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Christmas bargain!!!

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After months of speculation and waiting, prospective investors of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) can now go into Christmas fiesta, well aware that the company share price will be priced at P1, 00.

This is according to fresh information contained in the minutes of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) sitting of December 3, 2015. According to the documents, Public Enterprise Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), through finance ministry has submitted an application for the Enterprise Value and Share price of BTCL.

The submission has since been approved by the PPADB board, which puts the share price of the state telecoms company at P1, 00 and its value at P800 million. Speaking to Business Trends on Tuesday, transport and communications minister, Tshenolo Mabeo said he is aware that the company’s value and Initial Public Offer (IPO) share price has been concluded. “We want to launch the process (of the IPO) before the end of December,” disclosed the minister.

The IPO is launched at a time when most prospective consumers and investors have already committed their funds for December period. Mabeo said he is aware of that and the IPO will run for eight weeks, with possible extension so as to ensure all interested parties are given a fair chance of taking part in the whole process.

Previous valuations of BTCL stood at well over P2 billion. Is the current P800 million a fair value of the government parastatal? “Remember, at some point some assets of BTCL were separated to form BoFiNet. This means some of these assets have been transferred to the new entity. In valuing BTCL we have appointed a team of professionals. Who am I to doubt them?” he asked rhetorically.

BoFinet is a government-owned company, which sells wholesale telecommunications services to providers in the country. The IPO process of BTCL has been rigorous. Relevant stakeholders such as Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), PPADB, BTCL, finance and development planning ministry, have been consulted, said the minister.

The BTCL listing has been delayed for several years now. The completion of the valuation of the fixed and non-fixed telecommunications company paves way for its subsequent listing at the BSE.

The actual listing is likely to be conducted in the first quarter of the next year. It will be the first of its kind in which a government entity is being part-sold under the privatisation process. Under the approved BTCL Transitional Act, 49 percent of the company will be ceded to local investors.

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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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