Since there are no regulations on cryptocurrencies or the use of blockchain technology in Botswana, the question often arises whether cryptocurrency trading is legal in Botswana. Botswana’s relationship with cryptocurrency seems to be antagonistic, but currently it is not illegal to trade it, while it appears that the government continues to monitor the technology
Up to now, government-affiliated officials have treated cryptocurrency with scepticism and the Governor of the Bank of Botswana (BOB) had on occasion informed the public that cryptocurrencies were neither controlled nor regulated by the BOB, cannot be transferred into Botswanan Pula, and pose a threat to the efficacy of central bank mandates.
But despite the government’s view on cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) economy is active in the country with traders using apps and exchanges like Altcoin Trader for trading. Some expect that the continued launch of blockchain start-ups will necessitate reconsideration and closer scrutiny by BOB.
There are several bitcoin enthusiasts in Botswana who brave the obstacles to fund their wallets for Bitcoin transactions because there are no local cryptocurrency exchanges where enthusiasts can trade Botswana’s fiat currency Pula for Bitcoin.The declarations of the BOB makes it impossible for cryptocurrency exchange platforms to set up a base in Botswana since Banks will not provide intermediary financial services and cryptocurrency exchanges for the public.
A drive for diversification by the president of Botswana may be an important catalyst for Bitcoin and blockchain technology adoption in the country, supported by the recent price increases of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin price is forecasted to increase to surpass the $100,000 mark by the end of 2021 and with the high adaptation rate of BTC across the globe, more Bitcoin start-ups are springing up and may force Botswana’s Central Bank to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Alternatives to Buying Bitcoin in Botswana
One alternative way of trading Bitcoin is using crypto exchanges based in South Africa and paying online with globally accepted credit or debit cards. Other alternatives comprise transacting Bitcoin via Peer-to-Peer modes on WhatsApp groups and social media platforms, which are totally unregulated and prone to scam activities.
The Bank of Botswana is currently not interested in regulating cryptocurrencies but apparently also has no intention of banning cryptocurrencies in the country. In fact, it cannot declare a ban on cryptocurrencies since it does not control the internet. It is hoped that the central bank governor would follow the trend by providing regulations for cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges in the near future. In the meantime the Botswana public continues to push for the adoption and regulation of Bitcoin.
Is cryptocurrency trading legal in Botswana?
Yes, but since there are no regulations on cryptocurrencies or the use of blockchain technology in Botswana, it is often assumed that cryptocurrency trading is illegal in the country.
Is cryptocurrency trading regulated in Botswana?
No, cryptocurrency or the use of blockchain technology is not regulated in Botswana, but currently it is not illegal to trade it. It is however not possible to transfer cryptocurrencies into Botswanan Pula.
Can the public trade cryptocurrency in Botswana?
Yes, there are bitcoin enthusiasts in Botswana who fund their wallets for cryptocurrency transactions by using crypto exchanges in South Africa, paying online with globally accepted credit or debit cards, or transacting via WhatsApp groups and social media platforms.
Will the trading of cryptocurrency in Botswana be banned?
No, the trading cannot be banned since the government does not control the internet.
Botswana is a landlocked country with a population of approximately two million people. The country has an arid climate, the rainfall is not dependable and drought can last for several years at a time.
Water is vital for the efficient operation of business, industry, agriculture, farming & mining, all essential for the economic success of Botswana. Diamond mining is a huge contributor to the economy and requires a large and consistent supply of water.
Abeco Tanks has been instrumental in supplying the country with water tanks to save and store water for those times when there is an interruption in the water supply.
The Abeco stainless steel water tanks come in a variety of sizes and can store up to 50 million litres of water. They are known as water banks because they save water similar to a savings account saves money. Over 35 years ago the late Mannie Ramos Snr. saw that a problem of water scarcity in Africa would become a serious one and understood that forethought and planning were needed.
Today his two sons Mannie Ramos Jnr and Duane Ramos run the business. They have a 269 000 square foot manufacturing facility in Johannesburg and only use South African companies as suppliers insisting on supporting local first. They have created jobs for South Africans and today have staff that have been with them since the inception of the company.
“It is extremely important to educate people to view water as the most valuable currency and commodity and to no longer waste it,” Ramos Jnr says. “Eliminating wastage will mean that there is supply during times of crisis”.
