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Prime Time upbeat on prospects for 2018

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Property Development Company, Prime Time sees prospects of good returns in 2018 with focus on its retail segment. The company Managing Director Alexander Kelly and Chairman Petronella Matumo said they are looking forward to Pilane Crossing Mall becoming a successful retail centre as tenants have now occupied the space. “In Botswana we look forward to Pilane Crossing becoming a successful retail centre, that it was originally envisaged to be,” states Kelly and Matumo. For its Botswana market, the company started construction at Setlhoa plot with a retail park concept for the home décor and design sector.

Two smaller extensions to existing centres are also underway with a one-shop extension at Sebele Centre and a fast food drive-through at Pilane Crossing where KFC will be opening in early 2018. Kelly and Matumo state in the Company’s 2017 annual report, that things are looking extremely positive for the 2018 financial year with Clicks, Jet, PEP and Ackermans having commenced trading in the final quarter of 2017.

In its year ended August 2017, the company achieved year-on-year increases in both revenues and operating profits before fair value adjustments. Lease revenue grew by 27 percent to P110 million, completed investment property by 34 percent to stand at P1.12 billion and the price per linked unit by four percent to end the year at P3.16.

Kelly and Matumo say the group is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves this year while management team is constantly searching for suitable investments, which will enable them to continue to grow the company and diversify into new markets. “We are pleased with what has been accomplished in the last year and look forward to growing the group further from the platform that has been established,” said Kelly and Matumo. In Zambia the company says demand for space at the newly-acquired Centro Kabulonga mall in Lusaka is strong with a waiting list for space including major regional and national brands. “The results of our geographical diversification into Zambia are now being seen.

“The Zambian operations contributed over 20 percent of the rental income for the current year and over the next few years this will increase significantly,” said Matumo and Kelly.

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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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