasters predicting that it will reach a value of $16,652,680 million by 2028. This is hardly surprising, considering the array of banking and investing activities one can complete on a smartphone, negating the need for appointments at the bank or any other time-consuming task therein, including buying forex.
Being able to purchase forex without the fuss isn’t simply about travel ease, though. For the client focused on international opportunities, global markets, and a diversified portfolio, it’s an opportunity to catapult investment activities to the next level – making it easier for you to reach the financial milestones you have in mind for you and your loved ones. In this sense, global money apps such as award-winning Shyft are revolutionising forex purchases.
Protecting your portfolio
When it comes to investing and money talk, we hear a great deal about the d-word: diversification. If we’re not being reminded about American-born British banker Sir John Templeton’s words to “Diversify. In stocks and bonds, as in much else, there is safety in numbers”, we’re being told that “Diversification is the only free lunch” – words attributed to Nobel Prize laureate Harry Markowitz. Investing in forex is a well-considered method of diversifying and adding resilience to your portfolio. It doesn’t get as much attention as stocks and bonds that’s for sure, but it’s no less valuable as a means of securing your assets and setting yourself up for investment success.
Having purchased forex, it then becomes possible to invest abroad, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of geographically diverse investments.
The Shyft solution
If you have ever purchased foreign currency, you will likely have experienced the inconvenience that comes with currency fluctuations – especially in today’s turbulent landscape. However, Shyft solves this in a number of ways. Firstly, the app allows you to view and compare live exchange rates, so you can buy your currency of choice on the app (currently USD, GBP, EUR and AUD) when it’s at a rate that’s favourable to you. Secondly, because Shyft offers forex at the cheapest rate, you enjoy savings and can get more value for your Pula. Thirdly, Shyft allows you to store forex on the app indefinitely, so you are never under pressure to utilise the funds. Arno von Helden, Founder and Head of Shyft, notes that this is a means “to protect yourself against currency fluctuations”.
Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Global Markets, Lebea Sephuma, adds: “The technology is not only revolutionary, but relevant. Taking the hassle out of forex transactions is what so many have been asking for, and now it is here”. With the hassle factor removed, and the frustrations of currency fluctuations well taken care of, you are now in a position to use your forex strategically.
In this regard, Shyft makes it possible for users to invest in over 300 leading shares and ETF options right from their phones. Whether you’re in Gaborone, Kasane, Otse, or Serowe (or anywhere in between, for that matter), you can secure your stake in the likes of Chinese multinational tech company Alibaba (HGK), leading plant-based meat substitutes maker Beyond Meat (BYND), tech giant Microsoft (MSFT), electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA) and/or a range of top-performing ETFs.
About the app
First launched in South Africa in 2017, Shyft has seen significant uptake over the years – acquiring over 100 000 users to date and enjoying a very strong reception as well as several accolades. In 2022, Shyft won three New Generation Awards – gold for Best Customer Experience (CX) of the Year; silver for Most Innovative App Developed by a Corporate; and silver for Best Use of Technical Innovation. At the Finnovex Southern Africa Awards 2022, the app won top honours in the Excellence in Fintech – Payments category. The app was recognised as the MTN Business App of the Year overall winner and top app in the financial services category in 2017 and in 2021.
“We’re delighted that Shyft is now available in Botswana. We look forward to our clients taking full advantage of the possibilities that come with access to forex. Be it for shopping and travelling internationally, or investing abroad, we are confident that using Shyft will be beneficial”, concludes Sephuma.
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.
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.
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,