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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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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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