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BIH supported start-ups win the seed stars Gaborone competition

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BIH supported start-ups win the seed stars Gaborone competition

Seedstars World, the largest seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startups, hosted the Gaborone leg pitch session for the selected 10 startups on the 8 November 2019 at Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH).

BIH’s supported start-ups; Mohiri & Classmate Online dominated the pitch competition with the most inspiring and promising solutions for Botswana and Africa.

Mohiri scooped first prize and received an all-expenses paid trip to the Seedstars Regional Summit in Johannesburg on the 03 December 2019, free access to a 3 months investment readiness program in 2020 and also received access to technology tools from a network of partners valued at $70,000.00.

Mohiri is a personalized job alerts service that connect low-medium skilled workers to opportunities for work by sending them alerts on their phones whenever there is a vacancy that matches their profile.

With the support and interventions of the BIH Acceleration Programme, Mohiri has grown from a reach of 0 to more than 230,000 online people every week, in just 10 months.

Today, Mohiri sends out job alerts to a pool of 16,000 registered members who depend on the application as a source of vacancy announcements and other career-related opportunities and content.

The second prize went to Classmate Online and they received access to technology tools from a network of partners valued at $10,000.00. Classmate Online, also in the BIH acceleration programme, is an inclusive, Social E-Learning platform for students and educators to access educational content and promote collaborative learning.

Classmate offers a single collaborative and all-inclusive digital virtual classroom which eliminates boundaries between students who school in rural and urban areas, public and private schools, marginalized and non-marginalized.

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ODLM holds long service awards

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ODLM holds long service awards

They spend most of their days digging up and polishing the shiny stones that are crucial to Botswana’s economy.

Last Friday (22 October), however, they were the shiny stars.

In a glitzy ceremony held at Orapa’s Adrian Gale Diamond Museum, Orapa, Damtshaa and Letlhakane Mines (ODLM) paid homage to its long serving employees.

In total 169 workers were honoured, seven of whom were celebrating 40 years with Debswana.

Praising the award winners for their ‘commitment, endurance and loyalty’, ODLM General Manager, Bakani Motlhabani noted their contribution has helped transform the company into what it is today.

“I must say we are honored and thankful as Debswana management to have employees of your caliber – employees with passion, dedication and perseverance. To see so many of you marking milestones like this makes us proud,” gushed the GM.

Motlhabani further voiced his hope that the employees will continue working for ODLM and Debswana to lead the mining giant’s quest to ‘make life brilliant’.

The event’s Guest of Honour, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Mmetla Masire described the occasion as a momentous milestone.

He labelled the long servers as people with ‘the skills, experience and knowledge that oil the institution’s seamless operation’.

Turning his attention to the impact Debswana has had on the country since setting up shop in June 1969, Masire said, “Debswana’s diamond mining activity has brought about remarkable growth, transforming Botswana from being one of the poorest countries in Africa to being one of its modern economic success stories.

“This transformation is due to the remarkable efforts of men and women who have worked for this company and those that we are celebrating tonight. Thus, it is befitting that you celebrate with pride, knowing the positive contribution you have made to the socio-economic development of this country.”

ODLM holds long service awards
GRATEFUL: OLDM GM Motlhabani

He closed by thanking Debswana management for investing in and recognising its human capital through initiatives such as the long service awards.

“The role of long service awards cannot be overemphasized. They play an important part in motivating and engaging staff, retention of staff as well as strengthening a strong culture within an organisation that ultimately drives business excellence,” stressed Masire.

Reflecting on his 40 years with Debswana, Planning Coordinator, Jonathan Sesinye revealed he joined the organisation ‘when the road was bumpy’.

“It was very different from today. We were fetching water from a dam at Mopipi and it was very salty. And there was no power. I see many changes – even the pit was very small! Experiencing the transformation is extremely important,” stated Sesinye.

For her part, ODLM Psychologist, Martha Ntapu Mathumo, who has clocked three decades with the company, said she was able to raise her kids and grandchildren thanks to her employment with Debswana.

“I acquired many certificates under this company, it took me outside the country to learn a lot. I really thank Debswana,” said Mathumo.

LANDMARKS CELEBRATED ON THE NIGHT

20 YEARS SERVICE – 90 EMPLOYEES
25 YEARS SERVICE – 11 EMPLOYEES
30 YEARS SERVICE – 46 EMPLOYEES
35 YEARS SERVICE – 15 EMPLOYEES
40 YEARS SERVICE – 7 EMPLOYEES

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Data sharing critical for banks and lenders

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Data sharing critical for banks and lenders

TransUnion Director Africa Business Development, Adrian Pillay says improving compliance and data sharing can help banks and lenders in Botswana lower their lending risks and reduce non-performing loans.

Pillay was speaking at a workshop last week to discuss the need for better data quality and risk based solutions across the financial services sector.

The initiative was aimed at helping local banks and lenders protect their profitability while promoting responsible lending.

Pillay stressed that as a risk and information solution provider, TransUnion Africa is keen to engage with the banks to discuss the challenges and status of data sharing in the market and how it can bring added value to the banking community.

He explained that data sharing helps uncover whether customers are good or bad payers of their loans.

“Credit bureaus on a monthly basis collect information on behalf of banks so effectively that if someone has a personal loan with a certain bank or home loan with another any lender can view the type of borrower you are. A bank can get a credit report from credit bureau which show the customers’ outstanding balance and a lender can decide whether to approve a loan or not. There are three credit bureaus at the moment operating in Botswana with micro lenders, banking retail customers’ data information,” highlighted Pillay.

For his part, TransUnion Botswana Country Manager, Kabelo Ramaselwana said it is critical for banks and lenders to understand their customers when it come to making the right decisions and ensuring their profitability.

He revealed average annual cash earnings in Botswana have increased by 5.1 percent over the decade to 2017 compared to an inflation average of six percent. He noted this makes it important to lenders to make the right lending decisions.

“As at December 2018, there were 277,762 household borrowers in Botswana with a total of P33.1 billion of loans extended by commercial banks. Unsecured personal loans now make up 67 percent of all household borrowings with 27 percent being mortgages and six percent motor vehicle loans. This reflects a significant shift in the composition of household debt over the past two decades. In 2000 unsecured personal loan made up only 45 percent of household borrowings,” said Ramaselwana.

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FNBB Hosts media

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FNBB Hosts media

In their effort to appreciate the 4th estate as one of their valued stakeholders, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) hosted a media engagement party last Thursday at Matebele village.

The gathering was attended by local journalists from various media disciplines, including online, radio, TV and print.

Among the attendees were business, lifestyle and sports reporters as well as social media influencers.

The fun-filled day included numerous team-building activities, such as quad biking, swimming and tug of war.

Speaking at the event, FNBB Communications and Public Relations Manager, Boga Chilinde-Masebu said the bank continuously seeks ways to empower media practitioners and grow the journalism profession.

“I am delighted to announce that this year, we will be participating at the MISA Botswana Media Awards 2019, scheduled for the 5 December. In addition to partnering with MISA Botswana for the event, we are sponsoring the Business Reporter of the Year Award under the Broadcast Media category. FNBB values its continued partnership and relationship with the media fraternity,” stressed Chilinde-Masebu, adding the bank oversees several programmes that aim to work collectively with the media to improve professionalism.

She mentioned FNBB has been running a Journalism Academy for the past four years to improve Business and Financial reporting, with special emphasis on analyzing and interpreting financial statements.

She revealed the Journalism Academy’s next edition is scheduled to take place from 29 – 31 January 2020.

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