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Botswana Post cuts losses



Botswana Post has taken a positive turnaround performance in the revenue streams despite the negative impact brought by the use of technology tools. In its year ended March 2017, the organisation has reduced its loss position by 51.9 percent to P12.9 million compared to P27.4 million recorded last year. In its 2017 annual report Botswana Post Chief Executive, Cornelius Ramatlhakwane said the parastatal have managed to expand its revenue base despite the fact that the mail business has taken a large hit during the period. Mail revenues declined by 9.1 percent as many of our large institutional clients such as commercial banks and government agencies have migrated to electronic platforms. “We at Botswana Post see this setback as temporary.

We now have access to leading edge innovations such as Reverse Hybrid Mail, which will enable us to pivot and revive these relationships with the important clients we served for many years. Through technology we are able to recover these income streams and even grow them,” he said. He said Botswana post is currently halfway through its two year turnaround strategy (operational Efficiency Execution Plan) which began in the 2015/2016 financial year in which the operating losses reduced by 24.7 percent.

“Today Botswana Post finds itself in a par superior financial situation than any other time in our recent history,” said Ramatlhakwane.To diversify revenue streams Botswana Post leveraged on mobile technology and introduced the Botswana Post App (available for download on both Android and iOS devises). Ramatlhakwane said their growth plans go beyond Botswana. They are currently in the process of generating revenue streams from within the region by completing money transfers with other postal operators. The post is already transacting with Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. “We believe we can connect the entire region and will be in Malawi soon. Our intention is to do that and more, ultimately reaching out beyond the diaspora,” said Ramatlhakwane.The company is hoping to return to profitability when year ends results are announced next year after March 2018.

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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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