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Mascom talks digital inclusion

Keikantse Lesemela

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Mascom CEO, Jose Caucerio

Launching its new application, My Play, last week, Mascom Chief Executive, Jose Couceiro said they have a robust network roll out plan to work towards digital inclusion and empower Batswana through ICT.

Committing to this undertaking, Mascom promises a third generation network coverage in all villages with a population size of 5000 people across the country by the end of 2018.
Currently there are over 25 villages with 3G network coverage.“It is our target that by the end of 2019, we would have extended 3G coverage to all our sites, countryside, irrespective of the population size of the village or settlement,” said Couceiro.

This year Mascom launched a contact centre with an aim to redefine business processes outsourcing as a concept. Couceiro said as Botswana mobile market evolves, they have observed that mobile subscriber growth alone is no longer a major driver for revenue growth but rather the potential for the market is in digital inclusion through access to mobile and fixed broadband.

“We commit to continue leading in the area on innovation to ensure that Botswana is part of the global village and that we too can experience fast moving technology, the world of 5G, smart cities, artificial intelligence and the internet of things,” said Couceiro.

In 2016 Mascom partnered with Botswana Fibre Network (BOFINET) and government to provide connectivity to all government schools in Botswana and to date 496 public schools are connected with internet.

In an effort to encourage local content and improve access to the internet, three years ago, Mascom launched Tsena Botswana Online, which is used to aggregate and create local content. Tsena is accessible for free and at no data costs to all Mascom subscribers. The new My Play application offers extensive catalogue of movies, TV Shows, Documentaries, Music Videos and over 700 movie titles and over 2000 series.

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BSE upgrades online investor access

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A recent BSE opening bell function.

Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) will this year introduce a new clearing and settlement system, as part of efforts to improve operations of the bourse.

Speaking at the seventh opening bell ceremony, Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the development will help improve liquidity and risk management. In addition, the new settlement system replaces the 2008 system while fast tracking introduction of security borrowing and lending, management settlement guarantee fund, as well as identifiers for companies and instrument.

BSEL has already awarded a contract to a Swedish company to implement the system which is also expected to digitalize Initial Public Offering (IPO), allow electronic voting for listed companies during annual general meetings (AGM) for absent shareholders.

The project, which is expected to take eight months once the two parties sign the deal, is part of efforts to have more online investors access for BSEL. Tsheole also revealed that BSEL website will undergo a revamp this year, allowing it to be more analytic, live feed shares, as they trade.“The tender is already out for the website and mobile application. It is a project that we had hoped to implement last year but because of logistic problems, we could not do it,” said Tsheole.

BSEL further plans to introduce two data display screens at CBD and at the stock exchange.“These will assist with information sharing and keep the market updated,” said Tsheole. Meanwhile, BSEL will not change its Automated Trading System (ATS) until 2022, according to Tsheole.“The system supports our strategy to grow the market and increase the average daily turnover levels to 18.0million per day by 2021,” said Tsheole.

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BSE complies with reporting guidelines

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Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has become the 5th bourse in Africa to comply and publish Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

The development comes a year after BSEL became a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative.“The BSE made a commitment to publish guidance on ESG Reporting. This commitment has been fulfilled.“

We are the 42nd among the 81 SSE Partner Exchanges globally and the 5th in Africa to do this,” said Kgotla Segwe, Market Development Specialist at Botswana Stock Exchange Limited.
Other stock exchanges that have complied with the SSE initiative on the continent are from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

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