Kopong based Bachelor of Science (BSC) in Software Engineering with Multimedia graduate, Sethamiso Derrick Lehutso says running the affairs of the Mascom Kitsong Centre in Kopong has been a wonderful experience as they are constantly making progress in terms of liberating the residents of Kopong with Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Lehutso told Business Trends that he was fortunate to be chosen by Mascom to conduct this precious project but admitted it not to be an easy route, “Initially, Mascom published that they needed someone to run the Mascom Kitsong Centre which was to be started in Kopong, and then I applied and got selected. However, all the applicants who got the nod ahead of others went for a training competition and that was when I emerged victorious eventually,” he said.
He further says it is now under a year since the inception of the Centre and there has been a huge progress, “The mandate of the Kitsong Centre is not to do things for Mascom only but to inform, educate and create awareness on ICT, which has been a nagging issue in the past years.”
Sharing light to Business Trends, Lehutso says they have managed to teach few individuals who include the village authorities like Dikgosi (Chiefs) on how to use computers, “We have now enhanced the Chiefs’ computer literacy and they are impressed with this initiative, in addition, every activity that we conduct they sanction it as a way of showing support to what we are doing.
We have imparted Molefe Primary School teachers with how best to use Microsoft word, Excel and PowerPoint and this has been a great success. Furthermore, we have designed a new logo for Letsholo Primary School in the village,” Lehutso explained.
Quizzed about the response of the community at large, Lehutso said, “The people of Kopong have responded well to the Centre as it is proved by a massive showing in the activities that we hold, for instance, we once held a wellness day at Kopong United ground under the theme; Wellness and Technology and they came out in large numbers as they appreciated the significance of staying healthy,” he said.
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.