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Over 15 000 Batswana buy BTCL shares

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Over 15 000 Batswana and 600 of the 900 employees of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited have already bought the Company’s shares as the Initial Public Offer (IPO) winds up this week Friday.

The Company is also anticipating large numbers of Batswana to turn up at various Barclays Bank Botswana branches nationwide for the shares before Friday’s closing date.

“At no point have we had less than 500 people per day submitting offers in the branches. In our final week now we expect to see an increase and we anticipate it to get even better,” Taylor told the media last week.

Flanked by Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) deputy chief executive Tiny Diswai-Moremi, the BTCL Chief Executive said they have worked hard to educate Batswana about the IPO.

“Educational literature has been produced in the thousands. Beyond over 30,000 prospectuses are in circulation and over 320,000 BTCL Share Application Forms printed, we have shared over 100,000 FAQs in English and Setswana, and a social media community of over 26,500 people,” said Taylor.

The offer comprises 462 000 000 shares of which 250 000 000 are to be issued and allotted by the company and 212 010 000 shares are to be sold by the selling shareholder. He said they have printed over 30 000 prospectuses in circulation, 290 000 application forms, conducted 61 public roadshows in villages and towns.

BTCL will be the first telecommunications company to be listed on Botswana Stock Exchange on April 8, 2016. “When the bell rings on 8th April at the BSE, we look forward to a new BTCL being born marking yet another important milestone for the business and indeed for Botswana. These are very exciting times ahead and we look forward to this bright new future,” said Taylor.

“It needs to be borne in mind that the Offer Period is open until the 4th of March 2016, and applications are being received until then. This means Batswana need not rush, as shares will not be distributed on a first come first served basis.”

Through the IPO government will hold a total of 49 percent of the company’s shares, 44 percent are available for purchase by citizens and citizen companies and the remaining five percent is reserved for BTCL employees through a Trust.

Taylor also explained that BTCL has about 930 employees and about 600 have applied for the shares. BTCL was converted to a registered public company limited by shares in 2012 and some of its assets were given to newly-formed Botswana Fibre Network (BoFiNet) to manage and operate on behalf of the government.

Some of the assets retained by BoFiNet include the East African Submarine System (EASSy) and the West African Cable System (WACS).

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OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE

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Minister Thapelo Olopeng

Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.

The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.

He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.

The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.

“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.

The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.

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WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER

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Orapa Mine, part of Debswana

Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.

Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.

“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.

“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”

Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.

“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.

Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
[Rough and Polished]

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