The Responsible Citizen - December 2021

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THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN MAGAZINE is an industry stalwart supporter in profiling successes in organizational CSI/CSR policy across multiple industries, bringing to the fore an informative and educational approach to showcasing the individuals and institutions driving sustainable practices in business, entrepreneurship and community development. Ours is a development and non-controversial publication which also provides good reference material that can be used by policy makers, academics and professionals.

To feature your CSI mission and advertise your business with us, contact: Tel: +267 3116813 / 73 329 959 Email: |



06 | Founder’s Welcome 07 | Editor’s Note

12 | Stanbic Bank of Botswana – Leading the charge in fostering an effective SEE framework

16 | A Glance Into MultiChoice Botswana’s Talent Factory Initiative


18 | BIHL Trust and the importance of sustainability for building legacies

08 | Protecting the spotted wildcat at Cheetah Conservation Botswana

20 | Access Bank’s Quest To Drive Colossal CSR Upon Entry Into Botswana

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22 | These Hands Global and

36 | UNGWA Africa: Cocreation of

Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) empowers rural communities through partnerships and innovative technologies

40 | Agrinvestec’s Pearl Ranna

26 | Eyelight Optometrists: providing Batswana with clearer vision

28 | Walk of Hope spreads the gospel of hope in communities

Meaningful Impact Through Leadership, Mentorship & Life-ship

champions agro-sector focused initiatives

42 | Building African global excellence, creating business leaders of tomorrow in STEAME

30 | Unpacking Ski Foundation’s Breath Of Life campaign

32 | Owning the principle of charity beginning at home at Peo Legal

34 | Lesley Baleseng on championing awareness on the lives of people with disabilities






Founder and Editor Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile

Managing Director of Wise Leadership (Pty) Ltd Editor Yvonne C Mtengwa Narratives PR

CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS Bakang Tiro Keletso Rakola-Mwemutsi


CREATIVE DIRECTION Lucy Nkosi @trcbotswana @TRCMagazine @theresponsiblecitizen @theresponsiblecitizenmagazine

Published by Narratives PR LLC – FZ Registered at Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) United Arab Emirates



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Founder’s Welcome


ur relaunch issue was released in September 2021 with much anticipation and excitement. We have had the opportunity to cover remarkable stories from individuals and companies showcasing their efforts towards the notion of Cor-


porate Citizenship, where businesses are more concerned with making positive and sustainable impact. Each and every story brought about a different dimension and focus. The diversity is a game changer in the sense that there is more evidence that businesses are now focused on making an impact in different ways and really moving away from the traditional way of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for example, we are not only seeing a focus on donations but the design of programs that have a long-term impact on the beneficiaries. We have since received great feedback from our business community, especially those who we featured and this to us is an indication to the Responsible Citizen Magazine Team that the market is receiving the magazine well. We are therefore excited for the future and the great partnerships to be established as we build a sustainable future together. Ours is a partnership that will help businesses and individuals forge ahead to inculcate a culture of sustainability through the integration of the Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) issues. We are excited to bring our second issue as we cover more content of heartfelt stories. There is evidence of intentionality in the way businesses and individuals impact the community and environment. We see growth and activity, and as we build on the three pillars of Business, Community and Impact, we look forward to refining and defining our future publications in such a way that we provide critical information that the market needs to build on their programs and also learn from others. Here is to a sustainable future! Sincerely,


Editor’s Note


t’s always an honour to witness the launch of a new publication, having the opportunity to observe market response to the body of content that as a team, we would have spent a good bit of time engaging stakeholders, carrying out research and identifying story angles that prospective readers will find valuable. The CSR/CSI landscape in Botswana continues to evolve, as it should, because the very world we live in is doing the same at such great speeds. As we close off yet another year, with trending topics and buzzwords such as “global pandemic” and “economic shift” still in play, it is a humbling to be a part of initiatives that help bring human perspective to life. Wise Leadership recently celebrated its 10th year anniversary, ushering in the relaunch of an insights driven magazine that speaks to the spirit of Batswana in making a difference in their communities. In the second Issue, which closes off the year, we speak to conservationists, legal practitioners, bankers and community champions solving all manner of issues across the nation, doing so with a backdrop of COVID-19 challenges and unexpected shifts to the landscape. To all the organisations and individuals that have shared their stories for this Issue, and those who have reached out to do the same in future, we thank you for trusting us to showcase your roles in positively impacting your communities by addressing the social, economic, and environmental issues therein. As we look ahead at a new year, may it be one that births a new era of hope and movement towards sustainable goals.

wa g n e t .M

Yours truly,



Protecting The Spotted Wildcat At Cheetah Conservation Botswana


eet Jane Horgan, the Communications and Grants Coordinator for Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB). A passionate conservationist who was born in Australia and did her wildlife biology degree at the University of Queensland and Masters in Conservation Biology at Rhodes University, she came to Botswana in 2009 and although she was meant to stay for only a 2-month volunteer placement with CCB, she ended up loving Botswana so much that she stayed for the next 12 years, eventually meeting her husband here and having two children. Today, she has worked in all aspects of CCB’s work, from being a researcher initially to working with farming communities to alleviate conflict and eventually running CCB’s education programme.


