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FNB Botswana engages with farmers

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First National Bank Botswana is committed to growing the agricultural sector in Botswana, in recognition of its substantial contribution towards Botswana’s Gross Domestic Product.

Hosting a cocktail for farmers at Pada Rest Camp on Friday in Pandamatenga, the Bank shared on how much it values strengthening relationships with those in the agricultural community. This engagement served as a precursor to the Chobe Agricultural Show scheduled for 28 -30 July 2016.

The annual Show provides an opportunity for farmers in the Chobe District and neighbouring areas to exhibit their products, to network and learn from each other.

Most importantly it is a time set aside once a year to bring the community together in reflection of all that the Chobe District has achieved. On the back of the Bank’s annual participation at the show, the cocktail served to gain insight into the trade and environmental issues which farmers face.“The Agriculture sector plays an important role in the growth of the Botswana economy through food security and employment.

Therefore, it requires financiers, entrepreneurs, researchers, policy makers and indeed the entire community to join hands and combat the challenges that face our farmers. The farmer of today needs more than just rain and sunshine. Farmers need skills, access to information, access to land, and access to finance, in order to penetrate the market,” said FNB Business Director, Ogone Madisa-Kgwarae.

FNB continues to embrace every opportunity to be the farmer’s reliable financial partner in the farming business. For that reason, the Bank has created innovative solutions to cater for the needs of individual farmers. These include the Agriculture loan, which caters for one’s annual production input costs and capital expenditure; livestock or seeds costs and farm property improvements.

FNBB also provides additional benefits through platforms that allow customers access to banking 24/7, these including: online banking, cellphone banking, eWallet bulk send, ATM Advance and Slimline ATMs.

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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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