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Jefferis urges govt. to invest in human capital budget

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Government has been urged to invest money in human capital rather than on infrastructure projects.

Speaking at the Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) national budget interpretation symposium, E-Consult Managing Director, Keith Jefferis said the government is spending a lot of money on construction projects which are less significant to the economy when compared to developing human skills.

“The government is very good in spending on hardware things like building of roads and infrastructure but software development like human skills and education. We don’t need to spend a lot of money on buying equipment but we need to be committed to improve human skills,” said Jefferis.

He said Batswana are struggling to penetrate the international market because they are not competitive.   Jefferis also explained that there is poor implementation of public projects and policies. “There is poor implementation of policies which can help boost the economy. We are always hearing about the set up of many policies but we have never seen those policies implemented,” he said.

He said spending on high return projects is doubtful because of the lack of cost benefit analysis. “Spending in some cases does not seem to be carefully prioritised to ensure prudent spending of scarce resources, a typical example is the 50 percent increase in the defence spending when everything is squeezed,” said Jefferis.

BAC Executive Director, SertyLeburu said research has revealed that the industry believes that graduates possess skills which are a mismatch to the needs of the labour market.

She said they are continuing to take deliberate steps to engage with the industry more meaningfully and systematically to ensure that their output matches current and future industry needs.

“As a business school, we have made giant strides in ensuring that our academic programmes are tailored to anticipate and address the needs of the industry. Our curriculum incorporates to the highest possible extent, industry expectations and requirements,” said Leburu.

Presenting the 2016/17 national budget, Minister of finance and development planning, Kenneth Matambo said government is committed to ensure that issues of quality of education and skills mismatch are addressed through the implementation of the education and training sector strategic plan.

The ministry of education and skills development has been awarded the largest share of P10.64 billion in the recurrent budget.

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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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