Asserting her love for the holistic way that CCB goes about its conservation work, she believes that just like the ecosystem combines so many interwoven elements of both living and non-living things, so too must human conservation efforts combine multiple angles, stakeholders, and relationships to build sustainable futures for all. The Responsible CITIZEN Magazine caught up with Jane to learn more about her line of work in protecting Botswana’s spotted wildcat species, the cheetah:

1. Jane, tell us about Cheetah Conservation Botswana?

Formed in 2003 following a request from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and the IUCN/ZSL’s Rangewide Cheetah and Wild Dog Conservation Program, Cheetah Conservation Botswana dedicates itself to protecting Botswana’s cheetah population and securing habitats for their survival. Botswana has the world’s largest cheetah population — a species THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


that is on the brink of extinction — and Botswana’s central location in southern Africa makes our population integral to the connectivity and subsequent survival of the cheetah’s largest remaining population in the world. Considering that 80% of Botswana’s cheetahs live outside of protected areas, CCB was founded in a bid to support farming communities to help farmers to reduce livestock losses to carnivores so that human-wildlife conflict no longer burdened farmers and so cheetahs could move through farmlands without the threat of persecution. We have also expanded our farmer outreach work to assist communities as a whole so that they can benefit from sharing the land with wildlife. In strategic wildlife areas across the Kalahari, our work aims at promoting the coexistence of communities and wildlife so that we can preserve Botswana’s unique and valuable natural assets. Using a bottom-up approach to conservation, we are assisting communities to achieve their coexistence goals, helping them to create benefits from their cultural and natural resources that in term develop their communities as stakeholders for the environment.

2. What does Cheetah Conservation Botswana do to create a lasting impact on the lives of cheetahs, the environment, and the local community? Our livestock guarding dog programme is one of our flagship programmes and sees us provide support to farmers using LGDs around the country. We train LGD puppies at our demonstration farm in Ghanzi and place them with farmers experiencing conflict in the Ghanzi District. We also provide free veterinary care and support to farmers using LGDs to help farmers train and place their own dogs to protect their livestock. Our LGD project has been incredibly successful — THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

providing veterinary support for over 400 LGD owners across Botswana and placing over 160 LGD puppies trained at our facility. In 2014 the Department of Wildlife and National Parks called upon us to placed LGDs as part of their World Bank Northern Botswana Human Wildlife Coexistence Project. We are currently engaging model farmers from our target communities to function as LGD training hubs so that we can scale up our LGD placement programme and we are in talks with the Botswana Government about the possibility of a national roll out of LGDs to Smallstock farmers across the country. LGDs are a cost-efficient and effective way to mitigate conflict between carnivores and Smallstock farmers and we are incredibly proud of how these little Tswana dogs have been able to change the lives of so many farmers across Botswana. Our education initiatives include experiential bush camps at our Education Centre in Ghanzi, school visits and activities such as competitions for students and celebration days. In a particularly exciting collaboration, CCB took students involved in our collaboration with the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust’s Coaching for Conservation education programme, into the bush so that they could experience wildlife first-hand. Thanks to the team at Letaka Safaris, over 100 students were able to experience wildlife from a tourists’ point of view — helping them to build positive experiences with wildlife and helping students to understand the value of wildlife in Botswana. Our partnership with “Learn to Play” in Gaborone has allowed us to start a collaborative community playgroup initiative in a key wildlife area in the Ghanzi District. The community playgroup, run by mothers from the community who have been trained by “Learn to Play,” run the programme for students in the village that did not previously have access to early childhood



education. Thanks to support from Learn to Play, PISCCA (Gaborone’s French Embassy) and the US Embassy, we have been able to provide not only environmentally focused curriculum to help the children’s brains to grow but also through private donors we have been able to provide the students with food to help their little bodies develop too. The playgroup not only provides strong educational foundations for the next generation, but it also provides reliable income and business training for the women who run the playgroup. All our field activities are centred around our field camp in the commercial farms in Ghanzi. The location of our Education Centre, cheetah rehabilitation pen, office, and staff housing, the “Cheetah Camp” has been a green endeavour — living off grid since it was built in 2008. Thanks to a collaboration with newly designed batteries from Simpliphi Batteries and solar panels donated by solar power businesses in the United States, we were able to set up our camp with all our solar needs. We are now able to accommodate 20 people at our main camp and up to 60 at our Education Centre with all their power needs met in a sustainable way. We are incredibly thankful to the teams at Simpliphi Power for providing us with their state-ofthe-art batteries which we are now testing in the extreme environments in the Kalahari, the team at Wild Solar for organising the donations of solar panels, including Mark Sinreich and Unirac and Weatherhawk Solar Providers from Maun for installing the system for us.

3. What future plans or aspirations does CCB have for any initiatives in a bid to create a lasting impact on the lives of people in the communities you operate? We are constantly coming up with new ways to support the communities with which we work. At present we are expanding our “Communities for Conservation” programme which focuses on villages in key wildlife areas in the wildlife corridor that links the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. We are working with these communities and relevant partners to help those communities to meet their development needs whilst promoting wildlife-based economies that can lead to a more sustainable future for the Kalahari and its people. We are currently looking for partners to help us build a community centre in the centre of Kacgae which will not only host the community playgroup but will also provide a safe space for women in the community to develop their own craft projects and for further skills sharing and capacity development work to take place. We have managed to partially fund the structure, but we are seeking monetary donations and/or donations of materials or labour to get the project completed. The community leadership and Council have allocated land in the centre of town for the building project and the entire village is excited about the opportunities it could bring. If successful, the structure would be a community and entrepreneurial hub that could help change the lives of people throughout the community. We often get approached by people who are passionate about wildlife, asking us how they can help us in our conservation efforts. Most people are surprised when we explain that we need help not only with money to fund our programmes, but also in resources, materials, and particular skills to help our work. For example, to build our community hub we will need building materials, trucks, carpenters, solar panels and all the

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associated materials and labour to get it built. It isn’t only the obvious things that we need help with. We have had restaurants and cafés donate their spaces to us for fundraising events like our Quiz Nights which have been held at the Sports Bar in Maun and the Bull and Bush in Gabs in 2015, and in 2019 at the No.1 Ladies Coffee House. The team at Big Sip made a cheetah-themed “spotted ale” beer in 2019 to help us to promote our work and raise funds for our activities. In 2014 and 2015, companies across Gaborone helped us to hold golf competitions at the Gaborone Golf Club that helped us raise over BWP130,000 for our field work. Sanitas provides us with conference facility space for us to conduct our board meetings and our Annual Planning Meetings with all our staff. The Puma Filling Station in Ghanzi donated funds so that we could give essay competition winners Kindles to promote their love of literature. The scope of how a person or a company can help us achieve our conservation goals is limited only by one’s imagination.

