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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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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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