Mannie Ramos Snr started Abeco Tanks in the nineteen-eighties and the family has never looked back. The company has grown from strength to strength and today reaches worldwide into areas including, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Middle East, Central America, and the entire African continent.
They have also become a necessary purchase for essential services like stores, hospitals, vets, dentists, doctors, farming, and schools and for those in the rural areas where they have to walk for hours to collect water.
With the onset of Covid, the uninterrupted supply of water became even more important for hygienic reasons. The frequent washing of hands became imperative to curb the spread of the virus.
The borders were closed and the country had to ensure that all essential services were running efficiently and at full capacity. The water tanks became a vital resource supplying water to overburdened medical facilities, for agriculture to ensure the supply of food and for grocery stores supplying food.
In the rural areas, the communities need tanks for their immediate water supply. With the tanks positioned close to home they no longer need to walk for hours each day to find water and with their numerous taps, the long queues have been eliminated.
The tanks also ensure that the farmers in the rural areas have a steady supply of water for their livestock and crops. The local farmers became an essential part of the food supply in the country during the lockdown.
READ MORE: Covid-19 crisis: A silver lining for Molepolole’s prolonged water woes
Why use Abeco Tanks?
These water tanks are constructed using high-quality stainless-steel plates that are bolted together at the site where they will be standing. Due to the plates being separate they are light to transport making it easy to reach rural or out-of-the-way locations. They are easy to construct meaning that simple equipment is used eliminating the need for transporting heavy equipment to the site.
The stainless-steel plates are also hot-dip galvanised ensuring no corrosion over time. The water inside the tank is always bacteria and algae free as there can never be any light or ultraviolet rays penetrating through the steel affecting it. The stainless-steel plates or panels are also put through a cold-working process which produces yield stress drawing quality steel. This ensures the steel is not affected by the pressure of the water.
The bolts and nuts used are of a high tensile grade also ensuring the tanks will be of maximum strength. The internal bracing holding the tanks together is made of angle iron which is bolted to the base plates which are in turn bolted to the tank panels. The rubber components and sealants are non-toxic and non-tainting. The final product is one of maximum strength that will stand the test of time holding and saving fresh drinkable hygienic water.
The water tanks come in many shapes and sizes including rectangular, circular, and custom-made either elevated or at ground level. Abeco Tanks can manufacture and install a tank to fit any space. When purchasing a water tank it is important to select a company that will be there for the long haul. The Abeco Tanks are of such quality that they will be standing for many years to come and excellent customer service and maintenance after installation is imperative.
Abeco Tanks has stood the test of time for over 35 years. The company currently operates in 35 countries worldwide and has proven itself to offer excellent quality products along with after-sales service!
Visit our websites today for more information:
We landed in Maun from Gaborone on an early morning flight. The Belmond Group is eagerly waiting for the guests, comprising of myself and a fellow travel buddy at the Maun Airport. We depart Maun by road, in an open 4x4 Safari Vehicle.
It is a long drive from Maun to Khwai, not because of the distance but because the gravel road is bumpy. It takes some patience to get used to sitting back and just taking in the sights and sounds along the route. The trip to Khwai is about 4-5 hours. The duration of the trip to base is worth every minute. We are treated to the best scenes that Botswana has to offer on this part of the country. It is scenic in the sense that you get to see humans settlers and wildlife along the way. We are fortunate to spot zebras, elephants, and wildebeest.
Upon arrival at Khwai River Lodge, we are taken through camp orientation on safety, meals and times for game drives. After the hours spent on the road, I am happy to check into my room. I am literally blown away. It is interesting on how you can find luxury in the middle of the wilderness far away from civilization. The room has a deck that overlooks the Kh- wai River, which divides the Khwai concession from Moremi Game Reserve. I marvel at the king size bed in the luxurious room. The tented luxury room is even air-conditioned with a beautiful wooden bathroom. Ideally, this means that one gets the luxury of the city right in the middle of the bush.
The rooms are built in such a way that you can lazy about on your hammock and still be able to spot wildlife in the open lush fields along the river. The king-sized bed is netted to avoid being disturbed by the whizzing sounds of the mosquitoes.
