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Matambo asks for P3billion

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Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo last week presented supplementary estimates of expenditure from the consolidated and development funds amounting to P3billion.

The requests which Parliament approved read that; Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoTE) has submitted a supplementary request amounting to P1,308, 071, 800 to be funded out of the Consolidated Fund.

Under the Development Fund, is a proposal of P2,007,698. This is with respect to four on-going projects namely, Water Planning and Development; Major Villages Water Supply and Development; Botswana Innovation Hub project and Botswana Power Corporation Finances.

The Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services (MLWS) has embarked on National Emergency Water Supply Projects and other ongoing projects aimed at resolving the water crisis in the entire country. “The Ministry therefore requests a sum of P690,198, 000 to increase the annual budget of the two programmes which are; a) Water Planning and Development which requires an additional amount of P418, 900, 000 to facilitate implementation of various ongoing water projects under the Water Planning and Development Programme; b) Major Villages Water Supply and Development Programme, which requires a sum of P271, 298, 000 for ongoing projects to the end of the financial year 2016/2017.”

The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) also requires an amount of P1,317, 500, 000 to augment the 2016/2017 annual budget and Total Estimated Cost (TEC) of the BPC Finances Programme. The additional funding is requested in the current financial year in order to continue with the implementation of the comprehensive power development strategy which includes refurbishment of Morupule A, Northwest Transmission Grid connection and tariff support. The latter entails mitigating the high cost of importing power during emergency situations to make it affordable to the consumers.

Lastly, the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology requires an increase of P158, 297, 380 to continue implementation of the Botswana Innovation Hub’s Icon Building project. This, Matambo said, will be financed through re-allocations of the approved budget of existing projects. “In this regard, an amount of P93, 297, 380 will be sourced from the Government Infrastructure project and P65, 000, 000 will be sourced from the Retooling of Research Institutions project. The construction of the Icon Building started in August 2014, and it is scheduled to be completed during December 2016,” concluded the Minister.

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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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