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Anija Fashions ready for global market



Anita Jacob sees the textile industry as an unexplored market by citizens and is determined to explore and penetrate it. Her company Anita Fashions which started in 2008 specialises in protective clothing, sportswear and school uniforms.

Jacob told Business Trends she is working on building the organisational structure to international standards so that she can start exporting this year. “I want to export my products to the international markets, by next year I will no longer be an SME but I’ll be ranking in the medium scale,” said Jacob. She saw this business opportunity while still a teacher and started the business through Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) in 2001 as a part time business.

“I discovered that only foreigners were leading the textile sector and I wanted to take advantage as a citizen,” said Jacob. She is currently targeting the government sector and the mining sector in Botswana. Jacob wants to take Botswana manufactured clothing to the international market as this would promote local skills. She has been trained through Tokafala programme and is being mentored by Women Enterprise Development. She said there is a lot of opportunity for local textile manufacturers in the international market but they still need to grow.

She said the quality of the material she uses for clothing is the one specified by the international market but that she is not yet capacitated to supply. “I was once offered a tender under AGOA but I turned it down because I was still small. They required 100 000 units per month,” she said.

At the time she was operating from Tonota but is currently looking for space in Gaborone or surrounding areas. She has been audited by Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) and is targeting 25 employees when she starts operating in the new structure. Jacob said she is currently marketing her products in the government and private schools to take advantage of Bots50 celebrations.

“I am currently submitting my profile in the schools because I want to supply them with Bots 50 clothing as the students are supposed to wear the brand,” she said. Among the challenges Jacob mentions shortage of skills, especially among the graduates. “We need people to work with, so we are always having a problem of skills mismatch among the graduates.

When we engage them we have to take some months again training them and this slows production,” she said. They also have problems with local suppliers and so she buys her materials from South Africa.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP



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



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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