4. Can you take us through some of your most recent collaborations with key partners or sponsors that you believe continue to support communities remarkably? Providing Early childhood education in Kacgae with Learn to Play In a true collaboration we teamed up with “Learn to Play” after the community of Kacgae cited that they were concerned about the lack of early childhood education opportunities in their village. Learn to Play were just finishing the pilot project of their new early childhood learning programme and were looking for rural areas to further trial their programme. Working as the “experts” on the ground, CCB staff monitor the playgroup and provide support to the “mamas” within the community who run the playgroup. Learn to Play trained the mamas in the curriculum and additional trainings like first aid and their team visit the playgroup periodically for ongoing monitoring. Working together we have been able to provide early learning opportunities for 36 children in the village that previously did not have it, have fed these children, and have provided jobs and vocational training for the six mamas who run the programme. Exposing children to nature and wildlife with Letaka Mobile Safaris Letaka Mobile Safaris teamed up with CCB’s education team to provide exciting wildlife encounters for over 100 students. Utilising their vehicles and guides in between bookings during the low season, the Letaka guides would take students that were involved in CCB and BPCT’s Coaching for Conservation education programme into Moremi Game Reserve to experience nature firsthand. Seeing elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs helped excite the children about wildlife and got them inspired about conservation. As thanks for their support, CCB’s research team provided training for Letaka’s guides in the current trends in wildlife conservation and detailed local knowledge about research being conducted in Botswana so that they had the most up to date knowledge to provide their guests while on safari. Thanks to Letaka Safaris and Hilary’s Café in Maun (which provided lunches for all the students on these trips), CCB was able to take over 100 children into the Game Reserve. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

Solar power provision to creating Wild Solar In 2007 CCB’s co-founder and executive director Rebecca Klein told a supporter that what she really needed to help her conservation work was “energy”. What she meant was that she was overworked and needed more human resources, but the supporter, Steve Gold, misunderstood and offered to source and install a solar power grid for CCB’s new field camp in Ghanzi. Sourcing solar equipment from numerous businesses in the United States, Steve was so thrilled with the result at CCB’s camp that he went on to create Wild Solar, an organisation that has since provided over 50 charities in rural areas around the world with solar systems for their conservation work. In 2020 Steve upgraded our system with equipment provided to us again by the team at Wild Solar, Unirac and Outback Power Systems. A new donation of batteries from Simpliphi Power has allowed us to trial their newest battery technology in the extreme dry heat and extreme cold that we experience in the Kalahari. With upgraded internet services allowing them to monitor the system from their base in the U.S. this collaboration has been a wonderful example of how collaborations can benefit everyone involved and can inspire others to make meaningful contributions.

5. What impact has the Covid-19 pandemic had on any of Cheetah Conservation Botswana’s initiatives or future plans?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us at CCB a lot, as well as the communities with which we work. We have adapted our work to help assist the communities with their needs during this incredibly challenging time and have, amongst other things, commissioned local sewing groups to make masks for their communities, translated hygiene posters into local languages and have provided hand sanitizers, soaps and tippy taps to our target villages. Our work to promote livelihood diversification is now even more important so that rural villages have multiple income streams to rely on when times are tough. We will continue to adapt our programmes to keep our staff and stakeholders safe during the pandemic, and we will continue to develop programmes that provide long-term sustainable change for those communities sharing the land with wildlife.

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tanbic Bank of Botswana continues to lead the charge in responding to the needs of the communities it is operating in, covering key aspects of economy such as education and youth empowerment. The Responsible CITIZEN Magazine caught up with Stanbic Bank Communications Manager RUTH SIBANDA and Head of Accelerate Incubator LARONA MAKGOENG to discuss the banking institutions take on the impetus behind its Social, Environmental and Economic (SEE) framework.

TRC: What are some of the SEE projects that Stanbic Bank Botswana have embarked on?

It is perhaps important to first get a sense of how creating shared value fits into our model. We’ve adopted a Social, Environmental and Economic (SEE) framework as the value drivers which inform our strategy, and against which we measure our performance. Our sustainability and success are inextricably linked to the prosperity and wellbeing of all. To achieve our Purpose (Botswana is our home; we drive her growth), our core business activities must support and contribute to this prosperity and wellbeing. The reality facing us is that the Bank’s business activities have wide and far-reaching SEE impacts in the economies and communities in which we operate. We are committed to understanding these impacts, which are direct and indirect, and using this understanding to inform our decision-making at every level. This enables us to maximise the positive impacts of our business, and minimise and mitigate the negative impacts, while simultaneously generating new business opportunities and financial returns for the group. In 2019, we identified 6 impact areas in which we believe that Stanbic Bank can make a significant positive SEE impact across our strategy period: education, financial inclusion, infrastrucTHE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


ture; job creation and enterprise growth; African trade & investment; and climate change and environmental sustainability. Our key focus right now is Job Creation and Enterprise Growth, and this informs our focus areas, being youth employability and entrepreneurship, education, and health.

TRC: How has Stanbic contributed to poverty alleviation through its SEE framework?

Poverty alleviation is not a direct focus area, but it certainly is indirectly touched on. For instance, our focus on youth employability and entrepreneurship falls under the SEE focus areas of Job Creation and Enterprise Growth. We want to actively work to help support youth in making them more employable and attractive to employers and to empower them with entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship skills and opportunities in a sustainable manner so that we can reduce the youth unemployment figure into a single digit, and eventually, into nothing. This inherently means working to stop-gap the proportion of your youth that are currently unemployed and potentially falling into the poverty bracket.

