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BDC offloads Kwalape shares

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Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) this week disclosed it has transferred its 40 percent shareholding and facility interest in Kwalape Tours and Safaris to a citizen-owned company, Dekete Guys Limited.

The transaction was concluded at a hand-over ceremony on the 13th August 2018 at Kwalape Safari Lodge in Kasane. According to BDC, which is a government’s investment unit, the transfer is part of its broad strategy to divest from mature industries and sectors that had demonstrated adequate private sector capacity. The Corporation has approved an offer for its interest in Kwalape, which are the purchasing of both ordinary and preference shareholding and credit facilities.

BDC Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe is thrilled on the latest developments. “We are pleased to see Kwalape having attained a mature business status as evidenced by its ability to self-sustain in a tough and competitive tourism sector. On the back of our robust corporate governance processes, we ensured all checks-and-balances were followed as well as reviewing prospective investors inorder to appoint the right operation to take-up our shareholding,” said Gaetsaloe. “We believe the profile and projections of this investor would sustain the business continuity and open new doors for Kwalape’s growth in the long term. We are confident in Dekete’s vision for the business”.

In 2007, BDC entered into a partnership with the company, subscribing to 40 percent, while the founders remained with a majority 60 percent shareholding. Kwalape, trading as Kwalape Safari Lodge, is located along the Kazungula-Kasane Road, Kasane in the Chobe District, the tourism hub of Botswana. The resort offers an extensive bouquet of tourism activities such as boat cruises on the Chobe river, safaris and game drives in the Chobe National Park and tours of the tourist attractions in the region such as Victoria Falls and Livingstone Memorial through strategic partnerships.

Kwalape was established in 1999. “I believe that partnering with giants such as BDC helps one grow in that they push you to pursue for much bigger and better than what many of us as start-up entrepreneurs could think possible. I appreciate the relationship we have built with BDC over the years and look forward to Kwalape’s next chapter with Dekete Guys,” said Kwalape Tours and Safaris Managing Partner, Milton Khachana.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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