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MilkAfric sponsors students for dairy production course

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Some Batswana students jetted outside the country this week for an intensive training on dairy production, courtesy of MilkAfric.

This Tuesday, the company, which is developing a dairy project in Lobatse with the local town council, hosted a send-off for fifteen Batswana students going to the University of Florida, USA, to begin the MilkAfric Dairymen Training Programme.

The students are part of the human capital investment in Botswana by MilkAfric. Training costs, MilkAfric pays for subsistence, and travel, and the students have each signed contractual agreements for future employment with MilkAfric.

“We are excited by the sustainable investment that we are making through the apprenticeship of the fifteen, young Batswana Dairymen trainees. Upon their return, these trainees will be well-equipped and competent in all aspects of dairy management,” said the excited MilkAfric CEO, Phil Matibe.

The company is also sponsoring five Ministry of Agriculture dairy officers, out of the fifteen students, to train in the same programme in the United States. Upon their successful completion, they will return to the Ministry of Agriculture to engage in dairy extension work across Botswana helping small-holder farmers in developing viable dairy enterprises.

The Dairymen students will be trained in all aspects of dairy management within the milking facilities at Alliance Dairies. On any given day, they will have an opportunity to interact with twelve thousand milking cows and all the supporting staff at Alliance Dairies, including world-class animal science professors from the University of Florida.

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Market Street day supports local products

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo has encouraged citizens to promote and support local products thus contributing to employment creation and economic development.

Speaking during the ministry’s Market Street day on Saturday, the trade minister said the ministry came up with the initiative to expose local products to the national market. “The plan is to keep growing so that we get Batswana products in the shops and get Batswana to know the products in the shops,” said Kenewendo. Market street day was initiated last year as a platform to add on to the continuing efforts to grow local businesses. This year, retail sector, including Shoprite, Choppies and Ackerman’s from South Africa participated in the exhibition.

Kenewendo pointed out that supporting local products helps reduce export of jobs. “Most of Batswana will say they don’t want to buy locally produced goods because they are of low quality, we need to buy from them so that they grow. When we buy products from other countries we are exporting jobs, why should we export jobs?” she asked rhetorically. Economic diversification drive should not be a Government initiative alone, only but all citizens should contribute, she concluded.

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Botswana behind in ease of doing business

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Botswana has been challenged to improve easy of doing business for the country to remain competitive amongst its peers.

The Director of Investor Facilitation and Relations at Special Economic Zones Authority’s (SEZA), Neo Mahube recently told delegates at the two- day investment symposium dubbed Doing Business in Botswana, Transitioning Botswana that the country needs to be globally competitive.“The world is growing better than we are, there is something that we are not doing right, despite our political stability and sound economic policies,” said Mahube.

Currently, Botswana lags behind Mauritius, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa on the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report. Mahube said bottlenecks that investors and local startups face to register a business should be resolved.

“We need to transform the way we are doing business, if we are to bring businesses to Botswana,” said Mahube, adding that the country needs to be as efficient as possible to start a business, apart from improving credit efficiency.

She however applauded government for legislation amendment initiatives that have already been put in place ahead of the transformation journey. Mahube said through transforming the ease of doing business the country has potential to create employment.

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