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Ntime on course to building a motorbike factory

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An engineer in the making, Bakang Ntime, 26, aspires to have a quad bike factory one good day. He is confident that he has done enough research regarding the motor bike and is ready to make as many as possible in the future for his dream business. Ntime’s motto is that ‘business should not always be about profit, but about perfection towards the product’. He subscribes to the slogan, ‘never give up’. Growing up he always had a passion for motorbikes but never had a chance to own one until he decided to do it for himself.

He started in 2012 by picking metals in the yard and designing them to suit the shape of his bikes. Not a single person took him seriously until his motorbike could start and move like a real one. Ntime was spotted with his interesting motorbike at Pick Me up Youth Fair programme, this past Friday in Kopong. He said although his motorbike might not look the best in the eyes of people, it is the best he has so far made from the numerous that he has made before. “It was not easy when I started but, being determined pushed me to strive for excellence. All I can say right now is that I understand a motorbike so well and safety is my number one priority, which is why I am even still researching,” he said.

The young man has decided to enrol with Kgatleng Brigade Centre where he is studying Welding and Fabrications. The idea is to gain more experience on metals so that he can practice higher safety in his work. Although he still has challenges with materials, Ntime is confident that his motorbike workshop will be fully operational one day. His plan is to make standard motorbikes for clients. The idea is to also reduce traffic congestion on the roads.

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LEA partners with Ministry for youth businesses

Keikantse Lesemela

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Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, (MYESCD) has partnered with the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) to create a pool of competitive and sustainable youth businesses.

Through the partnership, business management and mentoring services will be provided to the Youth Development Fund (YDF) beneficiaries to enhance their efficiency and capacity to manage and sustain their businesses.Speaking during the signing ceremony MYESCD Deputy Permanent Secretary, Kago Ramokate said the ministry has always had a challenge with lack of expertise mentorship to young entrepreneurs so partnership with LEA will assist the ministry to effectively deliver its mandate.

“Training and mentorship has been a challenge for us because our officers mostly do not have business background so this partnership will address this,” said Ramokate.In his remarks, LEA Chief Executive, Racious Moatshe said the partnership is paramount to achieve government initiative of creating a pool of competitive and sustainable Small Medium and Micro Enterprises that will significantly contribute towards the diversification of the economy. It is also expected to meaningfully impact local communities through employment creation and import substitution.

“We want to ensure that youth businesses are run properly with proper funding. Both institutions will jointly conduct research that has direct impact on scaling up of youth owned businesses in Botswana,” said Moatshe.

He said over 2 500 youth businesses have received LEA intervention. “We want to see more youth businesses succeed”. Meanwhile, the ministry has been urged to come up with a better strategy to effectively deliver the YDF program and produce successful youth businesses. According to the Auditor General’s report for the past year, Pulane Letebele pointed out that the operation of the fund was highly unsatisfactory because of lack of proper monitoring and mentoring of the beneficiaries, financed from the Fund on a 50 percent grant 50 percent loan basis.

The Auditor General complained that two years after the Public Accounts Committee called for a stream lining of the Fund’s accounting system to allow for proper debtor accounting, nothing has been done.The 2015 Auditor General’s report has revealed that all five regions that had been selected for audits during the year show that the fund has failed. “In Maun about P20 million was disbursed in loans and only P400 000 has been paid while P640 000 was the total of arrears covering the entire period from inception of the fund in 2009,” reads the report.

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Ex Debswana boss counsels graduates

Keikantse Lesemela

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Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) on Saturday, former Managing Director of Debswana, Balisi Bonyongo said graduates and citizens need to position themselves to develop a clear technology and innovation strategy and roadmap that would enable the nation’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy.

“We need to create an entrepreneurship centre that would bring industry and the college together, to form a powerful force that would co-create breakthrough solutions capable of diversifying our country’s economy,” said Bonyongo.

The college released 645 graduates from different fields on Saturday. Since inception 22 years ago over 11 000 professionals graduated from the school. Bonyongo highlighted that graduates should approach problems creatively to provide sustainable, scalable and exponential solutions that could yield tremendous economic value.

“I urge all graduates to leverage technology and innovation to deliver practical solutions to society’s most urgent problems. Use your qualifications to seize opportunities to do what you love and enjoy,” said Bonyongo.

BAC Executive Director, Serty Leburu said between 2017 and 2018 they have experienced growth in the number of new students both full time and part time. “This mark of quality has inspired us to spread our wings and expand into other markets through various collaboration models,” she said.

Leburu revealed that they are currently in the process to introduce online learning to effectively support part-time students as well as provide some programs digitally. The college has partnered with several international universities including, University of Derby, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Sunderland and SAP University Alliance as well as Microsoft and the Cisco Academy.

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