There was no time to lazy about on the ham- mock, admiring the Khwai River as on the par- ticular day, we arrived right in time for lunch. I love food, and therefore went straight to the restaurant to explore what was offered. It was not a buffet but rather they offered a menu with different choices on the starters, main course as well as dessert. This is a true 5 -star dining experience in the wilderness.
The guests also get to drive out on a scenic game drive. Khwai is known for a good number of birds and we spotted a lot of them ranging from Eagles, cranes owls to name just a few. In no time, dark clouds are above us and the dark skies let loose with rain, lightning and thunder. But you will never know what is around the corner even under such heavy rain conditions. It is then that we spot lionesses on a hunt.
They don’t make a kill or go far from where we spotted them. One makes its way back closer to where we were, with the cubs following their mom. The cubs seem a bit shy, Richard Sepopo, our Tour Guide explains that it is probably the first time the cubs see a vehicle. This is most likely because of lockdowns and travel restric- tions. Even some paths have overgrown because they were not in use for sometime.
Nights in the wilderness are amazing espe- cially if you will be sleeping in a luxury-tented room on the banks of the Khwai River. In a place like this, you sleep like a baby listening to all kinds of sounds made by crickets, frogs, hip- pos, owls and lions in the heart of the night.
Telecommunications company, VIB Mobile Botswana is growing its footprints in Africa. The local brand made a surprise announcement this week about its latest venture in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
The local company is a Value-Added Service (VAS) vendor for mobile network operators in Africa, providing SMS messaging, USD, Voice, Email, WhatsApp, and mobile content services. The announcement is a build-up to something exciting that is loading in Lesotho. The development will be unveiled soon.
Presently, the company that has been in operation since 2010, provides services to users of the three mobile networks in Botswana namely MASCOM, Orange and Be Mobile, providing mobile added services to them.
Speaking in an interview with the Sales & Marketing Executive for the brand, Thuto Sedimo, he explains that it was right for the company to extend its reach and tap into the Lesotho market. The country is just perfect for them as it is almost similar to the local market in Botswana in terms of demographics.
The country has two networks namely Vodacom and Econet, and they are looking forward to passionately doing what they do best. “We are looking forward to enhancing user experiences and giving them user friendly services,” he says. He further notes that the new venture started in October, and their announcement about this exciting project is a build-up to something even more exciting.
“We are working on unveiling something for Basotho soon,” he explains adding that they want to build the suspense for the surprise in question. He further says that they have had an amazing reception, and that they are looking forward to fully tapping into the market.
Quizzed on which other country they were eyeing, he indicated that it was too soon to tell, and that they are always ready to tap into opportunities that might arise. Meanwhile, the company remains committed to increasing the revenue stream for artists as evidenced by the royalties that they pay to the artists every year.
The third edition of the Paris Peace Forum slated for November this year will be devoted to multi-stakeholder response to Corona virus, French Ambassador to Botswana Laurence Beau, has said.
Speaking this week on the occasion of Bastille Day celebration, Ambassador Beau said the response will be both in terms of improving “our immediate response and resilience, and of rebuilding a more sustainable world”. She reiterated that President Emmanuel Macron and France are “very much committed to the African continent, its development and its stability” and expressed hope that there would be a strong attendance at this first international summit.
The summit underlines the fact that collective response to the multidimensional crisis that the world faces must not neglect environmental and social awareness. Ambassador Beau said that investing in the ecological and energy transition must be a way for the world to turn the crisis into an opportunity by respecting the commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN).
The French embassy in Botswana celebrated Bastille Day (National Day) on June 14th with an address by the Ambassador H.E Laurence Beau beamed through social media.
The Ambassador began by commending the Botswana authorities for their “exemplary management” of the Corona virus health crisis, noting that safety and hygiene measures were quickly implemented and complied with. She observed that likewise, France had taken similar decisions and postponed many international events that were scheduled for this year, such as Africa-France Summit, the IUCN World Conservation Congress and the Generation Equality Forum.
Ambassador Beau noted that this year’s celebration of the Bastille Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to workers in all essential services who have been and still are on the front line of the fight against COVID-19. “I would particularly like to thank all medical staff whose exceptional mobilisation allowed many lives to be saved: they embody the values of solidarity, fraternity and commitment that both our countries share and promote far beyond national borders”, she said.
