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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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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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