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Transport minister urges ICT companies to work with govt.

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Transport and Communications minister Tshenolo Mabeo has urged private companies to partner with government and channel some of their investments in ICT initiatives to grow the country’s economy.

Speaking at the Mascom Kitsong Centres awards for 2016, Mabeo said reaching out to more deserving Batswana in the ICT sector will ensure a new diversification avenue and job creation. “There are challenges in the ICT sector and those cannot be resolved soon. We need to develop quick and long term solutions that can leverage ICT in transforming this economy. What Mascom is currently doing, signifies Mascom reaching the digital divide in Botswana,” he said.

Through its Kitsong Centres initiative Mascom Botswana last week awarded 14 Batswana with fully ICT equipped porta cabins to start their businesses. The cabin comprises a computer, a fax machine and internet.  Mabeo encouraged recipients to take care of the equipment and put up security measures to avoid break-ins; as well as take advantage of the centres and find innovative ways of growing them into fully fledged and sustainable businesses.

This year’s selection saw 36 youth from various villages across the country undergoing a business management programme, and 14 were awarded from the villages/constituencies such as Palla Road, Letlhakane East, Letlhakeng West, Makopong, Tsetsebjwe, Molalatau, Matsiloje, Mathathane, Tshesebe, Artesia, Pandamatenga, Okavango and Gakgatla.

Mascom also gave out four recognition awards namely; Most Preserving; Most Potential; Most Community contributor and; the Best Centre. Mascom PR and Communications Manager, Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego said these were judged on the basis of “their dedication to the business. We want to promote the spirit of hard-work and perseverance.” The recipients received P5000.00 cash each to help them improve their product and services, as well as P1000.00 worth of airtime to sell at their centres.

The Mascom Kitsong Centres initiative started five years ago as part of the government’s Nteletsa 2 project. At the time 41 centres were set-up and Mascom continued to roll-out and to date the number has grown to 94.

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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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