CEDA spends P818m on women in business

Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) Chief Executive Officer Thabo Thamane said recently that the Agency recognizes gender equality as a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. He added that as a development finance institution (DFI), CEDA is particularly tasked with coming up with disruptive products and services that facilitate removal of structural barriers, encourage investment in gender-responsive social systems and meet the specific needs of women and girls.

“As CEDA we are committed to availing resources that will help advance women as entrepreneurs, business leaders and consumers of products and services that enhance their economic participation. We do this because we know that women are the cornerstone of development. Investments that improve the lives of women and girls impact not only the individual, but their families, communities, local economies and their countries. When you empower a woman you empower a nation,” said Thamane.

To that end, he said, CEDA has over the years disbursed over P818 million as financing to over 2770 women owned enterprises. P175 million was spent on financing 412 agribusiness projects, P408 million on 2046 services projects and another P209 million on other sectors.

“Further, we have financed 82 property projects to the tune of P127 million and 194 manufacturing projects to the tune of P86 million. We will continue setting the standard in financing female owned businesses because we strongly believe that women are not only key drivers of future prosperity, but also a vital untapped human resource,” said Thamane.

He further cited other CEDA products such as Mabogo Dinku, which he said has availed much needed financial support to women-owned businesses. “We have found that overwhelmingly, our Mabogo Dinku Clients are women”, Thamane said, adding that it is clearly just by casual observation that women the bedrock of day to day micro businesses.

The CEDA/DBSA University Challenge, which began in 2017 as a vehicle for University and College students to provide meaningful solutions to Botswana’s pertinent issues also promotes the creation of viable and sustainable women owned enterprises as it provides extra financing to winning proposals from female candidates.

Inflation declines
Annual headline inflation was 2.8 percent in June this year, 0.5 percent lower than in March. This is lower than the Bank of Botswana’s (BoB) objective range of 3-6 percent. Inflation figures remain low, in part because it is too early for them to reflect any upward pressure on prices from the recent 18 percent increase in the minimum wage, according to Econsult Botswana’s 2nd Quarterly Economic Review.

According to Econsult, inflation is also artificially low due to administered prices not being raised and key commodities being subsidised. The trimmed mean measure of core inflation declined from 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent during the quarter whilst inflation excluding administered prices increased from 1.6 percent to 2 percent. “We expect inflation to rise above 3 percent in the coming months. The main drivers of inflation vary over time. Fuel prices tend to be more variable than other components of the CPI basket, and their weight in the basket has been increasing,” said the company, headed by Dr Keith Jefferis.

GDP grows by 4.4 %
Real GDP growth in the year to March 2019 was 4.4 percent, very similar to the 4.5 percent recorded in 2018. Growth was reasonably broad-based across both the mining and non-mining sectors of the economy, and was largely in line with expectations. The main weakness was in the wholesale sub-sector, which is dominated by diamond trading activities and where negative growth reflects a lower level of activity compared to 2018. Our estimate of real non-diamond private sector growth was resilient at 5.2 percent, year-on-year.