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08.02.17
It is important for businesses to support one another by using each other’s services and products. Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) chief executive officer, Mr Thabo Thamane, said this at a client appreciation forum hosted by CEDA for their Gaborone clientele. He said the forum presented an opportunity for the agency to engage with businesses on their challenges and successes. In the past, Mr Thamane said businesses accused government of not doing more to support citizens in business. “But what you need to ask yourselves as local businesses is, are you supporting each other,” he quizzed. Mr Thamane said CEDA was looking at making a business directory for easy identification and for purposes of knowing each other and working together in business. “Currently, we have 12 branches countrywide and two mobile units to service our clientele,” he said. He noted that on an annual basis, CEDA spent approximately P6.5 million on business advisory services. “This money we spend outside of the funding we give to businesses,” said Mr Thamane, further adding that CEDA failed dismally with regards to some projects that needed mentors. He informed participants that CEDA introduced an electronic feedback machine in 2015 to help the agency with advice on their services and suggestions. Mr Thamane further spoke on a customer survey done for the year 2015/2016 in which the agency scored 66 against a target of 67 per cent. “We failed and what you are saying to us is that we are not servicing you well in other aspects such as turnaround time and us being rigid in forms of payment,” he said. The customer survey he said prompted them to draw up a customer service culture plan. “We want employee behaviour to be consistent all around our branches,” he said. He indicated that part of the survey also spoke on customer segmentation. “Clients that have been in good standing with CEDA and have a proven track record should be segmented instead of just treating everyone the same way,” he said. “We also did a business model review which showed us that we are still relevant in the current business environment, but we have a risk of unsustainability,” he said. Mr Thamane advised customers on what they needed to do, to have a fruitful relationship with CEDA. He said viability of a project depended not on who one knew at the agency adding that political interference was not something he took lightly. “My contract ends in 2020 and I want to assure you that I am not going anywhere. People sometimes try to influence you by using political connections but that is not how we do business. Everything we do is above board and we try and help everyone accordingly without any favours,” he said. One of the most important things one can do for their business is to keep a record of everything. Records are everything, whether it is a big or small business, he said.
06.02.17
Madam Speaker,Honourable Members may recall that the eleventh National Development Plan (NDP 11) was approved by this House in December 2016. Hence, these 2017/2018 budget proposals are the first instalment out of six budgetary outlays for implementing NDP 11, whose theme is “Inclusive Growth for Realisation of Employment Creation and Poverty Eradication”. I wish at this point, Madam Speaker, to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to the principle of national development planning, and to state that this principle has never been violated, contrary to the perception from certain quarters that NDP 10 was at one point suspended. NDP 10 was instead extended by one year to 31 st March 2017, with the approval of this House. To get the full copy click here .
06.02.17
Central District veterinary officer, Dr Jaone Sebina, has assured Zone 7 farmers of the possibility of selling their cattle in the European Union (EU) market. Dr Sebina told farmers in Bobonong that there was still hope only if they could satisfy the International Animal Health Organisation (OIE) affirming that Zone 7 was free from Food and Month Disease. In a recent meeting with farmers, he said government had satisfied all procedures requested by OIE so that the Zone 7 could be declared a green zone. Dr Sebina said all these routines included individual identification cattle in Zone 7 through ear tagging and data basing, routine cattle vaccinations and control of cattle movement. He said after all these routines had been done, OIE will inspect the standards implemented by Botswana that were needed by OIE to satisfy itself eventually declaring Zone 7 a Green zone. Dr Sebina said cattle identification through ear tagging was the only stage that Zone 7 