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Living life through the lens

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Living life through the lense

BLURB: With the number of youth unemployment reaching dizzying heights, most young people fall through the cracks, choosing a life of drugs and alcohol abuse.

However for some young people in Francistown they’ve stayed true to the life is exactly old adage, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

A group of enterprising young men carrying cameras in and around Nswazwi Mall has been a source of intrigue in the second city.

Usually around 20 in number, the youthful entrepreneurs have found a niche, clicking away at their cameras to put food on the table.

Ranging between 18 and 24 in age, these proud Francistowners are tackling unemployment head-on.

Targeting predominantly young trendy people looking for ‘dope’ pictures for their social media accounts, the photographers grouped themselves and have been selling pictures at the mall since September last year.

A group of seven under the name of Kasi Eye Studio arrive at Nswazwi Mall at 7:30 every morning and dominate the area around KFC.

Their spokesperson is 21-year-old Jani Ookeditse, a self-taught photographer who, together with Terrence Basupile, 20, started the multimedia company.

“Initially it was just the two of us. We only had one camera but we managed to raise enough money to buy two more,” revealed Ookeditse, fondling his Canon with the same affection one might cradle a new born baby.

He explained he first came across the concept in the capital city, where he spotted other youth taking pictures in Gaborone Malls.

“I decided to start a similar thing in Francistown. I then partnered with Terrence, who already had a camera, and today there’s seven of us,” he said.

Charging P5 a pic, Ookeditse says business is booming although one challenge they face is over-demanding customers.

“Some customers want their photo shoots at places we’re not allowed to operate in. There’s restricted entry in the mall and security guards here don’t compromise!”

The determined entrepreneur further told Voice Money that the yet-to-be-registered company needs to be refinanced to acquire modern tools.

“We currently don’t even have tripods and we need those for our videos and better pictures.”

Competing for the same market at Nswazi Mall is an even bigger group under the banner Creative Minds.

This enterprise, made up of about 15 young people, consists of three small companies: Mabina Photography, The Great 441 and Family Life.

Speaking on behalf of Creative Minds, Augustus Phillimon explained that although these are three independent companies, they work together whenever the need arises.

“If it does happen that one of the companies receives a lot of bookings in one day, usually another company will step in if the contracted company doesn’t have the capacity to handle four bookings in a day,” said Phillimon, adding his company also offers videography.

Creative Minds’ main challenge is lack of operating space.

“We do have the equipment, but we need electricity to be able to use them. We are struggling with power and it has been a challenge to even recharge our camera batteries. Thanks to a few good Samaritans, who’ve allowed us to charge from their businesses,” he said.

Phillimon called on the authorities to help the youngsters by empowering them with the basic skills required to run a business.

“Most of them are self-taught photographers. They need re-skilling, either through workshops or short courses. I also urge big media companies and event organisers to engage them.”

According to Phillimon, when business is good each photographer can make up to P4, 200 a month whilst a quiet month normally amounts to P1, 400.

“Roughly each one of them makes P200 a day, or P50 on a really bad day,” he added.

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IDM’s Richard Malikongwa and Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe receive top awards

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Richard Malikongwa, a seasoned Human Resource and Corporate guru who serves as IDM Regional Director and Chief Executive, was bestowed with the highest award of the Congress of “Chief Executive Officer with Human Resource Orientation”, while Botswana Country Director, Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe received the Women Super Achiever Award.

Dr Seitio-Kgokgwe is also a recipient of the 2018/2019 Global CEO Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards.

The two Executives are commended for steering transformation at IDM and taking the Institution to higher levels as evidenced by amongst others; the Institute’s exponential growth and deliberate focus on people, since assuming their roles in 2016.

Chairperson of the Institute of Development Management, Governing Body and Director of Public Service Management Naledi Mosalakatane has commended the duo for the achievement.

Mosalakatane says IDM Board and Staff are proud of their sterling job of steering IDM to greater heights, further delivering excellent results.

