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Letshego unveils refreshed logo

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Pan African micro lender, Letshego Holdings unveiled a refreshed look of its brand last week in Gaborone. The company has a clear strategy of building a leading African financial services group focused on financial inclusion.

Speaking at the company’s financial results stakeholder engagement on Friday, group head of corporate affairs, Mythri Sambasivan-George said, “Delivering on this will only be possible through strong relationships with our customers, with our strategic partners, and with communities. Our refreshed brand reflects this sense of Letshego, the company, providing support and upliftment through the base, and symbolising growth with our customers and communities through upward motion of the Letshego logo. Our promise to our stakeholders, ‘Let’s improve life’, comes alive as we share news of continued progress on strategic delivery.”

She also noted that as part of the company’s transformation process, it will rename some of its foreign based businesses during the year 2016. The businesses will be renamed Letshego.

The refreshed brand look and logo will also rollout in its 10 country footprint to build a leading financial services brand in the continent. “We believe this is an opportune time to refresh our brand as Letshego marks 18 years of existence this year, having made strides in diversifying across our footprint,” she added.

The company will also focus on delivering simple, appropriate and affordable solutions with access anytime, anywhere; with enhancements to customer access points continuing across the Letshego footprint.

Business Trends has also learnt that the use of mobile money is well established in Kenya and following this, similar initiatives will be explored in other countries with suitable environments.

New developments include securing a dedicated Letshego short code in Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda plus registration of Faidika’s customer access points in Tanzania as agencies from the newly acquired Advans Bank Tanzania.

Moreover, the company said continued investment in people and systems has strengthened its operating platform, with Letshego Mozambique now live with USSD mobile banking. Additional customer solutions in partnership with a local mobile operator in Mozambique are planned for 2016, with similar initiatives being progressed in other deposit taking countries.

The enhancement of existing products to ensure continued market relevance continues while for micro and small enterprises, agriculture, health and education solutions have been piloted in East Africa.   

Letshego Holdings was incorporated in 1998, and is headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana and was publicly listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange in 2002.

It is a Botswana International Financial Services Centre – accredited holding company with lending and deposit taking subsidiaries across ten countries in Southern, East and West Africa-Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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