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Govt. pumps P2bn into road infrastructure

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Government is planning to invest up to P2 billion in the country’s road network in the upcoming financial year, finance minister, Kenneth Matambo has disclosed. He made the announcement when delivering the 2018/19 budget speech earlier in the week, emphasising that, road infrastructure, which is worth billions of Pula in total value is important for the country’s growth and economic diversification, hence the need for continuous upgrading and maintenance of road assets.

“A well-developed and maintained road network can contribute to efficiency in the distribution of goods and services within and outside the country, which is necessary for maintaining competitiveness of domestic entities in the global market,” said Matambo.

The finance and economic development minister told legislators in a televised speech that, about P1, 5 billion would also be used to maintain the country’s roads. The above funds will be taken from the road levy collections. Some of the roads, which will be funded, include Mogoditshane-Gabane-Mmankgodi-Road, Gaborone-Boatle dualing, Mulambakwena -Tshesebe road, Dibete-Mookane-Machaneng road, among others.

The country’s road sector is among the biggest consumer of government budget, attracting several contractors-big and small. The industry has also attracted controversy ranging from shoddy and incomplete jobs to irregular awarding of tenders by some government officials. Addressing contractors a week ago, transport and communications minister, Kitso Mokaila said they will no longer tolerate contractors who provide shoddy work, since they increase projects cost resulting in cost overruns. Incompetent companies will be barred from doing any future government works, warned the outspoken minister.

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BSE upgrades online investor access

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A recent BSE opening bell function.

Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) will this year introduce a new clearing and settlement system, as part of efforts to improve operations of the bourse.

Speaking at the seventh opening bell ceremony, Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the development will help improve liquidity and risk management. In addition, the new settlement system replaces the 2008 system while fast tracking introduction of security borrowing and lending, management settlement guarantee fund, as well as identifiers for companies and instrument.

BSEL has already awarded a contract to a Swedish company to implement the system which is also expected to digitalize Initial Public Offering (IPO), allow electronic voting for listed companies during annual general meetings (AGM) for absent shareholders.

The project, which is expected to take eight months once the two parties sign the deal, is part of efforts to have more online investors access for BSEL. Tsheole also revealed that BSEL website will undergo a revamp this year, allowing it to be more analytic, live feed shares, as they trade.“The tender is already out for the website and mobile application. It is a project that we had hoped to implement last year but because of logistic problems, we could not do it,” said Tsheole.

BSEL further plans to introduce two data display screens at CBD and at the stock exchange.“These will assist with information sharing and keep the market updated,” said Tsheole. Meanwhile, BSEL will not change its Automated Trading System (ATS) until 2022, according to Tsheole.“The system supports our strategy to grow the market and increase the average daily turnover levels to 18.0million per day by 2021,” said Tsheole.

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BSE complies with reporting guidelines

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Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has become the 5th bourse in Africa to comply and publish Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

The development comes a year after BSEL became a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative.“The BSE made a commitment to publish guidance on ESG Reporting. This commitment has been fulfilled.“

We are the 42nd among the 81 SSE Partner Exchanges globally and the 5th in Africa to do this,” said Kgotla Segwe, Market Development Specialist at Botswana Stock Exchange Limited.
Other stock exchanges that have complied with the SSE initiative on the continent are from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

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