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Creativity earns Maun youngster additional

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Driven by passion for art and business, the youthful Maun born Kebakaone Tsamaoba has found a business opportunity that continues to represent the town, its name, Proud Maun Rep (PMR0).

Graphic designer by profession, Tsamaloba started using his graphic designing skills while still a student at Limkokwing University to make art creations back in 2011. He believes that Maun has huge potential to sell the country, hence his use of the tourist town’s monuments in his graphics.

According to Tsamaloba, he has long wanted to set up a business but had no funds for the start-up capital. “I planned on teaming up with friends who brushed my idea aside and shunned me,” he explains. It was the same friends who later came back asking for partnership after realising the idea was viable. Tsamaloba incorporates ideas and cultural monuments found in Maun to make designs, which he then prints into T-shirts, shirts, hoodies and caps. “Among other things that I have used to sell and brand Maun is “tswii” – the town’s main staple food.

The Maun youngster adds that he has since opened a clothing boutique in Maun and has a full-time shop assistant. “I intend on expanding the business especially the branded clothing business by opening another boutique here in Gaborone because the demand for our PMR branded clothes in Gaborone continues to grow,” said Tsamaloba. Tsamaloba says that although he has a full-time job, he has learnt that there is a continued need for youngsters in the country to have multiple streams of income. “Youngsters need to learn and master the huge concept of financial literacy too, that way we can be able to make a valuable contribution in the economic growth of our country through own very own established businesses,” he added.

“PMR has been able to maintain growth because I followed the fire burning inside of me. I did not follow what naysayers thought of me and that is what sustained me and helped me to endure. Every youth in Botswana must follow what resonates them,” said Tsamaloba.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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