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Pension Funds urged to invest locally

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Botswana pension funds are expected to convene in Kasane on a country specific forum on Investments and Management set for March 21 to 22. The Botswana Pension Funds Investment and Management Forum themed, ‘Putting the spotlight on alternative investment for Pension Funds: Discovering key asset classes,’ is scheduled to take place at the Cresta Mowana Hotel. MNCapital Group CEO, Mike Ndinisa is of the view that in post global economic crisis environment, developing economies like Botswana need to establish alternative investment strategies that will foster development and leverage the localisation of Pension Funds Investments towards local opportunities.

He adds that careful analysis is required to identify ways of funding most lucrative industries and one of the top financial muscles is the pension fund industry as it contributes or has the potential to contribute immensely on national prosperity. “Retirement funds in Botswana have a total asset base of P69.9 billion, of which about 70 percent are invested offshore, leaving only 30 percent invested locally.

This Forum is set to help the industry at large identifying opportunities locally and significantly increase the proportion of pension fund assets invested locally,” Ndinisa said. MNCapital Group is a leading international investment advisory and institutional business development firm that first hosted a pension funds investment and management forum in Phakalane Golf Estates in 2015. The Forum is expected to host over 150 delegates from various Pension Funds in Botswana, among attendees will also be leading financial institutions, government representatives, local and international investment experts.

The open dialogue will centre on how pension funds, their fund managers and the general investment management industry in Botswana should focus on long-term strategic collaborations to advance economic growth in the country. Pro Mkwanazi, Chief Operating Officer of MNCapital Group said the forum has been designed with a deliberate inclination towards the formulation of pragmatic solutions, challenges and the alignment of investment structures, regulation and best practices with current global expectations and competitiveness.

“We are really excited at the prospect of this forum, bearing in mind that we will have professionals from not only Botswana but from other African countries as well. Principal at Sustainable Investment Consulting (USA), a supporting partner to the Botswana Pension Funds Forum 2018, Graham Sinclair said growing investment in Africa’s economic development along an inclusive and green path depends upon the long-term investment of institutional investors in Africa because sustainable investment depends on Africa’s own pension funds investing in Africa’s future. “Long-term investment depends upon factoring all economic, environmental, social and corporate governance factors into investment decisions,” Sinclair said.

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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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