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Botswana Post cuts losses

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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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OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE

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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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WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER

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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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