She emphasized that the pandemic is still raging and has in the process highlighted the “interdependence of States and economies in a globalised world”. It was for this reason that she warned against temptation or the trap of withdrawing from the international community.
She said France and Botswana stand together in promoting a collective response within the framework of multilateral institutions, hence France has been supporting Botswana in its fight against the outbreak of the virus, on the bilateral level and through European Union channels (“Team Europe”), as well as on the international level in strengthening WHO, GAVI and the Global Fund, to develop innovative and ambitious initiatives.
“In this spirit of cooperation, we are pleased that the ACT-Accelerator initiative has raised 9.8 billion euros to guarantee universal and fair access to a vaccine against Covid-19” Ambassador Beau said. She ended this note with an assurance that Botswana can count on the commitment of France to support its objectives of strengthening its healthcare system as well as stimulating its economic recovery through greater diversification.
Some residents of Gaborone are disgruntled at being overlooked or excluded from the social food basket rollout. The food basket is meant to assist those in need, particularly those financially affected by the COVID-19 extreme social distancing regulations.
Government has indicated that the nationwide drive is targeted at the most disadvantaged community members who are without an income and lack basic necessities especially food. A statement from government this week indicated that 3000 households had been identified in Gaborone to receive the food relief baskets. The city has a population of over 200, 000.
Some members of the public have said that there was no class categorisation in the surveillance. Residents of the so-called prime and suburban areas of Block 5, Block 8, Block 9, Block 10 and Phase 2, among others, took to social media to complain that they had not received any visit from social workers.
A disgruntled resident of Block 8, Thomo Moepi said the assumption was that people who live in prime areas are not in need. “They probably went to township areas only. What they fail to understand is that living in semi-urban prime areas does not mean that one is well-off. Many of us are struggling, living from hand to mouth as hustlers. I think government does not understand what the life of a hustler entails. On other days I can fend for myself because I can do this and that to make money but not now in lockdown,” he said.
Moepi runs a car wash and shoe cleaning business.
Many Batswana make a living through the urban informal sector through selling, skill exchange, trade and ‘piece jobs’, on a service or product or payment method, where they make money on a daily basis. With limited movement, many economic opportunities and prospects are depleted. There is no income for large families and beneficiaries.
Many breadwinners and guardians are struggling. Electricity tariffs were hiked by 20 percent prior to the lockdown and any discerning consumer could have noticed the price hikes on several items in shops. All this has increased costs for many.
Tshegofatso Bathai, a hairdresser renting out a shared backhouse, said on most days she can make more than P300 in a day but with social distancing restrictions she could barely scrap a mere P100 and had been forced to dip into her meagre savings to get by and send money home to her ailing parents and unemployed siblings because she is a breadwinner.
She said she had received one or two customers and was able to buy relish, but it was risky. “They are scared of breaking social distancing rules. Some customers are not doing their hair because they are not going anywhere. “Staying home is also expensive, especially when you have little ones. Children want to eat. When they are hungry, they just want food – they don’t care that it is lockdown.”
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA) has donated the sum of P200, 000.00 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The SDA Church in Botswana is administered by Botswana Union Conference and has two regional administrative centres - North Botswana Conference (Francistown) and South Botswana Conference (Mogoditshane).
The Church owns several entities, among them Kanye SDA Hospital, Kanye SDA College of Nursing, Botswana Adventist Medical Services, and Moshupa SDA Clinic. President of the Botswana Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Dr. Kenaope Kenaope confirmed to this publication that the church indeed made the donation. In a letter addressed to all church organs and passed to Botswana Guardian, Kenaope announced the donation was made in solidarity with the Government efforts to mitigate against the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that in response to the national call to contribute funds (or in-kind) to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, the Botswana Union Conference (BUC) Executive Committee authorised and contributed the sum of P200, 000.00 (Pula Two Hundred Thousand Only) on behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church community, to the fund.
“The said amount was transferred to the Bank of Botswana COVID-19 Relief Fund account on Thursday April 09, 2020”.
Kenaope expressed hope that the contribution is "our social responsibility" as a church to partner with all those who are supporting the Government of Botswana to address the effects of the COVID-19 scourge.
