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Kasane Airport to enhance tourism, trade, investment

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The recently launched complimentary Wi-Fi access at all Botswana international airports is expected to close the gap that existed as a result of lack of free internet service. The project, a brainchild of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) in collaboration with Botswana Fibre Network (BOFINET), was launched at the occasion of the Civic Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) official opening of the Kasane International Airport last week in Kasane.

Visitors coming into Botswana either on business or pleasure will now enjoy free internet access at these airports; Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, Francistown International Airport, Kasane International Airport and Maun International Airport. According to Director of Corporate Communications, Kutlo Moagi, in their efforts to bridge the gap, in addition to the collaboration with BOFINET, BITC engaged a local service provider, MetroTech to provide internet services for all the four airports. Moagi said the project is part of improving broadband connectivity and in keeping up with global trends.

“As you are aware, access to internet or connectivity is an enabler for doing business,” she said. She added that as part of improving “our ease of doing business and to remain globally competitive as a country, it is imperative that we continually strive to eliminate all impediments to doing business.” As part of accessing complimentary internet services, users will be required to answer some basic questions relating to their experience with immigration as well as the purpose of their visit into Botswana.

In this way BITC believes that they will further gauge the quality of service standards at all points of entry. Phuthego Chere of MetroTech, the local IT Company that provides a portfolio of internet services concurs that this service will go a long way in enhancing a travelers’ experience. He said prior to this arrangement, the lack of free internet accessibility in airports was frustrating for travellers. “Upon arrival the modern traveller wants to establish contact and even make accommodation arrangement, if they were unable to do so earlier, and this Wi-Fi access will alleviate frustrations associated with such,” Chere said in an interview. Chere said the service allows users to answer direct questions that will yield valuable feedback, which would help improve on challenging areas going forward. MetroTech specialises in internet services for home and business, networking solutions, cyber security and networking, peripherals store.

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ADB grants BDC P4m for capacity building

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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BDC head of human capital, Thabile Moipolai

African Development Bank has granted Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) over P4 million for training and capacity building of its staff members, the latter’s Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe has disclosed.

The grant, which is $400,000 could not have come at a better time for BDC which has just begun a foray into the African continent. According to the Head of Human Capital at the investment arm of government, Thabile Moipolai, the grant will be used in areas such as investment, legal and risk, the three divisions which are considered critical as they continue to push the five -year strategy.

BDC has been given the leeway to invest outside Botswana and already some investments are being made in West Africa. Capacitating the staff in the above areas will come in handy for the African expansion.

Moipolai was answering a question from The Midweek Sun on Friday during the company’s annual stakeholder briefing where operational and financial reports for 2017/2018 were made public. The grant will be utilised in the next two years. BDC has reiterated its plan to continue to invest initiatives which are aimed at developing and retaining staff members.

“As we continue to build a strong BDC for the future, continuous learning and development is critical for our business success and therefore remains a priority area for Human Capital,” BDC 2017 annual report reads.

BDC has also developed a future focused competency based training that will be used to make informed learning and development decisions. “The (BDC) academy will also help BDC produce future leaders that are fluid and progressive through a bespoke leadership development,” reads the report.

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KBL announces return of Kickstart program

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Previous kickstart beneficiaries

Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a unit of Sechaba has announced the return of Kickstart, a youth entrepreneurial development program that was suspended three years due to lack of financial resources, Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp has told the media.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. According to Beauchamp, the revamped Kickstart will start next year, with an annual budget of about P1, 5 million. “We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that, they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent. The clear beer price reduction comes after the Alcohol Levy, which made beer expensive, was slashed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime some few months ago.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has announced changes in trading hours for businesses that trade with liquor.

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