Items filtered by date: Friday, 24 August 2018 - Botswana Guardian

Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana, Professor David Norris is pushing boundaries to market the University.

The University is this evening (Friday August 24, 2018) hosting its Alumni that hold lofty positions of Chief Executives of corporations , companies and parastatals both in the public and private sector as well as Permanent Secretaries.

The event is being held at the UB Conference Centre at the Gaborone campus. Prof. Norris emphasized the importance of engaging the University’s alumni, saying they are central in marketing the institution of higher learning not only as marketers, but also for advisory purposes.

In his quest to take the University to its stakeholders, Prof. Norris recently hosted the UB Alumni at his residence in Gaborone where he pleaded with the Alumni to promote the UB because they understand the institution better.

Published in News
Friday, 24 August 2018 10:14

A woman’s perfect eyebrows

With the right techniques and practice, any woman can achieve perfectly defined eye brows says Refilwe Jacob, owner of local company, Filwe Complete Make-up. Jacob was speaking on the sidelines of the just-ended Women’s Etiquette Brunch. The annual event was held on Saturday at the Grand Palm Hotel.

Her mission right now, is to teach women across the country, these techniques so that they become self-taught make-up artists. Her observation is that all women wish to learn and master how to do their own make-up, and she hopes that with her services they can achieve that goal.

 One of the things that women need to understand, she says is that eyebrows, when they are applied correctly, can change your face and even your look. She adds that eye brows are not identical twins, and that they should be treated differently when it comes to application.

“I want to share with women the right techniques, so that they can become experts,” says Jacob.  She reminds women that there is make-up for different times of the day- evening, and day. Jacob also notes that women must also remember that make-up is used to enhance one’s beauty, boost confidence and also give one a glow. “When one is wearing make-up, their faces have that radiance that can be seen a mile away,” she says. 

She says that one of the things that she picked when it comes to make-up is that eyebrows are a major problem hence she has embarked on a journey to teach others the right techniques of doing their eye brows. It is on this backdrop that she has embarked on a journey to share and teach women the art of crafting their eyebrows through Perfectly Defined Eye Brows Masterclasses.

Jacob’s, Make-up artist travels all over the country and goes where her services are needed. In the coming weeks, she will share her knowledge with audiences in Gaborone, Maun, and Palapye where she will be presenting her Masterclasses. Her campaign will begin in Palapye (Mogonono Hotel) on October 6th, Gaborone (Bathopele Lodge) on October 27th, Francistown (The Nest Lodge) on November 3rd, and Maun (Nhabe Museum) on December 1st.

Published in Style
Friday, 24 August 2018 09:56

BSE Chief joins Chiefs

Kgatleng BTC Premiership outfit Mochudi Centre Chiefs have appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Stock Exchange, Thapelo Tsheole as their team president. Tsheole, who commands an illustrious background in corporate governance, is expected to contribute in propelling the Kgatleng club to new heights in both governance and strategy.

Tsheole joins Magosi at a time when the team is seeking to revive their fortunes following a difficult 2017/18 season, both financially and in the pitch. In an interview this week, Magosi chairman Raymond Tsheko confirmed that they appointed the BSE Chief as president.

Tsheko described Tsheole as a champion of corporate governance and strategy.  Tsheko further explained that Tsheole who champions community projects is expected to advise the team on strategic decisions in the   future.
“We seek to promote ethical leadership and maintain a sustainable   model for the team. There is need to raise the bar high and achieve what we have set out to do in football,” Tsheko said.

The Magosi chairman said the appointment of the Corporate governance guru will ensure that the team is run well and complies with statutory requirements. “We must further ensure that people who run the club are of a good standard.” Tsheko further explained that there is need to ensure that the organisational makeup of the club is inclusive to stakeholders.

Commenting on the matter this week, Tsheole said his recent appointment to Magosi comes as a voluntary service to the community. “It was not the first time I was approached to be the team president. They have been approaching me for the past two years but this time I agreed”.Furthermore. Tsheole explained that he will not be involved in the day to day operations of the football team. “I am just a ceremonial figure. “

The BSE   chief said he will assist in providing a higher level of policy and vision for the Kgatleng team. Tsheole said he will use his expertise in the corporate world in an effort to help the team move forward. The Mochudi native says he has been supporting Magosi from his early days.

