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Cresta, UB partnership bears fruit

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In 2010, Cresta Marakanelo and the University of Botswana (UB) merged the industry and academia to develop a comprehensive ‘on the job training’ programme which is now reaching six years. The two are bound by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which aims to identify two excelling graduates from the UB’s Tourism and Hospitality Department to be inducted into the two (2) year Cresta Management Development Programme.

“Over the years this is the main pool from which Cresta derives its management team,” explains Tawanda Makhaya, Managing Director at Cresta. Last week on 18th November, a small but befitting Excellence Award Ceremony was held at Cresta (Old Naledi) to honour and induct the latest two excelling UB Tourism and Hospitality graduates, Kamogelo Makgolo and Fikile Moswaane. The two young ladies, both 23-years-old, shone in their moment of pride as they expressed their gratitude to God, their support system in the form of family and mentors and to Cresta.

All the relevant players were in attendance at this award giving meet including Sandra Pabalinga, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Manager at BQA who expressed her pleasure at the strategic merger. “One of our greatest concerns at BQA is the quality of education. Let’s not forget that quality is a moving target. In this case the Cresta Management Development Programme is accredited with us at the BQA”. Employers or companies tend to complain about the ‘lack of practical experience’ in regards to graduates, that they have more theory as compared to practice.

Hence Pabalinga is impressed by this coupling of industry and academia; specifically that industry in this instance is engaged and involved in bridging this gap. She said that BQA is currently auditing its clients or education and training institutions and providers and observes that there have been great improvements in this sector. Most importantly that clients now recognise the BQA as more than a regulator but a partner. “At the end of the day we regulate education and training so quality assurance standards are met for all training in the country,” said Pabalinga.

Another key player in the industry who spoke at the award ceremony and also motivated the two young exemplary women was Dr. Patrick Molutsi, CEO of the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC). “This is definitely a marriage of convenience between Cresta and the UB,” said Dr. Molutsi. One of their targets and defining features at the HRDC is to turn the education system from, ‘supply to demand driven’.

“These hands-on demand driven programmes will ensure that products of our institution come with practical experience,” said Dr. Molutsi adding and agreeing with Pabalinga that, “This will help with reducing the sharp cultural divide between industry and academia.” He explained that they benchmarked this training concept using a university in Finland recognised for its strong links with the hospitality industry. “We do not encourage hotels to create their own schools. We strongly believe in corporation, improving existing training programmes not starting your own as hotels.”

Professor Onkutlwile Othata, Dean of the Faculty of Business at the UB shared the numbers as they relate to the training programme at Cresta. “Since 2014 there have been 19 UB students absorbed for the six-month attachment. Cresta has also promised to take in 40 students for the internship programme starting January 2016,” stated Professor Othata.

The Cresta Management Development Programme has produced ‘industry giants’ added Makhaya. “We have trained credible names such as Godfrey Khupe and the late CEO of Fairgrounds Holdings, may his soul rest in peace. We have also trained the CEO of BTO,” said the MD beaming with pride.

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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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