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Kenewendo pins hope on industrial revolution

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo says the fourth industrial revolution presents opportunities for countries like Botswana to deal with a number of problems, among them high levels of unemployment. Kenewendo was speaking at the 48th St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland on the future of work, Artificial Intelligence, challenges and opportunities of job creation in the fourth industrial revolution. “We see the fourth industrial revolution as a potential, we see opportunities for us to deal with the challenges that we have not been able to deal with to date,” she told delegates at the symposium. Kenewendo further said Botswana is readying herself to take advantage of the demographic dividend that will be presented by the growth in population in Africa. It is said that Africa will have the largest population of young people by 2100 and will contribute 80 percent of the four billion rise in global population by that time.

“This is the demographic dividend we want to harness.” She appealed to the international business community as well as young people to take advantage of opportunities that arise from industrial revolution. “We recognise that innovation and productivity are keys to unlock high growth and catapult us to even become a high income country,” Kenewendo said.

“I am inviting you to invest in Botswana and unlock the possibilities presented by the fourth industrial revolution.” Kenewendo urged those that are threatened by the digital divide to see opportunities, especially those that have been traditionally excluded and left behind. “We are all looking towards working together as government, private sector and all to ensure that the forth industrial revolution helps take us to where we want to be.” President-Foundation on Economic Trends, Jeremy Rifkin said at the symposium that currently, global GDP has been slowing atleast for the last 10 years, economies project 20 more years of low productivity and high unemployment especially for millennial, and in addition climate change is a real challenge. He said to counter these challenges, world leaders need to come up with a compelling economic vision for the world. He said there is need for a game plan to deliver on that vision and it needs to be quick. “It needs to move as quick in the developing world just as in industrialised economies,” he said, adding, “We need to step back here at St Gallen and ask the question how do we create economic paradigm shifts?”

The Gallen Symposium is an intergenerational, interdisciplinary symposium that focuses on the following, individual’s response to changing technology; challenges it poses to society; business’s response and ability to create disruption through technology and the role of government in education policies and job creation. The symposium creates relevant debates between leaders of today and future leaders.

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OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE

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Minister Thapelo Olopeng

Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.

The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.

He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.

The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.

“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.

The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.

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WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER

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Orapa Mine, part of Debswana

Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.

Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.

“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.

“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”

Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.

“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.

Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
[Rough and Polished]

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