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African Energy negotiating with BPC to connect to

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African Energy has announced that it is currently negotiating with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to use the national transmission grid. The coal mining company is currently developing an integrated coal mine as well as a 450MW power plant in eastern Botswana to export power to Zambia and neighbouring countries. African Energy Managing Director, Frazer Tabeart highlighted in a statement that dialogue continued with BPC regarding connection of Sese into the local 400kV transmission grid at Phokoje substation and use of the BPC transmission grid.

“An application for a Transmission Connection and Use of System agreement was made to Botswana Power Corporation. Preliminary discussions on the transmission/wheeling of power from Botswana through Zimbabwe and into Zambia have been held with Botswana Power Corporation and the Southern African Power Pool and are ongoing.” said Tabeart. He said technical studies for the Sese coal and power project have largely been completed to prefeasibility standard. “Detailed engineering studies and completion of a formal mine plan will be completed once commercial aspects of power wheeling and transmission have been finalised.” he said. Recently BPC launched the North West Transmission Grid Connection project, which will allow for development and expansion of commercial ventures, including mining operations into Northwest of the country.

The NWTGC is expected to provide grid access to all sectors of the economy including mining, tourism, commercial, domestic and improve electricity supply in the country. Currently BPC has signed Memorandum of Understanding with the mining company, Khoemacau to connect to the national grid. Through the project, the country aims to be energy sufficient with diversified, safe and clean energy sources, and to be a net energy exporter by 2020. In that regard, the country has embraced and supported the participation in power generation by the private sector.

However, the national power demand averages 550MW, of which the current national grid produces 450MW and150MW is imported from South Africa. African Energy also highlighted that a fully detailed application for an electricity Generation and Export License was submitted to the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority last year July and follow up meetings have been held with BERA, with more expected in the next quarter.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the 300MW Sese Integrated Power Project has been updated for a larger project to include up to 500MW of power generation and the associated minor increase in volumes of coal mining/processing and airborne emissions. Tabeart explained that the updated document would be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs in the next quarter. African Energy is also working on a 1.25 billion tonne Mmamantswe coal project, which is 20km from the international border with South Africa and is close to the regional power transmission grid. Mmamantswe has an approved Environmental Impact Assessment for up to 10Mtpa coal mining and up to 2,000MW of power generation. The project also has an 8GL/a registered water well field at Artesia, which could provide enough water for such a project. Technical studies have demonstrated the suitability of Mmamantswe coal for processing into a fuel-powered station similar to that used in the adjacent Waterburg coalfield in South Africa.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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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

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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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