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ODLM holds long service awards



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

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.



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CEDA/DBSA University Challenge winner to be named this week



The third edition of the CEDA/DBSA University challenge is expected to come to the end this week with the ultimate crowning of the winner.

The CEDA/DBSA University Challenge is a collaboration between the Citizen Entrepreneurial Agency (CEDA) and the Development bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) which challenges university students to come up with realistic solutions to issues affecting the country.

Last Friday, those who made it to the top 10 presented their ideas to a panel of judges and the winner is set to be announced tomorrow Thursday in Gaborone.

Speaking during the presentations on Friday, CEDA Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Thamane said the Challenge has grown in popularity as this time around they saw an increase in the number of applicants.

The winner is expected to walk away with P300, 000 after the prize money was increased from P200, 000 and the figure will increase by a further P50, 000 should the winner emerge as a woman.

The University Challenge concept was conceived in 2017 during the World Federation of Development Finance institutions joint CEO’s Forum which was held in Gaborone.

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Sub-Saharan Gloom



Moody’s predict bad outlook for region

Credit Ratings and Research Agency, Moody’s has predicted tough times ahead for the Sub-Saharan region in terms of sovereign credit worthiness*.

A report published this week by the American-based Investors Service states that its 2020 outlook for sovereign credit worthiness remains negative.

Moody’s attributes this to the limited progress made in reducing risk related to increased debt burdens (a large amount of money that a country owes to another which they are struggling to repay)and debt servicing.

“While growth will remain solid, it will not meaningfully buttress income nor increase economic resilience,” predicts the respected institution, further adding that the external environment is becoming increasingly unpredictable, which aggregates existing challenges.

The rating agency warns even with the region not highly integrated into the global economy through direct trade linkages, it remains exposed through its sensitivity to changes in commodity prices and financial conditions.

“The limited capacity of most governments to respond to even modest negative external shocks exacerbates the region’s sensitivity to the more negative global environment,” it states.

Moody’s Investors service has identified three key areas which underpin its negative outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

These are: worsening external environment, weak government finances and subdued GDP growth.

It is reported weak government finances will continue to pose a constraint, with the rise in debt and interest burdens since 2015 having weakened the fiscal profiles of most Sub-Saharan region sovereigns.

“We expect modest fiscal consolidation for the region, with the median fiscal deficit improving to 3 percent of GDP in 2020 compared with 3.3 percent in 2019,” continues the report, further adding that while this will allow debt burdens to stabilize, fiscal profiles will remain weak overall and leave SSA sovereigns with limited capacity to employ counter fiscal policies.

The region’s debt burden is expected to decline to 51 percent of GDP this year from 54.5 seen in 2019. However, it remains significantly higher than the 40.4 percent recorded five years ago.

While there are some intra-regional differences, including Botswana, whose debt burden remains low, the general trend, according to Moody’s, implies that Sub Saharan African countries have less fiscal spaces to absorb future shocks.

Regarding GDP growth, the international rating agency predicts GDP will remain steady, but will not meaningfully buttress per capita incomes or support fiscal consolidation.

“We expect economic growth to accelerate modestly, with regional real GDP growth rising to 3.5 percent in 2020, compared with 3.1 percent in 2019,” says Moody’s.

It further outlines that the regional average is weighed down by sluggish growth in the region’s largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, while growth in the rest of SSA will accelerate to 5.3 percent, albeit with significant variations by sub-region and economic structure.

It is alsoenvisioned that there will be a recovery in growth for commodity exporters. This is anticipated to be robust in non-energy commodity exporters like Niger, Ghana and Botswana.

A sovereign credit rating is an independent assessment of the creditworthiness of a country or sovereign entity.

Sovereign credit ratings can give investors insights into the level of risk associated with investing in the debt of a particular country/region including any political risk

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Providing crime solutions



Providing crime solutions

Faced with the daunting challenge of unemployment, a 20-year-old man decided to go the entrepreneurship route and registered a security company.

Five years later and Ditiro Leutlwetse is still holding dear to the dream that one day First Crime Solutions will be amongst the biggest employers in the country.

“The company was specifically registered to create meaningful employment for the many youths roaming the streets,” explained the ambitious youth, whose business is based in Francistown but whose services can be hired across Botswana.

The God fearing youngster, a member of Days of Glory Church, told Voice Money he is confident of the ripple effects his company can have on society.

“Young people would gain meaningful employment and put food on the table, while some will be bread winners for their families. This is what drives me!” underlined the father-of-two who originally hails from Palapye.

Some of the services offered by First Crime Solutions include: Guarding (armed and unarmed security officers), Private Investigations, V.I.P Protection, Bodyguard, Access Control, Armed Response, CCTV Surveillance and Security Officer (dog handler).

Narrating how he arrived at the idea of setting up a security company at such a young age, Leutlwetse said a few tough years of unemployment left him thinking outside the box.

“I approached someone with the idea of registering a security company and they pointed me in the right direction. I went to the Office of the President where I filled out forms; the entire process took less than six months.”

Leutlwetse admits it has not been smooth sailing since he satisfied the vetting process from OP through the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS).

“I knew it was never going to be easy as a new company to breakthrough in this highly competitive market. Companies prefers the tried and tested, that is why you see all the established security companies getting all the tenders,” he said.

The determined youngster added that although his company is yet to win a lucrative tender, he will never lose hope.

“I’m forever optimistic. In fact I believe this year, the wheel of fortune will finally move and we’ll get a chance to show what we can offer!” exclaimed Leutlwetse, who revealed he has submitted ‘one or two’ tender documents and is hopeful of a positive response.

The entrepreneur says his enterprise is dedicated to providing excellent services and solutions to individuals, businesses and communities.

“We’ve highly trained and well equipped personnel who are monitored hourly from their posts.”

Leutlwetse said what sets them apart from other companies is that they believe in training their security personnel. He stressed training is a vital component in ensuring that security personnel are adequately equipped to provide their clients with first-rate service.

“We do this by providing Legislated Grade Training, Site Specific Training and Ongoing Refresher Training. Refresher Training is also conducted on a regular basis to ensure the company’s prescribed standard of competency is maintained,” Leutlwetse said.

The young man further told Voice Money that they have fostered relations with other local businesses to help them deliver on their mandate should they be engaged in the foreseeable future.

“I’m not then kind to give up on my dream that is why I urge other young people to remain focused and keep doing the things they are good at. It is also important to commit to God, because all I’m doing today is through his grace,” concluded Leutlwetse humbly.

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