Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) Thapelo Tsheole has been elected Chairman of the Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges (CoSSE), a position he will assume for the next two years. Chief Executive Officer of the Malawi Stock Exchange, John Kamanga hason the other hand been elected as Deputy Chairman. The election took place at the just ended 53rd CoSSE meeting held last week in Maseru, Lesotho. Tsheole’s new role as Chairman of CoSSE would avail him an opportunity to grow and develop stock exchanges within the SADC region.
He will oversee and facilitate activities amongst the 14 stock exchanges from 13 southern African countries. CoSSE was formed in 1996 with the objective of Improving the operational, regulatory and technical underpinnings and capabilities of SADC Exchanges in order to make their securities markets more attractive to both regional and international investors.
The committee also aims to increase market liquidity and enhance trading in various securities and financial instruments, as well as encourage the development of a harmonized securities market environment within the SADC region. Some notable market development projects that CoSSE has worked on include increasing trading within members, harmonization of listings requirement to promote listings and increase the quality of the rules, collaboration with the SADC Banking Association on an initiative to develop a SADC Delivery versus Payment (Depp) settlement model which would be used for the settlement of cross-border securities.
The committee also worked on the SADC Interconnectivity Hub Project, the first phase of which was the organisation of the SADC Brokers’ Network Session in 2016. Following this session, CoSSE launched a regional portal that provides SADC exchanges and brokers with a centralized platform to encourage broker interaction with the hope of increasing cross border trades within the region. The portal facilitates the flow of information related to each SADC market.
‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’
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
MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH
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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