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Connexus scoops best OSV prize for 2016

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Digital educational company, Conexus, has been announced the best local Orange Social Venture (OSV) Prize 2016 and received P20 000 cash for its troubles.

The company which was formed by Mellisa Tafila and her husband Otsile Tafila –has developed an educational software to provide interactive learning materials to learners in the primary and junior schools.

Receiving the prize last week, Conexus co-founder, Mellisa Tafila said she wanted to create something that promotes student excellence using technology.  “We are determined to build and create quality products and services that are student centred in order to promote student excellence,” said TafilaShe said Conexus is an educational company, which aims to offer the best quality innovative education materials for primary, junior and secondary schools. 

The learning materials are delivered through desktop applications, Apps, e-books, augmented reality books and value added services such as SMS and USSD.
Orange Chief Executive Patrick Benon said the competition which ran from May to September 2016 received over 750 candidates from Africa and the Middle East region.

He said Orange Botswana decided to recognise and award the best local entry which is a prize outside of the prize awarded at regional (Africa and Middle East).“Our ambition is to particularly grow the telecommunications sector to support development in Africa and Middle East in different fields like healthcare, agriculture, education and energy,” said Benon.He said they received 28 submissions from Botswana and from the evaluation they determined Conexus as the winner.

“With this award, we intend to show our local innovators that we believe in their dreams and we recognise their talent. I would like to thank the winner for their participation and wish that their project will contribute to the development of the country,” said Benon.

The OSV prize is an annual initiative by Orange Group intended to showcase and support start-ups who use information and communication technologies (ICT) to innovate and make a positive impact to communities in Africa and the Middle East. Through the competition Orange aims to reinforce its digital partnership with start-ups to achieve social and economic development through innovative stimulation.

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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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