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Masisi pushes banks towards financial inclusion

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President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi wants the local banking industry to tap into the unbanked, as part of efforts to eradicate poverty.“Across the African continent and the world over, financial inclusion is becoming a priority for policymakers, regulators and development agencies.

“It has been identified as an enabler for 7 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Masisi launching the First Capital bank’s headquarters in Gaborone recently. The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

Masisi said an ideal financial service inclusion scenario would be one where individuals and businesses irrespective of location, gender and level of education have access to useful and affordable financial products and services.

“This is one of the key strategic priorities for financial sector development in Botswana,” he said. Masisi reiterated that government has developed a financial inclusion roadmap and strategy providing a holistic outlook to improve financial and provide better services.

With five priority areas – improvement of payments eco-system, facilitation of low cost, accessible savings products, development of accessible risk mitigation products, improvement of the credit market and consumer empowerment and protection, the blueprint is set to achieve financial inclusion in the local economy.

Quoting the world’s leading organisation on the financial inclusion policy and related regulations – Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Masisi said estimates indicate that approximately two billion adults worldwide, do not have an account in a formal financial institution.

He further said the vast majority of the unbanked adults live in developing countries, adding that Botswana agrees with the World Bank in considering financial inclusion as a key enabler to reduce extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

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Cell City rewards customers

Keikantse Lesemela

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Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.

In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.

All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.

“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.

“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.

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Smecha chillie hits the shelves

Keikantse Lesemela

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For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.

She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.

She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae

The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.

She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.

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