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BTCL unveils ultimate communication solution

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Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited (BTCL) has introduced a Mobile VSAT product that gives a new meaning to doing business from any location in the country. Speaking at the launch at Mo- kolodi Nature Reserve last week, BTCL Managing Director Paul Taylor said the Mobile VSAT is the ultimate communication solution ideal for businesses in remote, temporary and emergency areas.

The service can be used to transmit and receive data signals through a satellite. This primarily targets government departments (military, police, disaster recovery aid), SMMEs (tourism, lodges) and large corporations (mobile banking, mining). Mobile VSAT unit provides reliable business connectivity even in the most remote location. This is how it works; the user can pull up to any location and quickly establish voice, video and data connection at the touch of a button.

Taylor said that the VSATs broadband signal is dependable, avail- able anywhere and easy to configure via satellite connectivity. “It helps businesses that need to move their virtual private network from one region to another seamlessly,” he said.
At a quick button deployment, the dish will automatically deploy, lock on satellite and create high-speed network for any in range computers, smart phones or other wireless devices. In terms of aesthetics, it is built for extreme environments that can handle extreme rain and wind. “It can extend any communications network, helping to overcome geographical barriers, ter- restrial network limitations and other constraining infrastructure issue,” said the MD.

He also pointed out that the telecommunications services remain an indispensable if not a prerequisite for improving the socio-economic liveli- hoods of the people of Botswana. He also said that the need to ensure ubiquity in access to telecommunications services and products reflect his organisation’s commitment to bridge the digital divide. “In BTCL, we see ourselves as a catalyst for this change process in delivering relevant and responsive products and services to the local market. In launching the Mobile V-SAT product today, it is important to note that mainstream- ing telecommunications solutions is a critical ingredient to fostering economic growth as diversification remains a key national policy priority,” he said.

“These compliments the adoption and imple- mentation of the national ICT Policy that reflects on a continued commitment to the development of a robust telecom- munications eco-system predicated on transitioning the country from efficiency based economy to a knowledge based economy, underpinned by increased innovation, productivity and competi- tiveness,” he observed.

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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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