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Shumba turns to low cost power production

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Shumba Energy Chairman Alan Glegg says they continue to focus on low cost of production to drive and sustain power production to supply the regional industrial market as the international market is heading for deficit within three to five years. Commenting on the company’s financial report, Clegg said as the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) continues to hold a major net deficit of over 30GW and older power plants are closed down, there is a need to cover the deficit.

The report indicates that from 2013 to 2030 electricity demand in South, East and Asian countries increases from 790TWh to 2.210 TWh and this triple demand in electricity will be primarily sourced from coal. Clegg said as the market is heading for a significant deficit within three to five years, prices will be forced upward to potentially unseen levels and highs.

“This development picture mirrors what is required in the Southern African Development Community region and Shumba has created the foundation to be ready to respond to those market needs,” said Clegg.According to the report, regional mineral economy politics led by resource nationalism in Tanzania and South Africa has brought negative impact on prospective risk investment in the sector, affecting the junior resource development company greatly. However the junior resources and energy fuels development market where Shumba resides in SADC have however shown resilience and remains very positive for Shumba energy as certain realisations have kicked in with both Africa’s central policy organisation, the African Union and its operational body, the African Union Commission for Trade and Industrial Development.

“We still need to develop a well planned economic, environmental and social introduction of viable and affordable new energy sources and related storage technologies,” said Clegg adding that this is why Shumba has already embarked on one solar energy project and will in the next period be actively researching other energy fuels, production and storage related investments for potential future diversification and sustainability of the company.

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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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