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BotswanaPost urged to advertise stamps at airports

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The Minister of Environment Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has urged the Botswana Post to start advertising Botswana’s heritage through stamps at the local airports.

Speaking at the BotswanaPost’s new “save Botswana Vultures’ stamp launch this Monday, Khama said instead of walking into Sir Siretse Khama International Airport and seeing billboards advertisements of international companies, BotswanaPost should rather take the lead in advertising its stamps on Botswana.

I call on you to start enlarging your stamps and putting them on billboards at these airports and other advertising areas. Ga re batle go bona bo Komatsu le tse dingwe re tsena ka airport ya rona. Show that you are proud of our own national heritage,” he said.

Khama said he shall motivate in his own way that the Post office continues to be supported, adding that it would be recognition of the valuable and strategic support and positioning that BotswanaPost plays in the economy of this country.

“Our Ministries (MEWT, and Transport and Communications Ministry (MTC)) need to identify where we can incorporate BotswanaPost and MTC in the fabric of these activities, to ensure maximum impact and mutual benefit to our respective mandates.

It is through efforts of BotswanaPost, through its Philately programme that we will be able to brand and communicate about our unique and rich heritage, our diverse bio-environment. It is a story worth telling, and stamps are certainly playing an active and excellent role in that regard,” Khama said.

He went onto add that Vultures have a very central role in maintaining the delicate balance of the world ecosystems. They play an active role in the food chain, aiding the cleaning of the environment ensuring that the process of circulating nutrients back to the earth continues.

It is through man’s activities that these fine magnificent birds are facing extinction. The Post Office, he said is a key component of the communication eco-system, facing the same challenges.

BotswanaPost Board Chairman, Polokoetsile Motau revealed that, one area that has seen remarkable growth in the past two years is Philately. “In the past, a year could go by with at most one stamp issue being released and at times none at all.

This means that we have missed both business opportunities and our moral duty as a party to a group of Botswana national heritage conservationists. In the last two years, the revamped philately programme managed to release five stamp issues in a year,” he said.

According to Motau, this stamp programme is part of the ‘Reinvigorating Philately’ initiative which aims at positioning BotswanaPost Philatelic Bureau as one of the best in the international market.

He added that they are  not only happy to use their stamps for conservationism efforts but also as a platform to enable the local talented artists across the nation to leverage their skills to  sell the beauty that is  Botswana, and in the process gain a meaningful living.

The vulture stamp marks the fourth Commemorative Issue of the year 2015, after Okavango Delta Heritage Listing, Abstract Art in Botswana and African Buffalo in Botswana and followed by Vervet Monkey in Botswana.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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