TRC: Which have been the most noteworthy CSR investments Stanbic has been involved in since inception?

We have touched on a number of areas since inception and are both proud and privileged to have been able to wield great impact over the last 3 decades since we first opened our doors. The strategic focus of our CSI programme is on Youth Employability & Entrepreneurship, Education and Health, aligned with our vision of striving to improve the lives of Batswana. In the Education space, our aim is to empower Botswana’s youth with the necessary motivation and infrastructure to help promote academic excellence. Our efforts are a part of the Nationwide financial literacy drive. This is a long-term vision, ensuring we educate our youth and support that journey of productive, sustainable knowledge-creation further. In recent years, we have sought to engage, collaborate and deliver THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

impact through such key platforms as supporting the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) graduations and various conferences hosted by the University, support for the Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) Annual Excellence Awards, a long-term relationship of donations, engage and support to empower students of Mahupu Unified Secondary School and Motswedi Junior Secondary School, and a 6 years of hosting and growing our financial Literacy radio show in local radio station, Yarona FM. Financial Literacy remains a substantive area of focus for Stanbic Bank Botswana, building upon an already strong legacy in this space. This includes championing collaborative efforts and partnerships, speaking opportunities and engagements, and published financial literacy guides, and more. We also disseminate thought leadership and financial literacy driven insights in local print and radio publications on a regular basis.

TRC: How sustainable are the SEE projects the bank aligns itself with?

Sustainability is a key criterion when we evaluate potential SEE efforts or projects. We want to ensure long-term, sustainable impact when we create shared value in and with communities, and not simply provide “flash in the pan” assistance. It is easy to speak of sustainability as the new popular phrase or brand jargon, but our focus is on ensuring not just action and not rhetoric but sustainable action and impact that helps drive Botswana’s growth. Our Social, Economic & Environmental (SEE) framework is built on ensuring there is sustainability to our initiatives. Under each of these 3 pillars our interventions are designed for long term sustainability. We have a SEE oversight committee which ensures alignment to strategy and well thought out process. Our interventions are built on creating impact. The specific focus of initiatives/ partner organizations that we will work with for 2021 is premised on the value that can be realized from those initiatives overtime.

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balanced and representative of all segments of society. Our recently publicly placed call for ‘expression of interest’ is designed with specific target for women and youth. The design of this preferential procurement framework targets women and youth as special groups for which we have identified needing to be intervened for as regards economic empowerment. We would use this framework to ensure that our procurement is capacity building and developing of local businesses.

TRC: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the bank’s CSR mission?

The focus on the multiplier effect of our investments determines what type of initiatives we will get involved in.

TRC: Is Stanbic SEE inclusive, or it targets certain groups or gender?

Our focus is on ensuring compliance with community standards, the impact of being a good corporate citizen, sustainability, mitigating risk and harm, and improving trust and reputation. We do not discriminate nor favour certain genders or groups, but we do work to ensure any projects or investments add shared value and are sustainable and in line with our Accelerate mandate. and adhere to best practice and governance. Sound corporate governance is central to our business philosophy. We are an inclusive organisation that is cognisant of the need to be

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The need for community support is perhaps now greater than ever, as the impacts of COVID-19 on individuals, communities and businesses continues to take its toll. Now is not the time to pull back CSI investment, but to increase or intensify it where possible. This has been our focus, within our chosen CSI focus areas and yet with the pandemic in mind. We have donated to the National Relief Fund as well as made considerable donations in line with youth employability and entrepreneurship, education and health. This ranges from donations of masks and other PPE to BOSETU and similar institutions to more localized donations to schools such as Mahupu Unified Secondary School in Takatokwane and Therisanyo Primary School in Old Naledi. We are stronger together and we all need to help protect Botswana and indeed Batswana. We remain committed and passionate to heed this call, and to collaborate accordingly where possible to deliver on this. The pandemic has had a negative bearing obviously owing to that commercially every business has been spared. However, owing to the understanding that the health of our business is premised on creating shared value through commercial strategy alignment we are sharpening our approach to how our operations deliver shared value through our footprint. As a matter of policy 1% of profit after tax (PAT) is reserved for the Social Economic Environmental (SEE) so this protects the allocation THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


that is due to initiatives that fall under this pillar. Moreover, our commercial strategy is being aligned to address the imperatives of the SEE pillar and this entails deliberate creation of opportunities for the entrepreneurship to thrive such that it can add to the country economic activity. • Social Focus: We have identified a couple of on the ground youth led initiates, organizations and individuals whose work aligns to ACCELERATE in terms of creating impact and whose work has greater potential to create greater social impact going forward and some of these include, Kgomotso Phatsima’s Dare to Dream social enterprise, through a tripartite alliance that has Airbus Foundation. We will provide technical equipment (tablets) for the rollout of the little engineer programme which is targeting 1000 students for 2021. The impact of this may not be immediately interpretive but long the STEM careers will emerge out of this, and we reckon its better we influence the future today. Our other social intervention project is on the apprentice teen music group dubbed Botswana Society for Jazz Education (BOSJE) who have just released an intended play compilation who we are intending to help grow into professional musicians. We will be paying for twenty (20) youth to acquire internationally recognized music qualifications at the highly reputable associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) which has been in the trade of providing music qualifications since 1889. This will be very significant to influence their careers towards professionalism. There is a lot more of these social impact initiatives that we will be launching in time. • Economic Focus: A preferential procurement framework between ACCELERATE and Finance/ Procurement function has been initiated to ensure there is deliberate sourcing from startups, youth and women owned businesses in a sustainable manner that will ensure their development and capacity building for growth. • Environmental Focus: The Bank is embarking on initiatives that will lessen its carbon footprint by investing in green technologies in terms of running our offices and we will to the extent possible depending on local capabilities procure and use local suppliers and distributors for these installations. As is we already have motion detectors/ sensors installed to curb unnecessary electricity usage and wastage. Additionally, we now avail green asset financing targeting households, and this will add impetus to our quest as a financial service provider to shape and influence the uptake of green energy and help bring green energy into our national grid. When you look at this from a composite view this initiative will also economically empower Batswana when the time comes for them to sell back to the grid, it will effectively put a penny back into their pocket and allow to save and provide a cushion to the tough economic times in which we are in.