I have played for the Centre Chiefs development team in the Chappies league a long time ago. I later went on to play for another team in the National First Division in Gaborone.

Published in Sports
Friday, 24 August 2018 09:47

Boxing Association knocks out VP

The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) has dismissed its Vice President Dirang Thipe from its executive committee. Thipe has been under suspension for the past five months following litany of charges over his conduct within the amateur boxing body.Thipe’s suspension comes after the BoBA Disciplinary Committee met and deliberated on the matter late last month.

Among some of the four charges that Thipe was facing included cancelling the Botswana National team trip to Poland earlier this year.” Between 20th and 25th February in Maputo, Mozambique   you (Thipe) acted   contrary to the   duties of the vice president and manager of the Botswana Boxing National team and exceeded your authority as well as a mandate by proceeding to coach boxing athletes,” reads a statement released by BoBA this week.

The statement continues, “On or about 20th May you (Thipe) published or caused to be published articles on Sunday Standard newspaper which is circulated in Botswana where you undermined the authority of the association and brought its name into disrepute.” The BoBA DC further accused Thipe of collecting P1000 for renting a boxing ring and later   failed to return the funds despite numerous requests   from the Association.

According to BoBA, Thipe only managed to return the said funds four months later. After deliberating over the matter, the BoBA DC recommended that Thipe be removed from his position as vice president as well as an executive committee member of BoBA. “The BoBA executive committee also convened on the same date (11th August) and endorsed the DC recommendations. Thipe has the right to appeal through the BNSC rules and regulations. In an interview with BG sport this week, Thipe said that he will appeal the BoBA DC decision after seeking legal advice on the matter.

 “It is only the BoBA affiliates who can dismiss me from the executive committee because they have voted for me. I am still the BoBA Vice president until I decide to resign or the affiliates don’t want me,” Thipe said in an interview this week.

Thipe further alleged that the BoBA executive committee that suspended him a few months back did not form a quorum. Furthermore, Thipe who has served as VP technical and Secretary General in previous BoBA executive committees alleged that the BoBA DC that removed him from the Association did not comprise the boxing body’s legal adviser.

Published in Sports
Friday, 24 August 2018 09:39

Karate team kicks in Namibia

International Ryushin-kan Karate Do Botswana Chairperson, Sensei Keorapetse Dube says they are targeting 5 gold medals at the Luderitz Open which is slated for Saturday in Luderitz, Namibia and conclude on Sunday. The team left for Lüderitz, Namibia on August 22 to attend the Luderitz karate open championship which will go on from 24-25 August 2018 and return on the 26 August 2018.

The team had to leave early in order to acclimatize with the weather conditions in Namibia. According to Dube 45 athletes from Botswana are expected to compete in the championship which will attract countries like Zambia, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique.
“The 45 athletes are expected to compete in individual and team events,” he said.

Nonetheless the team is made up of young athletes as the club looks to further their grassroots development program, “We are traveling with a youthful side, amongst them is 11 year-old Tumiso Tselaesele and 13 year- old Zone 6 silver medallist, Boago Balemogi.”

“Taking these young athletes to such a big international tournament is one bright idea since they will gain exposure and build their confidence going into other tournaments of high magnitudes across the world, those who failed to qualify for national team events are going to benefit hugely from this tournament” he says. However, Dube says they are not expecting much from the team as they target just 5 gold medals, “ we have about 15 seniors in the team so we expect medals from them, if we are going to get medals from the youngsters it will be a bonus.

 Our development strategy is long term and of high performance it allows us not to burden the kids but let them develop within their space.”

Published in Sports
Friday, 24 August 2018 09:20

IAAF president expected in Botswana

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe is expected in Botswana this December. The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) is reportedly hard at work in preparation for hosting one of the most important figures in world athletics. Among other things, Coe will beexpected to make amends after having promised to visit Botswana.

Coe made the commitment after the IAAF irked the international community when local track star Isaac Makwala(400M) was denied the opportunity to compete in the men’s 400 and 200m following suspicion that the local star might have contracted the contagious nuro virus during the 2017 IAAF World championships held in London.

The eyes of the world frowned upon the IAAF’s unfair treatment of Makwala. However, the local runner went on to run solo under wet weather conditions before millions of television viewers in order to qualify for the next stage of the event. It was under such circumstances that Coe promised both Makwala and the Botswana delegation that he will visit the country to make amends.

