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Debswana donates to Masiela Trust

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Masiela Trust Fund has received a major financial boost from diamond mining company Debswana towards the Trust initiatives, which are mostly aimed at improving the lives of the most vulnerable of the society.

Speaking at the handing over of the P200, 000 cheque, Debswana Managing Director, Balisi Bonyongo said his company always found it fit to helps those less fortunate. “We are all concerned and willing to do something about the plight of neglected and marginalised children in our society.” The Debswana boss informed the attendants that 2016 is the year to demonstrate commitment to the Botswana’s Vision 2016 Pillar of “A Compassionate, Just and Caring Nation” by caring for Masiela kids. 

Chairperson of the board of Masiela Trust Fund, Gulaam Abdoola who received the cheque on behalf of the Trust thanked Debswana for its contribution.

However, he lamented that the contributions they receive from companies and individuals are still insufficient to meet all the needs of the children.
The Minister of Education and Skills Development, Dr. Unity Dow who personally pledged P10 000 encouraged everyone to make any type of contribution or donation to the Masiela Trust. She said having worked in an organisation of that nature before, she knows the financial challenges and other complications that come with these organisations.

As part of the company’s CSR commitment to the needy, in 1999 Debswana donated a housing complex known as the Mpule Kwelagobe Children’s Centre in Jwaneng which started operating in the year 2000. The facility occupies a space of 25,000 square metres and comprises 210 rooms, which can accommodate approximately 420 children.

In 2009, Debswana also constructed a house at SOS Children’s village in Serowe as part of the first family houses.  Masiela Trust, a non-Government Organisation established in 2001 to complement the government in caring, supporting and protecting orphans and vulnerable children.

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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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