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CEDA Pumps out P3.7 billion in loans



CEDA Pumps out P3.7 billion in loans

Since inception in 2001, the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has pumped out P3.7 billion to 6129 citizen owned projects, in line with its mandate of providing financial and technical support for business development as a way of promoting viable and sustainable enterprises

CEDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabo Thamane said in an interview that the P3.7 billion is inclusive of P297 million spent on manufacturing projects; P1.2 billion on agribusiness, P600 million on property and P1.6 billion on services.

CEDA has funded a total 6129 projects in sub-sectors like retail (1912), transport (205), property development (205), manufacturing (372), plant production (524), hotels & accommodation (132), construction (118) and animal production (906).

“As part our efforts to bolster women empowerment, we have also made great strides in financing women owned businesses over the years,” said Thamane.

Of the 6129 projects that CEDA has financed since inception, 2771 were female owned while 16 had female shareholders.

412 out of the 1465 CEDA funded agribusiness projects were female owned, accounting for 15 percent of the total P1.1 billion that was disbursed.

Female owned enterprises took up 53 percent of the total number of projects that CEDA has funded in the services sector, with investments totalling P408 million.

Women also accounted for 48 percent of all the manufacturing projects that CEDA has funded over the years, with funding running up to P86 million.

In property, CEDA funded 82 women owned projects to a total P127 million.

Thamane reiterated that the Agency will continue setting the standard in financing female owned businesses as it recognizes gender equality as a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Botswana.

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Letlole La Rona suspends CEO



Letlole La Rona (LLR), a property company listed on the Botswana Stock Limited (BSEL), on Tuesday moved to suspend its Chief Executive Officer, Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa.

His suspension, according to a notice to shareholders, follows preliminary findings arising from an investigation into issues relating to the company’s Long-term Incentive Plan.

Mutiswa who was appointed LLR CEO in June 2018, is said to have been suspended with full benefits pending the outcome of the full investigations.

Commenting on the latest developments, LLR Board Chairperson, Boitumelo Mogopa noted good governance remains sacrosanct to the board and all staff of the company.

“The preliminary findings of the possible misconduct arising from the investigations relate to the circumstances around the company’s Long-term Incentive Plan during or around March this year and possible acts or omissions by an individual in a unique position of power,” said Mogopa.

Mogopa said this by no means reflects the integrity of the board, financial performance and company portfolio.

“For us, it remains business as usual as the due process takes its course,” said Mogopa.

Meanwhile, the board has in the interim appointed Botshelo Mokotedi to hold the fort on an acting basis while investigations continue.

Mokotedi is seconded from Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) – a major shareholder in LLR – where he is the Head of Risk.

He is described as a forward-thinking, highly motivated and results-oriented individual with more than a decade experience in the financial services sector across a variety of senior roles, including Business Development, Credit Analysis as well as Portfolio and Risk Management.

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Inflation increases in April



Inflation increases in April

Cities and towns experience rising rates

The latest figures from Statistics Botswana (SB) show that the annual inflation rate in April registered a slight increase.

Inflation for the month stood at 2.5 percent, up 0.3 percent from the 2.2 percent recorded in March.

However, SB stressed that data collection for the month was hampered by the on-going lockdown, enforced on 3 April.

The restriction on movement meant data collection for prices was primarily conducted through emails and telephone calls.

In the end, the data collected covered only 70 percent of goods in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket.

The most affected items in the basket were alcoholic beverages and tobacco – the sale of which is temporarily suspended – and clothing and footwear, as outlets were closed during the month of April.

The closure of such shops reportedly resulted in a number of missing or unobserved prices, which were imputed through variation of the observed prices.

According to SB, the biggest contributors to the April annual inflation rate were: housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, which went up by 1.1 percentage points, and food and non-alcoholic beverages, which increased by 0.4 percent.

By regions, the inflation rates between March and April indicates that cities and towns increased by 0.4 of a percentage point, rising from 2.3 percent to 2.7.

Rural villages’ rates rose from 2.0 percent to 2.3 percent while urban villages’ rates similarly registered an increase of 0.3 percentage point to 2.6 percent.

When addressing local media on Tuesday this week, the Competitions and Consumer Authority CEO, Tebelelo Pule said the Authority observed an increase in consumer good prices when the effects of Covid-19 started to be felt locally.

“Prices increased in an unusual manner which disturbed us as the Authority. On top of that, there was also a decrease in the quality of goods,” announced Pule, highlighting the example of sanitizers, which she noted were ‘manufactured by anybody’.

Pule revealed that the Authority went into shops around the country to compile a price list, which they published on their website and Facebook page to allow consumers to compare how different retail stores were pricing their goods.

The CEO cautioned that those found guilty of unfairly increasing prices face a possible five-year jail term or P100, 000 fine or even both.

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