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Accounting technicians urged to further their studies



Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) graduates have been urged to study further otherwise the job market will not absorb them. Speaking during the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) AAT graduation ceremony, BICA chief Executive Verily Molatedi said graduates should grab every opportunity and act on it if they have to be successful in life.

“This is just the beginning of your professional lives but given the acute unemployment out there, I wish to encourage you to study further and do it while you are still young,” said Molatedi. She said the need for finance and accounting professionals is a going concern and if graduates have to study further to add value to the economy, it will surely go a long way in addressing such a need.

She encouraged all graduates to enrol for the BICA qualification as well as to register with BICA as members as provided for in the Accountants Act of 2010. “ Registration with BICA will ensure that you get support from the Institute which will ensure that learning and development remains relevant to you at all stages of your career and hence the public will also develop confidence in your skills,” she said.

AAT Director of Marketing and Commercial, Andrew Williamson said Botswana AAT graduates are the largest group of all AAT programs in the world. There were about 350 graduates during the ceremony. He said AAT qualification is the difficult course, which demonstrates to employers that a graduate has proven that he can run through tough assignments and succeed.

“AAT qualification is difficult, it is the top of the trade and it demonstrates to employers that a graduate can break the odds,” said Williamson. BICA President, Rudy Binedell urged the graduates to work harder and look for available opportunities to work for themselves as finding job is not easy. “ Do not just rest on your laurels because you have attained the qualification but continue working hard and infinite possibilities surely abound. Given current unemployment figures, you might opt to work for yourself by providing accountancy services for other businesses,” said Binedell Binedell said as government deliberately steers from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one in an effort to diversify the economy, accounting profession should be at the forefront of economic activity to ensure sound financial management and corporate governance practice.

“That way we will undoubtedly help attract investors and subsequently the Foreign Direct Investment which is needed for any economy to thrive,” said Binedell. However, a recent report by the World Bank stated that in order for graduates to be job-ready, secondary education needs to inculcate 21st century skills and vocational skills demanded by employers. Currently there are 87 000 graduates unemployed in Botswana.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP



Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela



First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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