"We encourage our members who are financially able to voluntarily support this government initiative over and above what the SDA Church as an entity has contributed,” he implored. SDA entered Kanye Village in then Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1921 through its medical missionary work and this was followed by its preaching work in 1922/1923. By December 31, 2019, Kenaope said it had a membership of 47, 354 baptised members.
Kenaope encouraged congregants to adhere to the guidelines provided by MoHW and WHO, such as extreme social distancing and washing hands as often as possible with soap and clean water. “Much more, we pray for the frontline medical teams as they do their best to manage the situation and also encourage all of us to unite our efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
A legal battle between the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU) is looming after the ministry rejected demands by the union to have its members - who are COVID19 frontliners - given Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), food and transport.
BLLAHWU wrote a letter through its attorneys this week Tuesday to the Attorney General indicating that as at present and following engagements with DPSM Director, there has been no positive response to the demand that frontline health workers be provided with the necessary PPEs and hand sanitisers.The union mentioned that the deployment of Social Workers into households without any
PPEs expose both the households that the Social Workers will assess and the Social Workers themselves.
"The client represents more than two thirds (2/3) of all Health Workers and Local Government employees, the specific cadres inclusive. To that end, there is a collective labour agreement which has to be honoured by both parties. In addition to this, the Employer has conditions of service for the respective cadres of employment”. There are further World Health Organisation Guidelines which require PPEs for such frontline persons. The WHO Guidelines are part of “our law by reason of them being recognised by the Regulations in Statutory Instrument No. 61 of 2020," said Motswagole and Company law firm in a demand letter dated April 14th 2020.
The attorneys added that there is a further risk of transmission between Social Workers and their
Counselling clients, especially given the private and closed environment in which counselling services are ordinarily provided. "We are under instruction from the client to demand as a matter of urgency that within 3 days of this letter all the relevant Ministries, who have been copied herein, provide all of the deployed staff with PPEs, hand sanitisers, food and transport in their respective shifts.
“Take notice that should the above not happen, the undersigned shall approach the High Court on an urgent basis to compel to provide all the deployed staff with PPEs as per their respective shifts." In response the Attorney General representing the health ministry indicated that the employees are engaged on their day-to-day work and the ministry is not in a position to provide food. It is further stated in the response letter dated April 16th 2020 that there are no records of transport challenges.
According to the ministry BLLAHWU members being social workers perform in-person interviews in a community setting and their subjects are community members who are presumably asymptomatic. The ministry posited that guidelines dictate that interviewers exercise social distancing of one (1) metre from subject therefore PPE is not a requirement. The ministry has however admitted that there has been shortage of PPEs in the central district a challenge it said will be rectified.
In a matter of weeks since extreme social distancing kicked in, an alarming number of children across the country have fallen prey to sexual predators. Acting UNICEF Representative Sarah Ng’inja noted that since the beginning of lockdown, rape cases have risen, and it is displeasing that even minors have become victims. “It is heart-breaking to hear that out of 22 rape cases reported, seven of them are children aged between two and thirteen years old,” said Ng’inja.
She said during the same week, Botswana Police Service has also registered 23 cases of defilement. UNICEF, she said, condemn sexual exploitation and abuse of children and therefore urges all stakeholders to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children. She emphasised that the ‘Eseng mo ngwaneng’ campaign which was launched in 2018 was part of efforts to raise awareness of the sexual abuse and sex exploitation of children in Botswana.
“The message is still clear, Eseng mo ngwaneng,” said Ng’inja. She believes that school closures and movement restrictions are disrupting children’s routines and support systems. “Some parents are struggling to care for their children and the protection risks for children are mounting,” she said. UNICEF therefore urges all stakeholders including; authorities, families, caregivers and communities to take concrete steps to ensure that protection of children is an integral part of COVID-19 prevention and response measures.
This, she says include training health, education and child services staff on COVID-19 related and child protection risks, including sexual exploitation and abuse as well as how to safely report concerns, training first responders on how to manage disclosure of violence against children and collaborate with healthcare services to support violence survivors and engage children, particularly adolescents in assessing how COVID-19 affects them differently to inform programming and advocacy.
Botswana Police Service is also looking into this issue and has introduced a toll free number for victims to report at the comfort of their homes. The expectation is to curb the alarming rates of gender based violence.
The toll free number is 0800 600 144.