was left with while only 22 per cent of ear tags had been issued, inserted and registered on the cattle database. He said farmers were still in possession of the 78 per cent of the ear tags issued to them urging them to tag their cattle. He emphasised the importance of ear tagging each cattle for easy identification in regard to particulars such as colour, age, gender, ownership, place of originality and many more. “I urge all farmers who have not yet ear tagged their cattle to do so, so that Zone 7 can be declared a Green Zone and start selling meat to EU market,” he said. He encouraged farmers to take advantage of the extension period of February 15 to ear tag their cattle saying they should have done the ear tagging by February 1. Dr Sebina said EU market was buying beef at high prices than all markets where Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) sold its beef. He said Zone 7 used to be very important to Botswana Meat Commission as it was one of the zones which had a better supply of cattle. He said should the Zone 7 be declared free from Foot and Mouth disease, it will help to recuperate the BMC which is currently experiencing shortage of cattle supply. One farmer Mr Rapelang Nkgowe encouraged farmers to meet all the requests that will help Zone 7 be declared free from Foot and Mouth disease. BOPA
06.02.17
With the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Kenneth Matambo, set to deliver the 2017/18 budget speech this afternoon, different constituents of society are expected to listen attentively to find out what the budget has in store for them. The annual speech outlines how funds from the treasury are allocated according to different sectors. Some organisations have explained what they want the minister to focus on in his speech concerning issues related to their areas of operation. One such organisation, Gender Links Botswana, expects the minister to make pronouncements on funding for training of beneficiaries of the women empowerment programmes. Gender Links Botswana country manager, Ms Gomolemo Rasesigo, said in an interview that government needs to increase funds for training of beneficiaries in order to equip them with skills that would help them to operate sustainable businesses. She said while government has spent a lot of money on economic empowerment programmes for women over the years, many beneficiaries still lack requisite skills to efficiently run their projects. Ms Rasesigo said due to lack of skills many of the projects that were funded ended up failing to operate sustainably. “Our primary expectation is to find out how much the newly formed Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs would get from the budget, and how the money would be spent. But, I am interested in seeing more provision for capacitating women and empowering them to run sustainable projects,” Ms Rasesigo said last week. Ms Rasesigo further said she wanted the minister to highlight how much money has been budgeted for implementation of the National Gender Policy. Botswana Network on Law and Ethics (BONELA) executive director, Ms Cindy Kelemi said her organisation’s interest in the budget speech is very much linked to their mandate which is to work to ensure protection, promotion and fulfillment of the right to health in Botswana. “BONELA therefore has a vested interest in resource allocation, particularly for the health sector. It is well documented that health is a cross cutting issue which affects not just the individuals wellbeing, but the county’s economic and social development. Diseases have no regard for boundaries. They affect the poor as well as the rich, working class and the unemployed, leaders and those being led, educated and uneducated alike, therefore our approach to health should be considerate of the fact that it’s firstly, a human rights issue which affects socio, economic, cultural and religious wellbeing,” she explained. She said her organisation believes that health should be allocated a larger share of the national budget. Ms Kelemi complained that while Botswana is one of the few countries in Africa that have attained the Abuja Declaration commitment of ensuring that at least 15 per cent of the allocation of the national budget goes to health, the amount of money allocated has not yet translated to equitable access to health. BOPA
02.02.17
Language in Botswana English is the official language of Botswana and widely spoken, although Setswana (also called 'Tswana') is spoken by almost everybody. Mother tongues include Birwa, Herero and Kagalagadi (languages of the Bantu family), Nama, Ganadi and Shua (languages of the Khoisan family), as well as Afrikaans of the European family.
