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BSB launches ATM machines and debit card

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Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) was urged to modernise all its savings including savings book which has been around for a while as this will help it be at par with competitors in terms of technology and having customers spoiled for choice.

Minister of Transport and Communications Tshenolo Mabeo said this at the launch of the bank’s first-ever Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and debit card is an effort to reach out to the unbanked population estimated at 55percent.

“This development shows innovation and growth, it shows that as an indigenous bank we are spoiling our customers with choice and this is a plan for financial inclusion, with the rate at which the bank is growing even in terms of profit from 2011 to 2015 profits have increased from P4 million to P 20 million” said Mabeo

He emphasised that the majority of urban and peri-urban populations are generally catered for by commercial banks while the majority of the rural population remains unbanked. This he said should change as the majority of the BSB market is in rural areas. The new ATM channels provide customers convenience; access to their accounts 24/7 and more points by using their cards at any visa branded machine.

BSB has a total of four ATMs three machines in Gaborone – two at BSB head office and one at Rail Park Mall and the other at BSB Francistown Branch. Plans to open branches in Mahalapye and Serowe complete with ATM channels, more villages will be covered as the Bank reaches out to its rural coverage. The bank is to submit an application to operate as a commercial bank to Bank of Botswana before the end of the year, Mabeo told parliament recently.

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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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