This week, the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) spokesperson Ipolokeng Ramatshaba confirmed the planned high-profile visit. Ramatshaba said they expect Coe to arrive in Botswana around December 2018. “We do not have the actual dates for his arrival but we anticipate that he will be here during the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games scheduled for late this year,” he said.

Ramatshaba revealed that they are busy preparing for the IAAF president's arrival; actually a strong local committee has already hit the ground running ahead of Coe’s much anticipated visit. Ramatshaba said the team was recently assembled and tasked with ensuring that they prepare nothing but the best for Coe.

When asked for further details surrounding the committee, Ramatshaba said the team will be unveiled to the public soon. He said that the BAA team will be working closely with the Region 5 games Local Organising Committee(LOC) which is led by Labbeaus Peloewetse.

The BAA spokesperson went on to say that it will be the first time in history that the IAAF president visits Botswana and they have to ensure that they are well prepared for the occasion. “Athletics is one of the best performing sport codes locally and we have to use this opportunity to plead for assistance and support from the IAAF president,” Ramatshaba said.

He noted that among other things, Coe is expected to tour most track and field facilities around the country. Ramatshaba revealed that the intention is to familiarize the president with all the BAA structures and the long-term vision of the association.
One of the biggest challenges facing BAA currently is the lack of finance with the BAA depending heavily on the assistance from government.

There are no full-time coaches in Botswana and this impacts negatively on the athletes. Centres of excellence are also unable to produce the required talent because athletes train alone in schools.

Botswana has proven over the years that there is potential talent mainly in the sprint race categories, having seen the rise of local stars such Karabo Sibanda, Baboloki Thebe and Christene Botlogetswe among others.
Coe is a former star athlete with a rich portfolio boasting of eleven world records.

The BAA’s hope is that he is better placed to understand the struggles and needs of the association. During his time as a runner, he is reported to have been ranked number one in the middle-distance arena during the 1980 Olympics.
Long distance runner Rapula Diphoko recently told this publication during the Orange Phikwe Marathon that they are struggling to develop young runners because more emphasis is on sprints than them.

Diphoko argued that they are sponsored by private entities and not under the care of Botswana National Sports Commission(BNSC) like other athletes. “We have young runners but you will never see them competing because they are not even on camp like us. During marathons it is always the likes of me and Onneile Dintwe competing,” he said.

Ramatshaba explained that they are forced to prioritise at times to fit the budget and with more funding they will be able to unearth hidden talent locally. He noted that they rely heavily on the national stadium for BAA activities; however it is not always available for them to use.

Moreover, Coe will be expected to touch base on the doping scandals that have rocked up the local athletics body. Botswana’s golden girl Amantle Montsho returned to the track last year after serving a two-year ban by IAAF.

Currently the future of Lydia Jele hangs on the balance as she awaits response from the IAAF following allegations of doping case implicating the athlete. She has since been suspended from all BAA activities.
Ramatshaba said Coe is most likely to stay in Botswana for four to five days.

Published in Sports
Friday, 24 August 2018 09:10

We are turning the corner-StanChart CEO

Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive Officer Mpho Masupe said they expect better performance this year as the bank realised profit before tax of P28 million in the first half of 2018 after three years of consecutive losses. “We are beginning to see the green shoots and the market is all looking positive.

We believe that we should continue with the projection that we started into the second half of the year. The results that we have achieved today are a validation that we are on the right track. We decisively took appropriate steps in response to challenges we faced during last year, and we have always ensured that prudence guides the way we do business,” said Masupe.

In the same period last year the bank recorded a loss of P66 million mainly driven by poor performance of the diamond and jewellery industry. Masupe said the bank implemented a number of portfolio rebalancing initiatives, which significantly contributed to a decrease in loan impairments.

Masupe emphasized that as a more efficient and performing business, the bank has greater confidence to implement more service and product enhancements throughout 2018, some of which have already been achieved. Speaking on technology, he said their digital capabilities, supported by their wide global network, allows the business segments a greater degree of focus, cost-efficiency, convenience and innovative market access.

“Our easy to use mobile app offers transformative banking experience to our retail clients, while our corporate clients have increased control over their banking preferences through our award winning straight2bank platform,” he said.
He also noted that as the bank looks to the second half of 2018 and beyond they have increased confidence.

