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Keikantse Lesemela



SMEs will benefit from the renewed NEP policy

A series of meetings on the National Entrepreneurship Policy (NEP) will help public and private sector address technology challenges and dismantle barriers to innovative entrepreneurship.

Before development of the NEP, SMMEs development and entrepreneurship policy in Botswana was based on the SMME Policy of 1999, then in 2013 the Ministry of Trade and Industry commissioned a study to review the policy and come up with a holistic NEP for Botswana, geared towards the promotion of entrepreneurship and SMMEs development in Botswana.

In Partnership with the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, the World Bank convened industry leaders from the private and public sector.They were to ensure the draft policy reflected a common understanding of the key challenges facing Botswana’s entrepreneurs and inform a common vision for prioritized solutions that can accelerate entrepreneurship in Botswana.

Minister of Investment Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo said the ministry commits to take on board all the insights derived from the policy hack and will ensure that they are considered for adoption into the NEP. She said the ever changing and disruptive technologies pose opportunities and challenges to both traditional industries as well as government therefore a new approach to public policy making being the Policy Hackathon has emerged. “To this end the policy hack is defined to help both public and private sector leaders from entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world to experiment and leverage this approach,” said Kenewendo.

The new NEP is developed to provide a framework to stir the creation of new startups and expansion of existing enterprises with high growth potential as well as addressing the challenges that may constrain their development. Kenewendo highlighted that the NEP 2019 emphasizes export led growth, hence it is focused at fostering entrepreneurship as well as promoting SMMEs development with a view to creating globally competitive industries. It also strengthens coordination among all institutions involved in entrepreneurship and SMMEs development for effective implementation of the policy.

“We are at the beginning of a process that is bringing together members of Botswana’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Even after the Policy is passed by parliament, we must continue to hear from all of you to fine tune the policy’s implementation and ensure that it meets your needs and expectations,” she said.

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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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