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Business Botswana media sectors calls for media levy

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Business Botswana media sector committee has motivated the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration through the Office of the President to introduce a media levy in Botswana.

The proposal which was routed through government’s spokesperson, Dr Jeff Ramsay sometime in October 2015, will amongst other things promote, sponsor, authorise, manage, control or cause to be arranged, organised, conducted, authorised or commissioned, the obtaining of all kinds of advertising research, media audience research, surveys, investigations and reports.

It will further publish media audience and product/brand research for the benefit of all stakeholders.Moreover, the levy will also assist in training for the industry, advocacy and awareness raising.

It is also expected to fund the Advertising Standards Authority, which would be a self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in Botswana. Its role would be to regulate the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in Botswana by investigating complaints made about adverts, sales promotions or direct marketing, and deciding whether such advertising complies with its advertising standards codes.

The proposal was prepared by Thabo Majola, Vice Chairperson Business Botswana Media Sector.

Speaking to Midweek Sun recently, Dr Jeff Ramsay said that government welcomes the proposal. “There has been a discussion on such a concept for many years and this has come at a good time. We believe it will shape and develop the local media industry further. It is part of the High Level Consultative Council and it has to go through other stages until the final full report is given to the Minister,” said Ramsay.  

Majola told The Midweek Sun that the stakeholders are still discussing the modalities and details of the levy. “We are hoping that the levy will be introduced this year if things go as anticipated,” he added.

The proposal indicates that there is need in Botswana to have comprehensive, unbiased, reliable, regular and technically excellent survey. “Its purpose would be to provide data about the use of the mass media, and the consumption of products and services by users of the mass media.

The research data produced has to be comprehensive enough so that it could be used for target marketing and aid advertisers, and their advertising agencies in taking decisions about the selection of media for their advertising campaigns. Media owners have to be able to use the data to market their media, and for strategic editorial and programme planning,” reads part of the proposal.

There have in the past been attempts to report on the readership of newspapers and magazines and listenership of radio stations by way of surveys, which were commissioned by publishers themselves and BOCRA to large extent.

According to the proposal, “In order to best meet the requirements of users, it’s important that we conduct research that is jointly controlled by the advertisers, the advertising agencies and media owners. This would ensure complete acceptance of the survey data because it’s planning would be conducted impartially, and all interested parties would supervise the field work and report production.”

The proposed structure
An institute or Foundation needs to be set up. Proposed names are the Media Research Institute/Foundation.

The proposal is to then appoint Board of directors representing all interested stakeholders under the Business Botswana Media Sector and representatives from the Government. The board will be responsible for playing the oversight role and ensuring that all research is conducted and service providers are appointed in clear and transparent manner.

It will be the responsibility of the Executive Director and the board to approve the Institute or Foundation’s strategy and staffing requirements. The main mandate will be to ensure that the general public has access to proper research statistics and for the collection of the Levy from the various media houses.

How will the Media Research Institute/Foundation be funded?

The collection of the levy should be straight forward process. The funds will be collected by media owners on behalf of the industry. The proposal is to charge 1.5 percent levy on all advertising placed in Botswana.

The levy is calculated after all discounts and agency commissions have been deducted. The levy should be remitted on monthly basis. This can be discussed and agreed upon by all the members of the Business Botswana media sector.

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Capital bank rebrands to First Capital

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First Capital Botswana CEO, Jaco Viljoen

Capital Bank has rebranded to First Capital, as its parent company FMBcapital Holdings launched a single identity for operations in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique which is yet to rebrand at a later stage.

First Capital, Chief Executive Officer, Jaco Viljoen said the bank’s new image will not influence its operations or change focus on clients needs. “We will retain our focus on relationships, as we work alongside our clients and communities to help them achieve their extraordinary,” said Viljoen.

“Relationships will therefore remain at the core of our business, even as we continue to grow,” he added.First Capital Bank was first founded in Malawi in 1995, as First Merchant Bank (FMB) and had grown into a regional banking group.

With a total 2.5 billion pula in assets on the local market and 2.2 billion pula in clients’ deposits, the bank has plans to keep pace with growth both locally and in the region, providing integrated services across all the five countries where its footprint is found. “We do not expect anything to change if not improving it.

As we help customers achieve the extra ordinary,” said Hitesh Anadkat, First Capital Bank’s Board Chairman. First Capital’s appetite for growth is also supported by figures from the 2017 financial year results. The bank’s loans extended to clients grew by 47 percent under the Capital Bank brand and posted a 14 percent increase in profits in the same year in Botswana.

In addition, while total profits in Botswana’s banking sector has declined sharply in recent years, First Capital Bank has posted a compounded annual growth rate in profit after tax of 25 percent over the past five years.

Currently the Pan-African bank employs over 1800 staff serving a client base of approximately 840 000 customers across the region.

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Pheko, Molomo join BTCL board

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Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited has appointed two non-Executive Directors, Thari Pheko and BafanaMolomo.

Pheko is the founding Chief Executive and director of Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), having joined when it was known as Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA).

BOCRA regulates operators in the information communication technology space. He was recently nominated as Commissioner of Botswana National Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Fellow non-executive director, Molomo is the founder and Managing Partner at Aleyo Capital, a local private equity manager.

He was once the Chief Investment Officer at Botswana Development Corporation (BDC). Before then, he was Senior Associate at Vantage Capital responsible for originating and structuring deals in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. Molomo is experienced in the private equity finance space.

BTCL board chairperson, Lorato Boakgomo-Ntakhwana has welcomed the new faces in the board. BTCL is integrated telecommunications business that is listed locally.

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