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Keikantse Lesemela



Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Magang Ngaka Ngaka said the ministry is ready to receive new applications for the Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme as the review of the guidelines will be complete by end of March this year.

The programme was suspended in February 2017 to allow the review exercise to take place and enable the ministry to clear the backlog. In his budget presentation recently, Ngaka told parliament that the ministry has cleared the backlog and will be ready to process applications in the next financial year. “I am happy to indicate that my ministry has cleared the backlog and will be ready to process applications in the next financial year.

The review of the guidelines will be completed by March 2019 and will be used to effectively facilitate management of the programme,” said Ngaka. He highlighted that since inception in 1998 about 1074 projects have been funded with 5200 jobs created. Out of these, 946 are operational and 128 have collapsed. “The collapsed businesses are mainly due to mismanagement of funds, group dynamics and limited market access in some areas.

To address these challenges my ministry is currently planning to undertake a comprehensive assessment during the next financial year The Government has to date spent a total of P155, 5 million under the Women Economic Empowerment Scheme since its inception. The ministry reviewed the programme in 2015 and 2016 and this resulted in a very high uptake of the programme, following which the ministry registered a total number of 107,801customers who inquired on the programme.

The total number of applications received were 4478, and by January 2017 they had a backlog of 3825, and because the backlog was continuously increasing, they suspended receipt of applications. In the 2019/20 budget the ministry allocated P54.8 million to the department of Gender Affairs.

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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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