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BIH aims to deliver impact solutions

Irene Shone



Mobile water treatment plant in Zoroga. Source:The Midweek Sun

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is in discussions with Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) to explore the most effective business model for possible commissioning of more mobile saline water treatment technology units.

This follows the successful commissioning of a mobile saline water treatment technology unit to the residents of Zoroga village in July 2017.
CEO, Alan Boshwean says the technology is designed to treat any type of water into drinking water. It eliminates all solids, impurities, chemicals, bacteria and viruses from raw water.

So far, Botswana has not been able to sustain technologies that are able to desalinate underground water that the country mostly depends on. BIH also worked with the Embassy of Israel to Botswana to identify key strengths in clean technologies from Israel, which can lead to initiatives to forge partnerships in water and energy related technologies that best suit the local environment.

The partnership also seeks to work with local research and water quality organisations to better their products locally. The introduction, testing and further development of the technology can be used as a basis for design and implementation of local water treatment and purification centers in rural areas.“The dual water treatment system is one of the innovations that have the potential of positive national impact given that the country experiences high water stress and incidents of salinity of underground water reserves,” Boshwean says.

Double Stage Water Treatment System integrates elements of: coagulation, cyclonic separation, double stage filtration and disinfection; as well as a Reverse Osmosis System for removal of salts in Zoroga village in the Nata- Gweta area. Further efforts are underway with Hydrocon-Green, a citizen company to commission a further enhanced water treatment plant based on the use of solar power in Sojwe.

BIH is pursuing an initiative to develop solar testing and demonstration facility. The technical feasibility study of the project has made recommendations on the options for implementing the project and has also identified critical stakeholders that need to be involved for the successful implementation of the project.

Discussions with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) are ongoing with regards to grid access, and Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) from a renewable energy regulatory framework development perspective. Furthermore, BIH will work with BERA to develop programmes for capacity building, as well as to explore research and development on storage in renewables.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP



Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela



First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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