“We have a business that will deliver the value that our shareholders are accustomed to. We pursue enhanced service delivery through innovation that puts the customers first. We are excited about our recently launched partnerships and remain fully committed to contribute in driving commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity.”

Presenting the results on Wednesday, Standard Chartered Bank Chief Financial Officer, Mbako Mbo highlighted that the bank recorded a marginal growth of 1.8 percent in December 2017. “Total operating expenses were eight percent down year on year as the Bank continues to tightly control costs.

The impairment charges were significantly down during the period reflecting positively on portfolio rebalancing that was implemented at the onset of the year,” said Mbo. He explained that in line with the market wide liquidity trends, customer deposits declined by five percent, with a marginal three percent decline in overall client assets.

“Driving the decline in overall client assets is a decision to reduce exposure in certain subsectors on the corporate book. However, the retail segment assets grew by five percent year on year,” he said.
Mbo, who is a former finance chief at Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), also highlighted that the rebalanced portfolio is supportive of the banks sustainable growth path. “The Bank’s balance sheet and the capital position remain strong and our costs are under control.”

Published in Business

Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) horticulture graduates expressed their determination to increase vegetable production capacity locally and reduce dependence on South African farmers.

The 42 horticulture entrepreneurs graduated from LEA Glen Valley Horticulture Incubation project on Tuesday and 10 outstanding winners were granted prizes ranging from P5 000 to P20 000 by Stanbic Bank Botswana.In his remarks, one of the graduates, Jacob Thebenala said through the training at the incubation centre they have acquired skills to produce enough food to feed the nation if they work hard.

“We have been really incubated and the ball is now in our courts. Given all these skills and courage we can make a change in the economy and be the producers of food locally and reduce dependence on imports,” said Thebenala.
He said as Small Micro and Medium Enterprises they should look for partnerships in order to grow and increase productivity. “Having been exposed to different technologies like greenhouses and drip irrigation that improve output of the horticulture commodities, we are equipped to make a significant difference in the horticulture sector. We can make a difference through collaborations,”

Currently the country imports about 48 percent of vegetables from South Africa as the local production can not meet the market demand.Dimakatso Lekgotla who received P20 000 cash from Stanbic bank said she is going to produce tomatoes, green peppers and onions as a start-up in her 25 hacter farm in Francistown.

“I have gained   a lot of modern techniques and skills so I am ready to start farming once I get start-up capital. But in the meantime I am going to start with the little I have,” said Lekgotla.
Meanwhile, LEA Chief Executive Officer, Racious Moatshe said their objective is to create a pool of successful, sustainable and competitive SMMEs that will be instrumental in advancing government’s high level goals of employment creation, import substitution, poverty reduction and economic diversification.

“These 42 graduates have been exposed to various production methods under green houses, tunnels and net shades in addition to being equipped with business management skills that will enable them to function on their own, post the incubation,” said Moatshe. LEA incubation has to date produced over 150 graduates who are currently engaged in production countrywide.Moatshe said they are currently looking for private partnerships to develop the 25 hectare commercial farm at their Glen Valley Horticulture Incubation.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Acting Chief Executive, Samuel Minta said Stanbic Bank Botswana is determined to move Botswana forward by supporting SMEs in becoming active economic agents, leading to job creation and essentially adding to the growth of economy.

“We understand our responsibility goes beyond banking, hence our investment in the growth of the Agriculture sector, which is pivotal in diversifying the economy. We are proud to have a fruitful partnership with LEA and we look forward to continuing to make progress real in the horticulture sector,” he said.

Published in Business

The Botswana Export Manufacturers Association (BEMA) said the local industry should swiftly respond to expanding e-commerce and e-platforms in the region.

The Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Mmantlha Sankoloba said the electronic supported trade presents a huge market potential for logistics service providers that are able to respond to new consumption and supply chain trends.

She said the e-commerce and e-platforms are also hinged on growing demand in the region for high-end consumer products ranging from luxury goods to gourmet food. “Apart from upgrading physical infrastructure, we are hoping Government will continue scaling up efforts to groom more talent with various expertise to help support the growth of our transport and logistics services sector,” said Sankoloba.

This week BEMA in collaboration with USAID organised a transport and logistics workshop to create an excellent networking platform.The deliberations of the workshop are expected to enable the industry to formulate a strategy and roadmap for expanding the local transport and services.

