BSE Listings’ Strategy Is Great for Gender Equality Financial Literacy

Botswana’s leading financial services group, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), believes that increased listings of Botswana businesses will not only boost Botswana’s economy but it will help bridge the gap between gender inequality and financial inclusion. BIHL was the official Diamond sponsor for the Botswana Stock Exchange Listings Conference which convened on March 8th, 2018. In addition to opening the acclaimed conference at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC), BIHL Group CEO Catherine Lesetedi and BSE CEO, Thapelo Tsheole, rang the BSE golden bells in proud commemoration of International Women’s Day.
Lesetedi said, “In light of International Women’s Day, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings show that gender equality is over 200 years away for the world. Therefore, it is imperative that more women become involved in local businesses and entrepreneurship. This can only be accomplished through financial literacy and support from qualified finance professional bodies both in corporate and in entrepreneurial ventures.” she continued, “Since we listed on Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in 1991, we have experienced tremendous growth over the years. Our listing contributed significantly to our solidifying our stance in the market and expanding our operations. It is in all of our interests as a nation that we also discuss solutions to making our industries more gender inclusive in efforts to diversify our economy and drive development of our markets.”
With over 75% of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Botswana being female owned according to demographic reports, the role of women in spearheading the growth and development of Botswana’s economy is increasingly becoming more evident. Research also shows that Botswana has also shown a six per cent reduction in the percentage of businesses with no women in senior leadership. Education and entrepreneurship are key factors of economic growth and diversification. In order for women to effectively participate in economic activities and to take appropriate financial decisions, women need to be financial literate.
Lesetedi added, “Through listing with the BSE, companies can have the opportunity to reach wider audiences across Botswana and engage with public and potential investors. Listing also offers enterprises the opportunity to penetrate foreign markets thus expanding their businesses and footprints.”
The Group believes that a more inclusive economy brings a variety of commercial benefits including having a stronger GDP positive results growing over the years, higher level of employment and productivity as well as enhanced risk management. “Our participation as diamond sponsors is a mark of our continued support of the listing process and the BSE as a formidable investment platform. We commend Mr. Tsheole and his dedicated team for continuously striving to educate the public at large on financial literacy through such conferences. We firmly believe that this approach not only can contribute to Botswana’s economic growth but can assist with achieving greater financial inclusion in Botswana and beyond our borders through the exporting of our business culture,” concluded Lesetedi.