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Sefalana intensifies bottled water business



Sefalana's Finance Director, Mohamed Osman

Foods Botswana (FB), the manufacturing arm of Sefalana Group has announced intentions to aggressively grow its bottle water business under the AStar brand.

The low level of profitable recorded by the Group’s manufacturing subsidiary for the six months ended 31 October 2019 due delays and red-tape on government feeding scheme orders is pushing the directors to think out of the box. The group’s beverage division’s government tender for children’s feeding scheme awarded to the company last year was contested by other parties and postponed, leading to FB not supplying any beverages to government.

“In particular, we look forward to expanding on our manufacturing business with fruit juice and bottled water,” said Financer Director Mohamed Osman.

In addition, the restriction on bottled water that was announced by government last year is inspiring the company’s expansion plans. “To support this, we will need to develop a warehouse to accommodate additional plant and equipment and storage,” said Osman.

On milling, Sefalana’s contracts for Tsabana and Malutu, the government feeding scheme products ended in September 2018 and the Group was awarded a four months’ interim supply, pending the 2018/19 tender consideration.

The delay has pushed Sefalana to focus on the manufacture and supply of branded products to utilise factory capacity.However, the directors remain optimistic that government will consider Sefalana for the tender and has already stockpiled raw materials for the tender.

“We are confident that our track record for delivery of a quality product in accordance with the required quantities and timetable over the years, will place us in a good position for the forthcoming award,” said Osman. Apart from manufacturing, the Group also intends to launch Sefalana Catering, a division that will focus on serving the large hospitality industry with frozen foods in wholesale size units.

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Minister Thapelo Olopeng

Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.

The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.

He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.

The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.

“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.

The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.

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The MidweekSun Admin



Orapa Mine, part of Debswana

Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.

Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.

“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.

“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”

Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.

“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.

Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
[Rough and Polished]

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