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HRDC budget balloons

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The newly established Human Resource Development Council’s (HRDC) total budget for the financial year 2014/15 has reached P82.7million. Its revenue for the 2014/15 period reached P66.2million compared to P38.8million in the previous year, Business Trends can reveal.

According to its 2014/15 financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2015, the larger part of the money for this knowledge-based organisation went to personnel emoluments and related items at P29.6million, representing 36 percent of the total budget.

HRDC is a bigger entity in terms of mandate and staff establishment and therefore had to request for more financial resources from government and other stakeholders. In particular, the significant change in the resourcing of HRDC came from the 10 percent administration fee for human resource development fund that amounted to P29million in 2014/15 financial year.

The government grant also increased from P25million in the previous year to P29million. The total budget for the year was therefore P82.7million. The report indicates that, “as a result of the ongoing transaction, a total of P9.9million was provided as restricting costs. The second major expenditure was on consultancy services, which increased from P1million to P2.7million as well as research, and development costs which increased from P0.55million in the prior financial year to P1million in the year under review. These were small grants given to Education and Training Institutions to promote research at institutional level.”

HRDC is led by Patrick Molutsi who has been acting Chief Executive Officer since its establishment from the then Tertiary Education Council (TEC) in November 2013. Molutsi is confident that their portfolio of projects will deliver value and impact the nation’s advancement into the post 50 year  period positively.

He said the journey of this transition has been a long and tedious one; and just like all journeys, “unfortunately, there have been those who were lost on the way. We are earnestly excited. This has been the awarding transition stage from which we are well placed to implement the mandate of the HRDC and impact on the quality of life of every citizen of Botswana. We are currently scaling up our operations and implementing the National Human Resource Development Strategy.”

During the year under review, the HRDC had managed to establish and strengthen close working relationships with Statistics Botswana, Bank of Botswana, British Council, Ministries of Labour and Home Affairs; Trade and Industry; and Finance and Development Planning among others. These strategic partnerships have been critical in HRDC’s successful establishment of Sector Human Resource Development Committees and their work.

The HRDC in November 2015 launched new Board of Directors, and bid farewell to the interim Board members who started the Council in 2013. Dr Kegalale Gasennelwe who then handed to Batho Chris Molomo headed the interim.

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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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