Sankoloba believes that Botswana represents important opportunities for investors to connect with some of the world’s most dynamic emerging economies such as Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia presenting exciting opportunities for the logistics and transport sectors.“For the best part of the 20th and 21st centuries we were ignored and now we must harness all the available opportunities to be the center of trade between Africa, US, Europe, China and South-east Asia,” she said.

Apart from international trade, BEMA says intra-Africa trade has been expanding on the back of strong domestic demand and is expected to grow further as the formation of more integrated economic community takes shape in the next few years. In addition, BEMA is preparing to negotiate favorable deals with many of the international economic blocs to help strengthen trade and logistics for the country.

Sankoloba said BEMA will continue to lobby for the enhancement of local transport infrastructure.  “Our focus is to ensure that Gaborone retains its potential competitive edge in multi-modal connectivity in air, land and rail,” said Sankoloba.She further said the growth of overseas logistics business will enhance Gaborone’s role as a super-connector linking Africa and the rest of the world.

On infrastructure Kazungula Bridge scheduled for opening in a few years’ time will expand both Botswana and Zambia’s cargo, adding to the Trans Kalahari Highway connecting Botswana to Walvis Bay, Namibia.  The road link’s travel time is about two days which is less than half the time it takes for ocean going cargo via other ports.

Published in Business
Friday, 24 August 2018 08:48

Outsourcing to solve youth unemployment

The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has plans to revitalise business process outsourcing (BPO) initiatives mooted 14 years ago by the then Botswana International Financial Services Company (IFSC) before its merger with Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), as part of efforts to fight unemployment scourge in the country.

Reginald Selelo, Acting BITC Chief Executive Officer said the current administration’s decision to place youth unemployment at the apex of its agenda has led to identifying BPO as a critical sector for the development of the economy.
“There is willingness by the government to create employment which is one of the biggest priorities particularly for the youth demographic.

“We do not need to look any further than the BPO sector particularly domestic and international contact centres which have a proven track record in creating labour intensive sustainable job opportunities particularly for the youth,” said Selelo highlighting that the country’s spiraling youth unemployment currently sits at 20 percent.

He said the recent decoupling of the network from Botswana Telecommunication(BTC) to form Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet)followed by heavy investments on network infrastructure and other advantages should spur the industry through low data and voice cost.

“Botswana also offers an abundance of IT graduates, other graduates and form five leavers available who are currently unemployed can be employed in the sector,” said Selelo, adding that Batswana have a neutral English speaking accent which can attract international companies to set up call centres in Botswana. Since 2015, BITC has hosted five reputable contact centre companies employing a combined 10, 000 agents in both India and South Africa to benchmark.

“It was evident from the interactions that despite our investment offering being a compelling one there was need to further enable investment attraction through availing tailor-made incentives targeting the BPO sector, if as a country we are keen to grow the sector locally,” said Selelo.

Selelo’s sentiments were also echoed by Asnath Breseno, Direct BPO Managing Director who highlighted that a BPO skills gap exists in the local market. “The labour force is there but people that are skilled are not many and we need to develop that,” said Breseno highlighting that skills development will enable Botswana to compete international in the BPO sector.

Currently only one course is registered with Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) and few individuals are accredited trainers.“If Botswana is to succeed in BPO, we need to have people trained so that we do not struggle to get skilled people” emphasized Breseno. Direct BPO, a subsidiary of telecommunications operator Mascom, set up in 2017 as an alternative revenue stream offering multi-channel contact service, not only limited to voice calls and employing 120 agents, has already started scanning the international market.

“We have already started engaging regional companies. This is not a cast in stone industry, we hope to break into the international market by the 5th year,” said Breseno. Breseno is optimistic that Direct BPO will move from 60 seats to 800/1000 seats in the next four to five years.“It’s something that can be done,” said Breseno.

With a total of 14 call centres currently active in the country, the domestic industry also offers more opportunities for utilities companies, insurance, banking, retail, travel and hospitality sectors offers the BPO sector an opportunity to grow fast and wide. Gareth Pritchard, BPESA Western CapeChief Executive Officer an industry association also encouraged Botswana invests in skills development for the BPO industry.

“Central to the BPO ecosystem is the talent pool,” said Pritchard citing that South Africa is not having any major competition on the continent in the BPO industry. “Most countries are fairly small and on the start up phase, the supply chain is massive,” said Pritchard urging Botswana to come up with a value proposition that will immensely kick off the sector.

Published in Business
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