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Youngster explores photography as business

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Ontlametse Mokhwela of Bob Photography says photography is still a new business in Botswana that he dreams to take to the next level. He believes that though it creates opportunity for business not everyone with a camera will succeed in photography business. The 22-year-old says that photography requires so much passion. “Everyone can do photography but on the other hand, it requires different strategies and different styles to make a photographer unique, while presenting their different work,” he says.

Mokhwela started as a videographer at church in 2012 and soon realised that he was indeed born for photography. He shares that he could even dodge school for his video captures in South Africa. He told Business Trends that he started without a camera or computer, but depended on borrowing from other people until he saved enough for his own equipment to fulfil his mission of being a businessman through photography. His work is impressive and many people are fond of it. Since the establishment of the company in 2015, many have shown support. He has more than 14 000 followers on his facebook page, Bob Photography.

The renowned photographer captures photographs in functions such as; weddings, parties, baby showers, maternity shoots, corporate functions and he also designs business cards, posters and flyers. He is thankful for his church where he used to work for free and sees himself growing. “I want to reach America in three years time just through photography, because it is an art and a business that requires exploring,” said Mokhwela. He has employed a manager at Bob Photography and also has two models that are the face of Bob Photography, while he also often engages people on freelance basis on his projects. Mokhwela says that in order to enhance photography in Botswana, he will from next month have lessons for photographers to help them achieve quality work. He says photography is still new in Botswana and it is best for people to do it right if they want to make a living out of it.

He also does street photo shoot and so far he has done it in Main mall, CBD, Bonnington Farm and Molapo Crossing. He believes that, “if you want to achieve something, do it and don’t wait for anyone to help you with money”. Mokhwela has so far worked with Vee, Jack Botlhoko, Owen Banks, Stone Maplanka and Abed Mogorosi, as well as in national events that include; Orange Tour 2017, GIMC 2017, ST Louise 2017 and BUAN 50th celebrations.

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‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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