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Orange eCattle app

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Orange Botswana has given 10 000 Euros (about P121, 000) to a young application developer, Kabo Raditladi who developed eCattle application in the Orange Botswana Developer Challenge competition. The application is a solution based mobile application that is expected to help local farmers trace their lost cattle.

Through the application farmers register on the application Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) to enable them to get a notification by SMS each time their cattle are housed at Matimela kraal. The online challenge, which ended in November, targets start-ups and developers from Africa and the Middle East countries and is aimed at boosting innovation in the region.

Speaking during the award ceremony last week, Gazza Motswagole who was part of the jury panellists, said they received a total of 20 entries from local developers. “From the 20 ideas we received, the evaluation committee picked the top 10 ideas. The 10 shortlisted developers were then given access to Orange APIs to develop and integrate their services and the winner, Raditladi, was identified after this process,” he said.

The challenge which was open to African developers who reside in the countries that Orange operates in is one way that Orange continues to support innovation and the use of technology to improve the lives of communities in which it operates. According to a statement from Orange, the competition ran across 12 countries with each country expected to crown and announce its top three local projects after which the local winner is entered into the group challenge where they could walk away with 10 000 Euros if they became the overall winners.

Raditladi, 23, who is currently a student at Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), will now compete in the top 12 with developers from 12 different countries. The final winner will be selected on November 25.

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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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