TRC: Which sectors of the economy that Stanbic invests on through its SEE initiatives?

Our shared value model targets agriculture, manufacturing, creative arts, technology and social entrepreneurship among others. One other focus area has been in the health sector space particularly now owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have made significant contribuTHE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

tions both monetary and material to fighting the current pandemic.

TRC: Does Stanbic have a Corporate Social Investments Policy and what is its mission?

Yes, however, this policy is currently being reviewed to further inform our SEE strategy as described above. Our mission is to wield positive and sustainable impact to create shared valued and improve the lives of Batswana.

TRC: There is often an argument that the commercial entities exist just to make the profits without putting emphasis to problems affecting communities which they operate within. What is the bank’s take on that?

This certainly happens in some businesses and come industries. However, it is not the culture nor the business philosophy at Stanbic Bank Botswana. We recognise that Stanbic Bank’s sustainability and success are inextricably linked to the prosperity and wellbeing of all. To achieve our Purpose, “Botswana is our home, we drive her growth,” our core business activities must support and contribute to this prosperity and wellbeing. The reality facing us is that the Bank’s business activities have wide and far-reaching impacts in the economies and communities in which we operate. Our business activities are grounded by and in Social, Economic and Environmental (SEE) impacts, both towards the National economy and in the communities in which we operate. We are committed to understanding these impacts, which are direct and indirect, and to using this understanding to inform our decision-making at every level. This enables us to maximise the positive impacts of our business, and minimise and mitigate the negative impacts, while simultaneously generating new business opportunities and financial returns. It is both passion and indeed in our best interests to actively invest and support our communities, and part of the SEE value driver shared about earlier is this understanding that there is more to our business that the bottom line or profits, for we are a better business no in spite of our CSI efforts, but because of them.

TRC: Would you say the beneficiaries of Stanbic CSR understand and appreciate the assistance?

We certainly hope so, but the ambition and objective for us is not to receive thanks, gratitude or recognition. It is to know that we are contributing, big or small, to positively improving lives, creating sustainable value, and driving progress. This is in line with our Purpose (“Botswana is our home, we drive her growth”), and indeed underscores our brand promise “It Can Be” which is anchored in our desire to turn dreams into lasting realities for ALL Batswana.

TRC: Are your CSR initiatives cover the entire country, or they are mostly focused within the areas of your operations?

We look to invest in communities and create sustainable value for people across Botswana. At Bank level, this means nationwide efforts for financial literacy, for example. However, some of the CSI efforts are of course driven at branch level, and thus focused on the communities in the immediate sphere of influence of that branch. Our desire is to wield maximum impact and ensure the utmost inclusion.

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A Glance Into

MultiChoice Botswana’s Talent Factory Initiative


ultichoice Botswana continues to make positive strides in the development of the local communities through its flagship Created Shared Value (CSV) programme titled the “Multichoice Talent Factory”. The company carries strong community empowerment initiatives centered on MulitiChoice Talent Factory, according to Thembi Legwaila who holds the title of Corporate Affairs Manager at the company. Legwaila is tasked with managing the reputation of MulitiChoice through issues management, corporate communications, stakeholder engagement, and internal comms as well as creating Shared Value, which other organizations refer to as Corporate Social Investment. SHARED VALUE INITIATIVE Legwaila takes pride in the company’s red flagship MultiChoice Botswana Talent Factory Initiative, saying: “This initiative seeks to ignite Africa’s creative industries through three pillars; the first being the MTF Academy where we send young aspiring filmmakers to a film academy for a fully sponsored one year programme under the tutelage of some of Africa’s, and the world’s, most respected film and television experts.” “Our second pillar involves the MTF Master classes, which are the one-day long classes for more experienced filmmakers, where they are taken through specific functions of filmmaking such as sound, directing, and storytelling from our partners around the world, and lastly, the MTF Portal which is a free online networking system which allows creatives to collaborate and connect with other creatives all over Africa and the world-at-large, “said Legwaila while explaining the initiative . Legwaila says content is king as we all know and all around the world, content is becoming a highly valued currency. “Through MTF we aim to raise the standards of filmmaking in Botswana through empowering filmmakers to have the capability to not only make great films and tell great authentic stories but to also flourish in the business of filmmaking and to create an industry here that is profitable; one that can rival industries such as that of Nollywood and South Africa’s booming film industries,” she said.

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Thembi Legwaila Corporate Affairs Manager

MTF ACADEMY OUTCOMES Furthermore, Legwaila relishes the high positive impact brought by the MTF since its inception. “To date we have had four young Batswana students graduate from the MTF Academy and we are also incredibly proud of these young ladies. Nikita Mokgware and Serena Serene Mmifinyana from our inaugural Class of 2019 graduated and returned home to start an N&M Productions. The ladies have already been engaged to work on the projects both for MultiChoice as well as other local broadcasters. Mokgware and Mmifinyana launched a podcast called ‘This is Africa’ which was available via the MTF Portal, and which featured different creatives throughout the continent and how they are changing Africa’s creative footprint,” she said filled with full of confidence.



