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FNB Botswana increases footprint with new Branch in Mochudi

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First National Bank of Botswana recently officially opened a new branch at Pilane Mall in Mochudi. The Bank’s 23rd Branch was officiated by the Governor of Bank of Botswana, Moses Pelaelo. The Bank, which has renewed its focus on customer-centricity, is making an effort to make banking easier and more accessible to more Batswana.

The opening of a branch in Mochudi is in line with the Bank’s expansion plan of increasing its footprint countrywide, in the interest of serving a wider customer base. FNBB CEO, Steven Bogatsu emphasised the importance of investing in infrastructure to make banking comfortable and convenient. “Taking banking to the people has always been a top priority at FNB, because we endeavour to save customers money and time spent travelling to another location to access banking facilities. Our presence here in Mochudi also presents us with an opportunity to bank the unbanked bankable population”, said Steven Bogatsu.

Mochudi Branch boasts a number of quality services such as self-service zones where customers can view their accounts and print statements, Internet banking Kiosks, ATMs and ATMs with Deposit. All these modern facilities are part of the bank’s effort to continue to offer enhanced services in response to local demand, hence making banking more flexible and convenient for customers.

Mochudi Branch opening follows the recent relocation of Kanye and Mahalapye Branches to a more spacious location and the refurbishment of the Gaborone Industrial branch. Over the last five years, FNB has grown organically to be the largest bank in the country. The bank’s total assets increased from P13.9 billion in December 2011 to P23.6 billion in June 2017. In the same period, loans and advances rose from P8.3 billion to P15.6 billion, while deposits grew from P11.8 billion to P18.7 billion.

The bank employs a total of 1 269 staff members, most of whom are Batswana; it has a network of 23 branches, 150 cash dispensing Automated Teller Machines, 51 Automated Teller Machines that have deposit taking capabilities, 25 Slimline Automated Teller Machines and 5 600 point of sales machines in retail outlets all over the country.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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