Connect with us

Business

BTCL rolls out digital transformation in rural villages

Published

on

Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTCL) in partnership with the UASF project and other stakeholders have launched improved quality telecommunication services which covers 18 villages. The project entailed upgrading 3G base stations to 4G to facilitate uptake of data services.

BTCL managing Director, Anthony Masunga stated, “10 years ago in Chobokwane, BTC in partnership with the Government, launched the Nteletsa II project. This was to provide telecommunications services to previously under-served areas like the Ghanzi/Kgalagadi. Under this project, BTC brought 2G network access which enabled the use of mobile telephone services to more than 80 villages. As part of the Nteletsa project, BTC built 149 Kitsong Centers across Botswana.

We are back (here) again having to upgrade the network.”Masunga further elaborated their inclusive ambition.“With the collaborative effort with different stakeholders on the UASF project, we have thus made it our mandate to promote development, network access, opportunities and growth using telecommunications services in the unreached villages. Through this project, quality telecommunication services have been brought to the Ghanzi-Kgalagadi area covering 18 villages and benefiting 22 schools.” said Masunga.

He also stated that the project is a natural extension of their mandate and capabilities. He explains that it tackles their strategy of growth and transformation to deliver sustainable value to different stakeholders. “In October 2017, this project started and was completed 30th September 2018. We are proud to announce that BTC have commissioned all the 22 sites and they are live.

Residents of Karakubis and Ghanzi district now have access to quality voice and data services. BTC is proud to be part of this project as it helped us extend our footprint and ensure that more Batswana live connected, ”concluded Masunga

Continue Reading
Comments

Business

Botswana Railways hit by fuel theft

The MidweekSun Admin

Published

on

Botswana Railways CEO, Louis Makwinja

Botswana Railways lost fuel business due to continuous incidents of stolen fuel from the tanks and delays mainly at Mafikeng, in the north Western side of South Africa.

Botswana Railways Chief Executive Officer Leonard Makwinja said, during 2017/2018, their biggest failure was in this area. “Our biggest failure in this aspect was on imports, transporting of fuel from South Africa proved to be a challenge.

There have been incidents of fuel loss on tankers, sometimes a delay in Mafikeng when trains changed and when it arrives in Botswana the tank would be half empty, “said Makwinja. He said this was worsened by allegations that road transportation was cheaper. Currently, they have employed a fuel consultant to look into the whole fuel transportation. “We believe a solution will be found soon.”

The BR Chief explained they heavily rely on the relationship with Transnet to successfully execute its freight mandate. Most of the imports through rail come from South Africa and the main export through rail which is salt and soda ash is transported from Botash to Mafikeng. “Going onwards we have to depend on Transnet for connections to the respective destinations. Our strategic plan going forward is to improve our services to the oil companies so that we are more reliable, timely and profitable.”

During the period, Makwinja said they had to focus on cost containment. The main cost drivers are staff cost, fuel and maintenance of the locomotives. In his statement on Botswana Railways 2018 annual report, Makwinja said the organization’s performance was subdued due to lack of capacity to meet the demand. “In terms of tonnage, our target was 2 million tons but we only achieved 1, 5 million tons. This adverse variance can be attributed to a number of factors including lack of sufficient locomotives and practicing conservative business initiatives and marketing,” he said.

Continue Reading

Business

Calls to improve crop yields with technology

Keikantse Lesemela

Published

on

Greenhouse Technologies managing director, Amanda Masire has urged entrepreneurs to venture into agriculture as it is a lucrative business and more beneficial to the national economic development, despite climate change challenges.

Speaking to Business Trends, Masire said there is a need for more training and knowledge on modern agriculture technologies for the country to have sustainable food production. “I am passionate about agriculture and food production. I want to help my country to produce food for itself and reduce dependency on imports. I have learnt that despite all the challenges of climate change, we can still produce our own food through the use of modern technologies,” said Masire.

Masire is an agri-business developer, specializing in horticulture, beekeeping and fish farming. She currently operates Greenhouse Farmers Academy offering training and mentorship on horticulture farming. “Agriculture is the most lucrative business that young people should be looking into. Currently, we depend much on South Africa. We should rise up and develop the sector because as Batswana we have rich land that we are not utilising.” Her services include horticulture starter kit, which includes business plans, lessons, fertilisers and all equipments necessary for a particular horticulture project.

She is currently working with the Ministry of Agriculture Development and Food Security to develop the ISPAAD Program. She said government would embrace modern farming technologies to improve food production. “Most Batswana have lands which they are currently not ploughing because of climate change conditions while the government gives out fertilizers and seeds every year to subsistence farmers yet there is no yield. I have come up with solutions, which include testing soil and supplying lime treatment to reduce acidity. This will help improve crop yield when adopted with other technologies,” she said.

Speaking during Stanbic Lionness Lean In Africa, Masire said with the challenges in the agriculture sector, Batswana should stop looking much into the problems and getting discouraged but should rather think of solutions. “Government is trying but we individuals also need to be innovative and assist government in improving food security. Young people should take opportunity of the agri-business market and reduce unemployment,” said Masire.

Continue Reading

Trending