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A view from the top

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This week Khumo Property Asset Manage- ment will be celebrating ten years of exis- tence and business operations within the property asset management sphere.

Compared to property management, which focuses on managing the actual building such as the tenants and leases and repairs and maintenance, property asset man- agement is about creating and managing the wealth related to the property or a portfolio of properties on behalf of clients.

Asset managers have a clearer view of the property dynamics and advise clients on how best to increase the value of their property portfolios through assessment of the type of tenants to occupy the property; performance of the prop- erty, if it is profitable or not and whether the client should ‘acquire, hold or dispose’. A good return, exploiting the value of the property and reducing the risk to the client is the ultimate goal of the property asset manager.

At times they may recom- mend that a client ‘change their land use’ to position themselves to better optimise on the location they occupy for example changes may be caused by the direction of growth of the town or city. The CEO of Khumo Property Asset Management, Outule Bale, has been with the company since 2007 and is at the helm of an organisation that now manages properties or assets worth over P2 billion through a staff compliment that is now 100 percent Botswana citizens. These range from commercial, retail, hotel and residential properties.

Bale observes that most of the past ten years the Botswana property market has been buoyant. “In the last two years there has been a bit of a slowdown. We have also seen an oversupply in the ‘commercial’ market,” he adds. The commercial market he refers to are the office properties which seem to have sprung up almost overnight in areas such as the Fairgrounds, Finance Park and the new Gaborone CBD. The asset man- ager is confident that when the economy improves the property market will also improve.

Similarly, retail property development has been phenomenal in the last 10 years. Shopping Malls for example Riverwalk and Game City where developed during the years 2001 and 2002. In the last six years Rail Park Mall, Airport Junction, Sebele Mall, Northgate were opened. The CEO advises that, “Investment decisions in these and other property sectors should be preceded by careful analysis of the environment and other important factors that influence viabilities and feasibilities.”

Bale also points out that development has not only been limited to the commercial sector, that other property sectors have also seen significant progress. For instance, lately there has been notice- able development activity in the hotel sector. “Some of the sectors should now be reaching equilibrium, where demand equals supply,” observes Bale.

“Without any major new economic activities, there will be possibilities of recycling of tenants. Tenants will vacate and relocate to newer properties that offer modern amenities and are at the same time competitive in prices.” Bale explains that for the older properties to survive this pending risk they need to ‘reinvent’ and ‘relive’ themselves. This is one of the roles that Khumo plays on behalf of clients through its development arm.

Khumo Prop- erty Asset Management has over the last ten years participated in property developments all geared at optimising value and wealth for clients.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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