01.02.17
Mogolwane wa matlhabelo a Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), Rre Bosiela Saudu, o tlhomamiseditse baruakgomo fa ngwaga ono ba tlaa ba duela ka nako. O buile se kwa bokopanong jwa BMC le baruakgomo jo bo neng bo tshwerwe ka Labobedi kwa Tshimoyapula. A re ngwaga o o fetileng ba nnile le mathata a go duela baruakgomo ka nako e ba neng ba e ba tshephisitse ka gore mebaraka ya bone e leng Angola le Aferika Borwa e sa dire sentle mo go tsa itsholelo. O tlhalositse fa Angola e le lefatshe le le ikaegileng ka leokwane mme e bile le sena diruiwa ka mabaka a dintwa tse di kileng tsa nna teng mo lefatsheng leo. Ka jalo, Rre Saudu a re ngwaga o o fetileng leokwane le ne le sa rekiwa sentle ko Angola mme seo sa dira gore lefatshe leo le palelwe ke go reka nama. Rre Saudu o tlhalositse gape gore ledi la Aferika Borwa le ne la fokotsega boleng, ka jalo lefatshe leo le ne la fokotsa tse ba di rekang mo mafatsheng a sele. “Re le ba BMC re ne ra akanya go rekisetsa South Africa nama ka ditlhwatlhwa tse di ko tlase, mme ba re ba thapileng gore ba re rekisetse nama e leng ba Global Protein Solutions (GPS) ba re gakolola gore re lete ka tsholofelo ya gore seemo se tlaa tokafala gore re seka ra bona ditatlhegelo tse di kalo,” ga bua Rre Saudu. O ne a tlhalosa gore ba ne ba na le selekanyo sa nama e e ka dirang P36 million mo ditsidifatsing tsa bone, mme ba kolota baruakgomo madi a a kanang ka P23 million. Mogolwane o ne a re se se supa gore fa mebaraka ya bone e ne e sena mathata ba ka bo ba kgonne go ba duela ka nako e e neng ba e tshephisitse. A re go tila dikgwetlho tse di tshwanang le tsa ngwaga o o fetileng, ba tsene mo dipuisanong le lefatshe la Israel ka maikaelelo a go leka go oketsa mebaraka ya bone. A re go nna le mebaraka e mentsi go ka ba thusa gore e re o mongwe o na le mathata ba tshabele ko go o mongwe. Rre Saudu a re monongwaga ba tlaa duela baruakgomo mo malatsing a le lesome le bone go ya ko go a le masome a mabedi le motso go tswa mo nakong e ba rekiseditseng BMC dikgomo ka yone.
01.02.17
Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) executive director-Supplies, Mr Kgakgamalo Ketshajwang has implored contractors to ensure quality and cost effective services reach beneficiaries on time. Speaking at a general suppliers capacity building workshop recently, Mr Ketshajwang said contractors should sharpen their skills on procurement for supplies required by central government. He said by so doing they would submit more competitive bids. “Being empowered with knowledge and skills as having a good understanding of procedures and processes will allow suppliers to know when there is breach in procurement and keeping tenders clean,” he said. Mr Ketshajwang noted that there are a number of projects where awarded contractors have clearly failed to deliver in line with award decisions. He pleaded with contractors to deliver on their obligations without having to be chased around by procuring entities. He said PPADB is worried by failure to deliver quality products on time and within cost. Mr Ketshajwang expressed hope that the workshop, which was aimed at improving contractors’ understanding of the requirements of PPAD Act and regulations, would improve on delivery and even increase contractors’ chances of winning tenders. “This workshop comes at an opportune time as contractors need to position themselves to do business with government during the 2017-2018 financial year following the budget speech,” he said. He said in the last financial year alone, PPADB adjudicated on works/infrastructure, services and supplies at the value of approximately P3.9 billion while various ministerial tender committees adjudicated on those to the value of approximately P4 billion and district administration tender committees awarded those at about P540 million. Mr Ketshajwang explained that PPAD Act and Regulations emphasise transparency, accountability, fairness and value for money and he urged all stakeholders to avoid corruption at all costs. “PPADB and procuring entities are required to uphold the principles of public procurement as enshrined in the PPAD Act,” he said. He said PPADB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the Competition Authority for combating corruption, unfair competition, collusion, bid rigging and fraud.
31.01.17
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) informs the public that the Electoral Voting Machine (EVM) gadget video trending on social media assumed to be the type EVMs envisaged to be procured by IEC is wrong and misleading. A media release from IEC states that the type of the envisaged EVMs is far from being compared with the one on social media. “It has to be noted that there are different types of EVMs used in the world and each is customized to the environment under which it is intended to be used. Basically, the envisaged EVM is not computer and software based as compared to the one trending on social media,” states the release. The release further states that IEC condemns any attempt by anybody to cause panic in the public sphere by making assumptions to know the type of envisaged EVMs. IEC further assures the public that intensive civic and voter education will be conducted for them to appreciate the type of EVM to be used and will have the opportunity to test its trustworthiness. BOPA
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