Lorato Orapeleng MTF Class of 2020 Graduate Botswana

Masego Mohwasa MTF Class of 2020 Graduate

Lorato Orapeleng and Masego Mohwasa who graduated in 2020, have also started their own production companies, Mediawrap Africa and 27 Pictures, respectively, and both companies have also enjoyed their fair share of the work since they commenced their business operations. “We are incredibly proud to have had Mediawrap Africa work on the four on-air promos which are now being aired across DSTV. These showcase 4 different individual’s whose lives have been enriched through their association with MultiChoice Botswana. Both Mohwasa and Orapeleng did an amazing job, for a new production company, in capturing the stories of Chris Kemolebale, a DStv installer who has worked with us for over the 20 years, Onkabetse Reikeletseng, the first Motswana producer to work on the highly coveted Date My Family franchise, Nikita Mokgware, and Phatsimo Tholo, one of our MultiChoice Botswana employees,’’ Legwaila further explained. CREATIVE INDUSTRY The MultiChoice Botswana Talent Factory is also contributing to the creative industry. The filmmaking and creative industry -at-large is also covered according to Legwaila by the MTF. “We have already seen the effects of this by the production PF houses that our students have created and the paid work they have already conducted for local broadcasters. They have set a sterling


example of what we want to achieve through this initiative, and we only hope that the new incumbents, who we are currently interviewing for the MTF Class of 2022 follow suit. The MultiChoice Talent Factory initiative is a MultiChoice Africa Holdings initiative which benefits all the countries that sit under the MultiChoice Group. As a business with a vision to be Africa’s leading storyteller, the Talent Factory remains an anchor initiative which assists us in driving this vision by creating the local content growth in each of our markets,” said Legwaila happily. Early in the spread of the pandemic the organisation harnessed the power of its platforms to ensure that its subscribers across the continent were given access to credible and accurate information. As part of its ongoing efforts to raise the necessary awareness through information, Legwaila said MultiChoice at the Group level has come on board as an official supporter of the United Nations’ Global COVID-19 awareness campaign Pause which launched on 30 June across the world. The aim of the Pause campaign is to highlight the dangers of sharing false information related to COVID-19. The campaign asks everyone to pause, think and take care before sharing information which could be inaccurate or misinformed and may have the harmful effects. “In Botswana, specifically, in August of 2020, through the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Governance, MultiChoice Botswana donated PPE to health workers to assist in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. The donation included the Hazmat suits, gloves, and surgical masks. We have continuously produced the alternative self-service methods to assist our customers from the comfort of their home as well as initiating a Home Delivery Service which allowed our customers to order their decoders safely and have them delivered to comply with social distancing regulations,” said Legwaila adding that MultiChoice is committed to CSV. MultiChoice Group’s approach to social responsibility is focused on the relationships we have with our employees, our communities, and our customers (including ensuring the protection and privacy of their data). “We are deeply invested in these relationships, knowing that our sustainability as a company is grounded in the commitment of our people, and the trust that we build with our customers and communities alike. Our various programs actively address and manage social and the economic development, creating much needed employment, contributing to the fiscus, and enabling small businesses to grow. We see beyond business priorities, and we strive to make the lasting impact on the communities in which we operate. Our CSI initiatives focus on creating employment opportunities, developing up-and-coming filmmakers, and nurturing future sport stars,” MutliChoice Group underlines. Another notable empowerment initiative by the Group is the MultiChoice Innovation Fund is an enterprise development fund administered by the MultiChoice Enterprise Development Trust. According to the MutiChoice Group, the fund’s aim is to fast track entrepreneurs to industry leadership in the technology, e-commerce, digital content, film, and the production industries. “It provides black majority-owned start-up entrepreneurs and the established SMMEs with the necessary tools, skills and financial support to enable them to bring their business ideas to life. The fund has a strong focus on small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises owned by young and female entrepreneurs. Since the inception, the fund has disbursed R252m in loans, grants, and business development expenses to achieve this purpose,” said MultiChoice.

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BIHL Trust and the importance of sustainability for building legacies The vast blue chip insurance company, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) through BIHL Trust, make a positive impact in the local communities, across the variety of spheres contributing towards socio-economic development. Established in 2007, the BIHL Trust was formed to make a positive impact with communities in need, through sustainable development initiatives. Thus, 1% of BIHL Group’s post-tax profits are channeled towards the BIHL Trust to make the meaningful impact across the variety of spheres.


IHL Trust was established in 2007 in a bid to give back to communities sustainably while supporting worthy causes. We wanted a structured, dedicated way to make a difference and recognized that our communities and our people are amongst the most important to why we exist, and so we focus on the pillars of Education, Social upliftment, Economic Empowerment, Public Health, Recreation and Conservation of the Environment to carry out our bodies of work,” says Ngwatshi Enyatseng, BIHL Trust Chairperson. “The meaning and practice of CSR is usually misconstrued as how the companies spend profits (charity) but not about how they make their money. CSR is supposed to be more about a good business for a good society today and tomorrow. It needs to involve the employees as does the Trust, and it needs to be well researched and focused with feedback and recording on impact. CSR should unite all sectors of society towards making a positive impact. We ought to see Private sector, Government and civil society collaborating towards development as opposed to each operating in silos. For the CSR to be done right it requires a proper community needs investigation, collaboration, impact assessments,” she further elaborated on how the notion of sustainability is viewed at BIHL Trust. Today, 1% of the BIHL Group’s post-tax profits are channeled towards the BIHL Trust to be used to make a meaningful impact across a variety of spheres. Over the past 10 years, BIHL Trust has established relationships and partnered with organizations that help others in need in a way that empowers them positively. UNPACKING THE PILLARS FOR IMPACTFUL GIVING Education The trust has partnered with the government, private sector and non-Governmental initiatives in different initiatives aimed at making a change. Recently, BIHL Trust came together with Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) and Stepping Stone International through an “adopt-a-school initiative” where BIHL

