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PPADB fights corruption in procurement

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 Batswana have been called upon to take an active part in fighting corruption in tenders by reporting suspicious conduct. Since December 2017, PPADB has received four tip off reports trough their Tip-off Anonymous Service; all of which are under investigation; Business trends has learnt. The service that was launched last year in July has a proven track record in preventing and fighting corruption. It is currently implemented through a third party, Deloitte. In an interaction with the media on Monday, the Executive Chairperson of PPADB, Bridget John said corruption thrives on secrecy.

“Through this service, we wish to make transparency and accountability recognised, key conditions for promoting integrity and preventing corruption in public procurement.” This whistle blowing policy, is viewed as key in public procurement to enable stakeholders to be able to report matters relating to improper, unethical and inappropriate conduct in tendering. Amongst other means of eliminating corruption talk, an Integrity Office is still being established to provide more focus on ethical conduct and come up with anti-corruption measures.

“Efforts are ongoing to identify a suitable candidate to head the office,” John highlighted. She further urged the media to encourage the public to use the service to report any unethical or inappropriate conduct in tenders by contractors, PPADB staff, and those holding public office. “Corruption perception in licensing and public contracts is becoming a major concern as per the Global Competitiveness Study and needs to be addressed,” she says, and further alludes that transparency, proper procurement planning, adherence to plans, and competitive bidding will go a long way in improving public confidence in tenders and reducing corruption perception. Amongst its yearly milestones, the IPMS (e-Bidding) is also slowly gaining momentum with up to 34 tenders processed online since inception last year.

“Uptake expected to increase in 2018 with more training and awareness building as well as system agility and availability. The e-Bidding roll out plan is expected to run for three years until all Procuring Entities are able to manage online bidding without much support. She noted one major challenge as internet connectivity, accessibility, and availability of suitable ICT infrastructure equipment which she says slows down the IPMS roll out. “PPADB is poised to become a high performing organisation that will more effectively facilitate value for money procurement for Botswana to realise its development goals,” John 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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