CEDA moots establishment of SMME Bank

Dikarabo Ramadubu BG reporter
Monday, 29 October 2018
CEDA moots establishment of SMME Bank

Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) is not retrenching staff, but instead has consolidated some units leading to internal staff movements in order to promote efficiency within the agency.Collections and Legal are some of the units that have been consolidated to ensure that the core function of collections is handled end to end by one department.

Strategy and Research functions were also consolidated into corporate planning in order to align with best practice in similar operations. It is said that the realignment has resulted in greater efficiencies with the agency exceeding target in the first half of the year.
The efficiency and good performance of the staff has led to the demands of the agency’s products. CEDA currently operates from nine branches across Botswana, and a further three Mobile Offices which provide roaming services.

Close sources had postulated that the government agency, which was set up to address the need for coherent and holistic support for the development of small, medium and large scale enterprises through the soft window and package offered through subsidiaries - would soon be retrenching as it is overstaffed.

Sources claimed that some members of the executive have been doing a national tour to inform CEDA staff about the looming retrenchments. The sources claim that the retrenchments follow the approval and the implementation of the CEDA 2018-2021 Strategy.
Allaying these fears CEDA Head of Marketing and Communications, Anno Tshipa explained that the staff movement is a result of the approval and implementation of the CEDA 2018-2021 Strategy.

Tshipa said the greater demand for the agency’s products and services has resulted in the agency working to open two branches in Letlhakane and Tsabong respectively. The Letlhakane branch will open in November 2018 while Tsabong will open in the first half of 2019.

Tshipa added that the agency has aggressively deployed three mobile offices to sell the popular microfinance product known as Mabogo Dinku, stating that as at 21st October 2018, the mobile offices had reached 80 villages across Botswana, with a goal of reaching 110 by end of the year. The Mobile Offices are fully equipped to provide all online services that are currently offered across all CEDA Offices.

When refuting allegations that CEDA is overstaffed and many employees are duplicating each other’s duties, Tshipa said while CEDA is mindful of staff costs, the current branches are optimally staffed to be self-sustaining, or being able to generate enough revenue to cover their expenses.

She revealed that the agency is currently reviewing its guidelines with a view to advising Government on the optimal model of service provision. The project to review guidelines is intended for completion in 2019, and without pre-empting recommendations, there will be greater focus on commercialisation, including establishment of an SMME Bank.

Over the past 10 years, CEDA has graduated 70 interns to permanent and pensionable positions within Operations, Information Technology, Collections, Finance and Marketing. Majority of the Interns came from the Government Internship Programme, while some were identified as Top Performers from their various institutions including Botswana Accountancy College and the University of Botswana.

Tshipa concluded that CEDA is committed to its staff welfare and has various initiatives to ensure that the agency remains the Employer of Choice including internal promotions, funding toward advanced degrees and general employee engagement. “The Agency has recently promoted from within a staff member to Head the upcoming Letlhakane Branch, and where skills are available, will always look within for senior position

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