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National poverty incidence falls

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Statistics Botswana Poverty Survey results have shown that national poverty incidence have decreased slightly from 19.3 percent in 2009/10 to 16.3 percent in 2015/16. The survey results show that urban villages recorded a decrease in poverty incidence between the two periods from 19.9 to 13.4 percent, while in rural areas the poverty incidence marginally decreased from 24.3 to 24.2 percent. Presenting the results last week, Deputy Statistician General, Dr Burton Mguni pointed out that urban villages recorded a decrease in poverty incidence between the two periods from 19.9 to 13.4 percent, while in rural areas the poverty incidence marginally decreased from 24.3 to 24.2 percent.

Statistics Botswana carried out the Multi-Topic Household Survey last year to provide a comprehensive set of household level indicators for poverty and the labour market including employment and unemployment levels. Poverty incidence was disaggregated at district and sub-district level and the highest poverty levels were observed in Kweneng West with 50.6 percent followed by Ngwaketse West with 40.3 percent and Kgalagadi South with 39.5 percent while the lowest poverty incidence was recorded in Sowa Town at five percent.

Dr Mguni explained that the national average monthly household consumption expenditure was estimated at P3, 927.43 in 2015/2016, an increase of 28.9 percent, from P3, 045.93 estimated in 2009/10. “Consumption patterns as per the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose showed that at national level, households allocated significant proportions of their consumption expenditure to Transport, at 23.9 percent, followed by Housing Costs and Food at 17.8 percent and 12.8 percent respectively,” said Dr Mguni.

In cities and towns, households allocated 22.2 percent of their consumption expenditure to Transport, followed by Housing Costs at 19.7 percent and Miscellaneous items at 9.7 percent. For urban villages, the largest of consumption expenditure was allocated to Transport at 25.0 percent, followed by Housing Costs and Food at 18.8 percent and 12.8 percent respectively. In rural areas, the largest share of consumption expenditure was allocated to transport at 24.7 percent followed by Food at 21.4 percent and Housing costs at 12.4 percent.

Deputy Statistician General Malebogo Kerekang explained that the survey was a national sample survey covering a total of 7 188 households from cities and towns, urban villages as well as rural areas covering household demographics, education, health, labour and agriculture. Households were visited over a period of two weeks.

 

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Engen profit goes up

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Engen Botswana, the only listed petroleum company is expecting better results for the six months to June 2018 as a result of favourable trading environment. For the six months period to June 2017, the company made a profit of P55,2 million.

Engen, which supplies petroleum products to retail and institutional clients said, compared to the same period in 2017, profits will be higher on the backdrop of rising international crude oil prices. According to available data, oil prices jumped by 20 percent in the first six months of the year to close at $73 per barrel. Yesterday (Tuesday), oil prices were hovering at $77 per barrel.

The firm, like its peers has also been bolstered by government decision to hike petroleum prices in May. Petrol went up by 23 thebe, 45 thebe for diesel and 38 thebe for paraffin, all per litre. Eric Molale, the minister responsible for petroleum products in the country did not rule out any price increase in the foreseeable future on the backdrop of rising international oil prices.

Local users of petroleum products are not even saved by the fact that the National Petroleum Fund-which cushions customers against increasing oil prices, is fast running dry due to alleged misappropriation by those tasked with maintaining it (the Fund).

Meanwhile, Engen which is headed by Chimweta Moonga has told its shareholders that results will be out before this month ends. “Therefore shareholders are advised to exercise caution when trading in the group securities until such time as a detailed announcement is made,” said a statement from the BSE listed firm.

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Graduates urged to be innovative

Keikantse Lesemela

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Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) President, Verily Molatedi has urged graduates to look beyond job seeking and come up with creative and innovative ways to create employment and contribute to economic development.

This Monday, over 400 students graduated from Imperial School of Business and Science (ISBS) from different fields including business management, Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), finance and banking, human resource management, tourism and hospitality management and advertising. The ceremony was the first batch of students who completed degree programmes in ISBS.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Molatedi said the 21st century is awash with many opportunities and challenges but it is only the optimistic that can rise above and turn challenges into opportunities. “I therefore urge all graduates to acknowledge and take advantage of the government efforts in providing facilities beyond tertiary education and contribute towards economic diversification. To this end some of you may have to be entrepreneurs,” said Molatedi.

Molatedi explained that with over 10 000 graduates annually produced in tertiary institutions, graduates must continually build their skills and think innovatively and create their own brands as this will increase their chances of employability globally.

“Employability is about making sure that you diversify your skills, get knowledge for the industry. It is the key to realizing our economic diversification agenda, and hinges on your availability to be enablers in the country’s present and future economy,” said Molatedi.

Imperial School of Business and Science Director, Nidheesh Sharma said graduates have unique professional identity and a set of values and beliefs that will allow them to continue their quest for lifelong learning and distinguish themselves in their chosen paths as the faculties offered are globally recognized.

“Previously we have had many students completing certificates and diploma programmes but this is the first batch to have completed degree programmes. Graduating annually, young professionals were imparted with the knowledge and skills that are required by the regional and global job market,” said Sharma.

Sharma highlighted that ISBS started in 2003 as a BOTA registered institute and in 2011 it registered with Tertiary Education Council (TEC) and started offering Diploma and Advanced Diploma Programmes. “In 2013, the school re-branded from its old name to current name, ISBS. In 2015, ISBS was awarded best upcoming Institution by HRDC and in 2018 HRDC put us in the top three of Private Colleges,” he said.

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