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Trust sponsored prize giving in all the schools the Trust adopted. “We identified the 11 underperforming schools to support them in introducing a literacy program where the teachers are enrolled in training to teach students how to read and write. We are currently in a partnership with Ministry of Basic Education to sponsor essay writing competitions in schools,” said Enyatseng. She further said that the BIHL Trust have partnered in the innovation initiatives citing the Mogwebi Gaming APP to champion financial literacy and combating youth and a graduate unemployment. Through this interactive platform, the gaming app educates the users on efficiently running a successful business while also testing user’s knowledge on financial literacy. It is also readily available for all Android and iOS in the relevant Play and the App Stores. Social upliftment In the past Enyatseng said BIHL Trust contributed P1. 5 million towards a housing appeal, building one of the houses in Mathangwane village as part of a fulfilling the social upliftment pillar of the organization’s CSR strategy. An additional yet key milestones is the Khawa guesthouse which the trust assisted with its renovations. BIHL Trust was approached by Council as the guesthouse was not up to hospitality code. The village guesthouse needed some work done so that it could maintain competitiveness and general appeal to the public and so the Trust’s contributions were instrumental in the property’s refurbishment. The premises is now fully functionally such that it now experiencing bookings to full capacity through individuals looking for accommodation as well the meeting rooms attracting workshop bookings. As the guesthouse is operated by the Village Development Community (VDC), revenues generated benefit the community. Building towards Economic Empowerment In Ghanzi BIHL Trust donated baking equipment to a bakery run by a consortium of women. The women are distributing bread to schools around Ghanzi schools and are working together to increase their capacity to supply more bread to additional schools. Moreover, the Trust also identified another team of women in Ghanzi who are knitting school uniforms for primary schools in the region. They contributed the 10 sewing THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


machines the women used, further submitting a bigger sewing machine that BIHL Trust proceeded to sponsored. Recreation & Conservation of the Environment To drive awareness on the importance of environmental and wildlife conservation, BIHL Trust launched a campaign in Maun and Francistown at a time when rhino poaching was spiraling out of control, focusing the campaign on rhino protection in collaboration with Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Public Health BIHL Trust collaborates with Autism Botswana for support in driving awareness on autism spectrum disorder and the need for inclusion of people living with or affected by the condition. Initiatives to date include members of the Trust’s administrative team marching in solidarity with the autism community and supporters in the 3km Autism Awareness Walk, which was centered within the Central Business District (CBD) area in Gaborone. SUSTAINABILITY AS A FOCUS FOR LEGACY BUILDING “We get feedback from the people we assist and will therefore say we place the trust at around 90% in terms of achieving its sustainable outcomes with our CSI projects,” says Enyatseng. “There are things that if done better they would be sustainable and therefore aim for continuous improvement. Sustainability is key and as an organization, we are keen to build legacies, though we note that there are still some of the organisations that view CSI as charity focused work. For us, we look at it as our commitment to creating and sustaining legacies. We just don’t fund to give out money, but we are more interested in the lifelong effect a project will have even after we have exited it financially,” she adds. Another key element that is critical to effectiveness in driving sustainability is collaboration by all the key stakeholders, particularly government, the private sector, and Non-Governmental Organisations. BHIL Trust’s is guided by a strategy that is continuously reviewed, ensuring alignment with pillars, timelines, and availability of partners collaborate with as well as community involvement.

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Access Bank’s Quest To Drive Colossal CSR Upon Entry Into Botswana The Nigerian multinational bank, Access Bank’s expansion into Botswana market stands to benefit the residents and communities through the bank’s vast Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. Widely viewed as one of Nigeria’s most profitable commercial groups operating across the world, the bank recently opened its doors in Botswana after buying a stake in Atlas Mara Group to purchase BancABC Botswana. Access Bank Managing Director Herbert Wigwe weighs in on what this new chapter in Botswana, also means from the perspective of bringing forward innovative ideas that make a difference…

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ccess Bank has long been committed to helping change the lives of people within their communities and the wider societies in which the bank operates beyond Nigeria. Notable in its mix of CSR initiatives is the ‘W’ Initiative which seeks to empower women in entrepreneurship by being a catalyst by which to further enhance their lives and businesses. “Empowering women by granting them access to vast opportunities and information will not only lead to personal development for women, but also the development of the communities and societies they operate in,” said Wigwe, oozing with confidence that the bank will succeed in its efforts to expand the programme into Botswana as well. ROOTS IN EMPOWERING WOMEN The Bank pioneered offering banking facilities for women in Nigeria with the establishment of the Gender Empowerment Movement (GEM) in 2006, which later evolved into the ‘W’ Initiative. This was later officially launched under this name in 2014. Access Bank has been ranked as the overall best company in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability for the year 2019 after spending N9.34 billion in CSR focused initiatives as reported by Forbes Africa. So, Wigwe has since taken every opportunity to buttress that all CSR initiatives are also coming to Botswana as the bank is keen on making positive impact on the lives of communities via empowering clients through education, creation of jobs as well giving financial access to women and youth to startup businesses with the aim to contribute towards the economy. “Our vision as a business leverages on fostering growth and creating wealth sustainability to promote human dignity, environmental conservation and improving the quality of people’s lives. We are excited to announce and showcase our diverse CSR initiatives that we have championed, and believe will transform Batswana,” said the buoyant Wigwe. The ‘W’ Initiative according to the bank is the home for everything Access Bank offers women and is open to all women irrespective of where they bank. This notion falls in line with the banking institution’s commitment to providing equal inclusivity for all. Referencing its footprint in West Africa ahead of expansion into Southern Africa, Wigwe also noted that the bank assisted Botswana and other African countries with funds at a time of rising cases in HIV and the AIDS pandemic, doing so through mobilizing funds with the private sector entities in Nigeria. Access Bank prides itself in investing in communities with projects that can be sustained for a long term, affording local investors the opportunity to become shareholders too. BancABC Managing Director Kgotso Bannalotlhe says that it is inspiring for the bank to be part of a larger banking group like Access Bank, which boasts a notable portfolio in Corporate Social Investment. Bannalotlhe stated that BancABC had in existence its own CSR projects such as building houses for the less


Herbert Wigwe

privileged people in communities responding to government calls for companies to assist. Access Bank has been recognized for its good CSR performance by receiving awards such as being named CNB Excellence in Women Empowerment Award Winner in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Each year, and as part of its robust strategic corporate responsibility objectives, the bank says it remains highly committed to channeling noteworthy resources and funds into impacting people’s lives positively and responsibly. “Over the years, our areas of focus in the community investment have included crucial sectors of education, health, gender equality, arts, and sports. Many of these efforts to invest in and grow the solid relationships with our communities have also included the widening reach of our market presence, our indirect economic impacts, grievance mechanisms, public policy, the anti-corruption efforts, charitable donations and employee volunteering,” said the bank on its CSR.

