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Ten graduate from ODC entrepreneurship programme

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 Okavango Diamonds Company (ODC) held its second youth entrepreneurship graduation on Friday. The annual programme, which is a partnership with Stellenbosch University, has seen 10 youth graduating this year. Speaking during the graduation ceremony, ODC CEO, Frik Landman urged the young entrepreneurs to be creative and innovative so that they can benefit from the diamond industry. Landman said entrepreneurs should keep learning to develop their skills and understand market trends. “As an entrepreneur you have to go out there and look for relevant information.

I urge all our graduates to have courage to keep pressing until they succeed, entrepreneurship is about being determined to win no matter the rejections or disappointments,” he said. The programme was established in 2016 with the aim to empower young people and allow citizens to participate in the diamond industry. Landman explained that the graduates were taken through seven months of intensive training and were challenged to develop their business ideas. “Each student was challenged to conceptualise their business idea and present it to the panel of industry leaders.

Through this training programme we are sure that we have equipped these young people with skills and ideas to come up with solutions to the industry,” Landman said. ODC Board Member, Dr Khaulani Fichani said entrepreneurship is one of the key inputs in economic development, as it will help the society to combat unemployment. “The country has ventured into diversification of diamond value chain. We now have cutting, polishing and retailing. There is great opportunity for entrepreneurs and the youth.

They just need to be creative and innovative,” said Fichani ODC has invested over P2 million in the programme in the past two years. One of the gradauates, Totwana Tito Chimbise said she is empowered by the programme to become an entrepreneur. “I am a physiotherapist by profession but through the knowledge and skills I acquired from this training I am determined to become an entrepreneur and be a solution provider in the diamond industry,” said Chimbise. Bonolo Phaladze said the training has enabled her to identify her strengths in business operation and she is now going to collaborate with other graduates. “As an entrepreneur you have to know your co-anchors in your business. I have identified two other graduates within our team and we will work as partners in the business that we started through inspiration from this training,” she said.

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BSE upgrades online investor access

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A recent BSE opening bell function.

Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) will this year introduce a new clearing and settlement system, as part of efforts to improve operations of the bourse.

Speaking at the seventh opening bell ceremony, Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the development will help improve liquidity and risk management. In addition, the new settlement system replaces the 2008 system while fast tracking introduction of security borrowing and lending, management settlement guarantee fund, as well as identifiers for companies and instrument.

BSEL has already awarded a contract to a Swedish company to implement the system which is also expected to digitalize Initial Public Offering (IPO), allow electronic voting for listed companies during annual general meetings (AGM) for absent shareholders.

The project, which is expected to take eight months once the two parties sign the deal, is part of efforts to have more online investors access for BSEL. Tsheole also revealed that BSEL website will undergo a revamp this year, allowing it to be more analytic, live feed shares, as they trade.“The tender is already out for the website and mobile application. It is a project that we had hoped to implement last year but because of logistic problems, we could not do it,” said Tsheole.

BSEL further plans to introduce two data display screens at CBD and at the stock exchange.“These will assist with information sharing and keep the market updated,” said Tsheole. Meanwhile, BSEL will not change its Automated Trading System (ATS) until 2022, according to Tsheole.“The system supports our strategy to grow the market and increase the average daily turnover levels to 18.0million per day by 2021,” said Tsheole.

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BSE complies with reporting guidelines

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Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has become the 5th bourse in Africa to comply and publish Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

The development comes a year after BSEL became a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative.“The BSE made a commitment to publish guidance on ESG Reporting. This commitment has been fulfilled.“

We are the 42nd among the 81 SSE Partner Exchanges globally and the 5th in Africa to do this,” said Kgotla Segwe, Market Development Specialist at Botswana Stock Exchange Limited.
Other stock exchanges that have complied with the SSE initiative on the continent are from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

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