According to the Founder of World Sustainability Congress, Dr R. Bhatia, the CEO with HR Orientation is the highest accolade which recognizes a Chief Executive in the global scene who employs the right combination of interventions to drive business performance, who is authentic and people oriented, and aligns his diverse teams to achieve solid business results on sustainable basis.

On the other hand, Women Super Achievers award is a reflection of professional achievement by women of the world who set a big example for transformation and change. The award celebrates the most respected and much sought-after Women Leaders in the industry who contribute immensely to the field of Women Platform, as well as nurturing talent, having trained several young people to grow in their profession.

The World HRD Congress is a global event which attracts thousands of international professionals from over 100 countries around the world.

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The Power of now

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The Power of Now

Key decisions needed regarding power generation in Botswana

2020 is set to be a landmark year for Botswana in terms of investing in electricity production.

According to the latest economic review from research specialists Econsult, this year the country must decide the path it intends to take for future power generation.

While it is appreciated that the new capacity is not needed anytime soon, economists warn that key decisions need to be taken now as energy generation investments are large and take years to implement.

The big question, according to the review, is whether the country intends to continue to rely on coal as its main source of energy or switch to large-scale solar power generation.

Since it started producing its own power, Botswana has been heavily reliant on coal-fired power stations for energy.

Having established the 132Megawatt (MW) Morupule A Power Station back in 1989, by 2014 the country, through the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), commissioned a larger power station, Morupule B at a capacity of 600MW.

However, the two have never been enough to meet local demand as the country still imports a considerable portion of its power.

According to the Econsult report, electricity consumption in Botswana has been increasing at an average of 4.6 percent a year over a three-decade period from 1989 to 2018.

It is for this reason that a number of options are proposed for Botswana to consider, the most prominent being solar power generation.

Although the country experiences sunlight all year round, solar energy remains largely unexplored in Botswana.

“Most current solar power initiatives are private and small-scale, mostly in off-grid locations such as farms and safari camps,” notes Econsult.

Plans have been in the pipeline since 2017 to develop two 50MW solar generation facilities to supply power to the national grid. However, neither initiative has got past the tender stage.

Indeed, although solar energy presents a huge opportunity for the country to attain self-sustenance, it is believed there is still preference for coal-fired power station. Experts point to the proposed 300MW Morupule B Units 5/6 Project as evidence of such a mindset.

Econsult believe going with another coal-fired power plant would be inconsistent with Botswana’s Climate Change Strategy.

Another option available for the country is to explore is Coal-Bed Methane (CBM). There are already projects in the pipeline, with Tlou Energy at an advanced stage with its CBM project.

Econsult has urged government to choose quickly where its next 300MW of power will come from.

It has, however, warned that choosing coal over solar power runs the risk of being ‘backward-looking’ rather than anticipating likely technical, economic and political changes over the next two decades.

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Barclays completes Absa transition

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Barclays completes Absa transition

The start of the week saw Barclays Bank Botswana finally complete its transition to Absa Bank Botswana Limited.

The name change comes almost four years after main shareholder Barclays PLC announced it was ending its presence in Africa following 100 years in the continent.

Barclays PLC, a London based lender, was a 63.2 percent majority shareholder in Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL), which in turn operated in a number of African markets such as Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

Since the March 2016 announcement, Barclays PLC gradually reduced its controlling stake and has now become a minority shareholder.

In July 2018, Barclays changed its name back to Absa after the London bank sold the majority of its shares, which were primarily acquired by South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation.

The rebranding exercise was soon rolled out across the continent, with local operations starting their own rebranding late last year.

This came after local shareholders had in June 2019 approved changing the company’s name.

The bank also announced this week that it has obtained approval from the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) for the name change.

Despite the new look, the bank’s executives have stressed operations will continue as they did under the previous name.

According to the bank’s Public and Media Relations Manager, Spencer Moreri, the whole separation exercise for local operations cost a total of P16 million as of June 2019.

However, as the company is still on closed period, Moreri explained that the final amount spent will only be disclosed when Absa releases its financial results, which is expected to take place next month.

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