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Kenewendo pins hope on industrial revolution

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Minister Bogolo Kenewendo Source:The Midweek Sun

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo says the fourth industrial revolution presents opportunities for countries like Botswana to deal with a number of problems, among them high levels of unemployment.

Kenewendo was speaking at the 48th St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland on the future of work, Artificial Intelligence, challenges and opportunities of job creation in the fourth industrial revolution. “We see the fourth industrial revolution as a potential, we see opportunities for us to deal with the challenges that we have not been able to deal with to date,” she told delegates at the symposium.

Kenewendo further said Botswana is readying herself to take advantage of the demographic dividend that will be presented by the growth in population in Africa. It is said that Africa will have the largest population of young people by 2100 and will contribute 80 percent of the four billion rise in global population by that time.

“This is the demographic dividend we want to harness.” She appealed to the international business community as well as young people to take advantage of opportunities that arise from industrial revolution. “We recognise that innovation and productivity are keys to unlock high growth and catapult us to even become a high income country,” Kenewendo said.

“I am inviting you to invest in Botswana and unlock the possibilities presented by the fourth industrial revolution.” Kenewendo urged those that are threatened by the digital divide to see opportunities, especially those that have been traditionally excluded and left behind. “We are all looking towards working together as government, private sector and all to ensure that the forth industrial revolution helps take us to where we want to be.”

President-Foundation on Economic Trends, Jeremy Rifkin said at the symposium that currently, global GDP has been slowing atleast for the last 10 years, economies project 20 more years of low productivity and high unemployment especially for millennial, and in addition climate change is a real challenge.
He said to counter these challenges, world leaders need to come up with a compelling economic vision for the world. He said there is need for a game plan to deliver on that vision and it needs to be quick.

“It needs to move as quick in the developing world just as in industrialised economies,” he said, adding, “We need to step back here at St Gallen and ask the question how do we create economic paradigm shifts?” The Gallen Symposium is an intergenerational, interdisciplinary symposium that focuses on the following, individual’s response to changing technology; challenges it poses to society; business’s response and ability to create disruption through technology and the role of government in education policies and job creation. The symposium creates relevant debates between leaders of today and future leaders.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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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

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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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