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Botswana urged to finance its infrastructure development

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Insfrastructure development remains key to economic development

South African company, MNCapital Group has challenged the local development players to reconsider traditional and alternative sources of financing the country’s infrastructure needs.

MNCapital is a leading international investment advisory and communication firm with focus on specialist institutional business development services to emerging and frontier market corporates, governments, pension and sovereign funds. Michael Ndinisa, MNCapital Group Chief Executive Officer said a lot of money is being taken outside the borders of Botswana. “There is no reason why Botswana, the gem of Africa and the continent’s success story on how to exploit the riches that come with natural resources should lack public infrastructure,” said Ndinisa.

He bemoaned the amount of money managed in the country and funds expatriated out of the country.  Ndinisa said Botswana is one of the countries that can finance its infrastructure needs leveraging on its local currency and hard assets. As part of efforts to change the narrative to Botswana’s infrastructure needs, MNCapital Group and African Alternative will host the first-ever Botswana Infrastructure Investment (BII) Summit and the Botswana Asset Owners and Managers (BwAOM) next month. The event slated for 20th and 21st February respectively convenes both public and private sector stakeholders to examine traditional and alternative sources of financing for Botswana’s infrastructure need.

In addition, the asset owner’s forum will explore the role of pension funds and insurers on the country’s infrastructure financing ecosystem.According to Ndinisa, the summit is the first step towards developing an ecosystem of asset owners, fund managers and investment professionals with an appetite to invest in infrastructure.

Some of the speakers billed to lead the discussion at the events are Gosego January, Chief Executive Officer, Debswana Pension Fund, Davies Pwele, Head of SADC Coverage, Business Development at Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Vuyo Hlompho Ntoi, Investment Director of Southern and Central Africa at African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and Ahmed Attout, Chief Capital Markets Officer at African Development Bank (AfDB). MNCapital is a leading international investment advisory and communication firm with focus on specialist institutional business development services to emerging and frontier market corporates, governments, pension and sovereign funds.

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Gov’t swiftly acts on BMC

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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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).

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BSE invite companies for CSD project

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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.

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