Invest Solar Africa (ISA) has set foot in Botswana emboldened by its success in reaching advanced stages in setting up two 20 MW plants in Zimbabwe which can power up to 45,000 households, and other positive developments in Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia.
In Botswana, the unique business model will provide an opportunity for local investors to explore its merits for partnerships and equity, as is the case elsewhere in some of its regional operations. ISA is one of the first renewable energy companies that have specifically been set up to develop renewable energy projects and own them within a corporate set up. “The unique composition of being pro-environment, green, and pro-clean energy in a corporate set up is rare. It is truly a first to find a group of entrepreneurs, investments experts; engineers, and clean energy thinkers design a pragmatic solution of powering Southern Africa within a corporate set up. It’s a unique opportunity for diverse stakeholders in the age of seeking alternative sources of energy to drive economic prowess and reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” says George Manyere the founder and Non-Executive Director of Invest Solar Africa.
This development comes against the backdrop of growing power challenges in the region that have bedeviled Southern Africa for decades with limited success. ISA’s mandate ensures it focuses on renewable energy, developing, maintaining and financing income in building solar parks across Africa as an alternative energy source.
“Amid growing energy shortages, high demand for power in the region, and the consequent effect of this on regional consumers we need to tap onto a sustainable energy. We will power the region and ensure that no consumer is left powerless in the next 15 years. Tapping onto natural clean energy be it wind, sunlight and air should be the strategic focus for Africa for us to be energy self-sufficient and independent,” says Manyere.
ISA plans to list on the BSE to drive its ambitious agenda to establish and install solar photovoltaic plants, which are expected to generate a capacity of 200MW in five years. The ISA project has been underway in countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique is at different levels of completion for each country.
For the regional thrust ISA has set up a competent team of investors, engineers, entrepreneurs and strategists. Combined they have managed unique competences in solar parks, clean energy and investments. These are; George Manyare – Founder & Non-Executive Director, Ainos Ngadya –Chief Executive officer, Dudu Garekwe – Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Brain Chindondondo the Chief Operating Officer.
“My vision is to have the opportunity to build a 50MW solar park in Botswana in the next three to five years. We will capitalise on the global political and financial will as demonstrated by The Paris Agreement on Climate Change which is to be implemented November 2020, as we set our eyes on the rest of the continent,” he says.
The Company is hopeful to be listed under the Botswana Stock Exchange in future. The management is urging potential local investors to partner with the company on their quest to achieving the country’s Vision 2036 pillar of Sustainable Environment and on making Africa eco-friendly, after its application has been approved. Invest Solar Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of MHMK Capital, a private equity investment and advisory firm.
Gov’t swiftly acts on BMC
Government has moved swiftly to place Botswana Meat Commission under the care of a management firm; the move is meant to put the Commission into shape both operationally and financially.
This was disclosed by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, further stating the BMC is technically insolvent despite having received nearly P1billion as a bailout in recent times. The new management company will run BMC, which is based in Lobatse starting on the 2020/2021 financial year.
The finance minister made it crystal clear that, the move to appoint a caretaker firm for BMC was made to protect the interests of all stakeholders, including farmers. According to Matsheka, the Minister of Agriculture Development and Food Security, Dr Edwin Dikoloti will provide more details on the BMC changes in due course during his committee of supply speech. Government is also proceeding with the conversion of BMC to a company under the Companies Act following the approval of BMC Transition Bill and subsequent repeal of the old Act.
The repealing of the BMC Act has since eliminated the monopoly of the Commission when it comes to beef and cattle export. The repeal has also enabled government to establish a beef regulator which will be responsible for regulating the beef and the cattle sector. “Another aspect of the transition is the ultimate privatization of BMC.
The objective of the privatization of BMC is, among others, to engage the private sector in the ownership and management of the BMC to achieve operational efficiency and profitability, as well as reduce Government’s future financial commitments in the entity. This would be an important process in the transformation of the beef and cattle sector,” noted Matsheka. BMC which is 100 percent owned by government has been operating with losses for many years due to internal and external challenges such as poor supply and Foot and Mouth Disease(FMD).
BSE invite companies for CSD project
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has intentions to implement a new Central Securities Depository (CSD) system by the second quarter of next year.
Authorities at the bourse have already put out a call for companies to perform a post migration data verification and quality assessment from the current depository system to a new depository system set to go live in the first half of 2020.“As part of the project, the BSE is to migrate master data and reference data from the current system to the new CSD system,” said BSE in a statement released this week.
According to BSE, the project will include comprehension of the BSE Data Migration Strategy and Plan and data mapping design and rules, review of the data migration ETL processes, data quality verification completeness, accuracy, consistency, definition and scope of data to migrate. In addition, BSE said it will migrate only active or open transactions in the current system to the new system. The scope of open transactions includes active or running corporate actions, active investor accounts, investor account balances above zero, active participants, active issuers and active instruments.
Meanwhile, BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole is on record citing that the new CSD system comes with functionalities such as securities borrowing and lending (SBL), management of the settlement guarantee fund, initial public offering (IPO) processing, e-voting for listed entities, repo management and online investor access.
Commenced in the first quarter of 2019, the project is also an integral element of the ongoing single CSD project pioneered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority and BSE.
The system is also expected to help increase the CSD system ratings by Thomas Murray, an assessment of which will be conducted once the system has been commissioned in early 2020.