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These Hands Global and Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE)



These Hands Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) is a global for-profit social enterprise start-up based in Botswana which trains and supports rural community innovators/ entrepreneurs in developing countries. These Hands finds innovative technologybased solutions for promoting sustainable development, encouraging entrepreneurship, and combating poverty in rural communities in developing countries.


o-Founder and CEO of These Hands GSSE, Mr. Thabiso Mashaba facilitates change in rural Botswana by linking community members with international innovators and designers and giving them the opportunity to use their traditional skills to produce innovative solutions to livelihood challenges. As an enabler for international development work, These Hands GSSE have also developed a social media platform that is dedicated to international development and co-creative design work and does not require internet to use (USSD Based). The organisation recently graduated from incubation at the Botswana Innovation Hub’s First Steps Venture Centre (BIH FSVC) and are now members. These Hands GSSE is also a lifelong implementation partner and rural innovation centre partner of the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) D-Lab for Botswana, Africa, Latin America, and South-East Asia. It also an implementation partner of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) through its first university chapter being the Via Maranyane Student Organization. They are also implementation partners for Injini Education Technology Incubation Programme for Botswana. EXPLORING THESE HANDS GSSE PARTNERSHIPS In 2017, These Hands GSSE co-founded the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN)-SADC Consortium with partners, Kafue Innovation Centre in Zambia, and Twende Social Innovation Centre in Tanzania. The International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) in Implementing Partnership with MIT D-Lab and funded by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2012-2017 has had initiatives in Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states that are in line with the SADC’s objectives.



During this period, IDIN-SADC Implementing Partners learnt the importance of local relevance and smaller governance units, and it here that they discovered that running the African innovation centres the same way as the South American or Asian ones was not effective. Therefore, to promote SADC relations, the innovation centres of Botswana, Zambia, and Tanzania started working together at International Development Design Summits, running innovator exchanges at the centres, sharing lessons learned at MIT D-Lab Training of Trainers, and providing each other countless hours of operational and technical advising. Another great lesson learnt was that consistent support of their innovators and innovations stifled their path to potential commercialization. IDIN-SADC (International Development Innovation Network – SADC) is a regional consortium led by an Executive Committee (EC) of grassroots innovation ecosystem builders around SADC. The EC veers away from traditional top-down approaches to development and technology intervention and instead leads a bottom-up movement of grassroots communities who demonstrate interest in innovation. The EC partners with these communities to co-create appropriate technologies that address immediate livelihood challenges, to set up small ventures around these technologies, and to develop innovation


centres to continue community-driven innovation work. These Hands administers the overall consortium grants and a lead project coordinator. It administers its allocated budget grant and implements all activities in Botswana as per its approved work plan and budget by the IDIN SADC Executive Committee. It also collaborates with the IDIN Botswana members, IDIN Tanzania members, IDIN Zambia members, MIT D-Lab Faculty, MIT D-Lab Students, BIUST Faculty members, BIUST Students, IDIN global network of innovators, IDIN Global consortium members, and IDIN consortium students to work on innovation centre projects, cross border exchanges, summits, and creative capacity building workshops in-country and in other SADC member states. Through their numerous projects, they have reached out to 4 SADC countries, 38 Villages, to over 150k people and have trained 1225 people in which 69% participates were youth, and 30% participants were women, € 2714 amount of grants issued and 208 members benefiting from the project’s grants. An addition of The Hands projects includes a Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiative to activate, capacitate and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in Southern Africa. The grant was for an 18-month period from November 2019 to June 2021 and was implemented in three milestones across the four targeted countries of Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, and Namibia. THESE HANDS GSSE AND IDIN-SADC CONSORTIUM’S PATHWAY TO IMPACT IDIN-SADC Consortium’s aim is to introduce a new co-creative design approach to technology and community development. Its key propositions included:

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51 Build It Workshops. Ranging from a couple of hours to 7 days, Build It Workshops teach participants how to make specific low-cost, useful technologies through step-by-step directions. Afterwards, participant use these technologies in their homes and share them with their communities. Some examples include a hand maize sheller, a charcoal press, and a PET plastic bottle cutter. Curriculum for these workshops is sourced from around the world and adapted to local materials and conditions. Their target was to have 18 in Tanzania, 16 in Botswana, 16 in Zambia and 1 in Namibia within 18 months. 32 Creative Capacity Building Training Workshops. These are 5–10-day co-creation training workshops amongst people who stay together; in the same village, school, or organization and face the same livelihood challenges. Participants are taught the co-creative design and business thinking processes and supported with materials and tools to co-create prototypes and ventures that address their own livelihood challenges. Their target was to have 11 in Tanzania, 10 in Botswana, 10 in Zambia and one in Namibia within 18 months. 7 Innovation Centres. Rural community based co-working spaces that allow their summit participants or (Creative Capacity Building) CCB participants to be able to continue working on their prototypes and ventures by accessing all the material, tools, and technical support necessary. International Development Design Summits. These 2–5-week first-hand design summits bring a diverse group of participants from different countries and backgrounds to co-create appropriate technologies and ventures with local communities in Botswana and the SADC region. 50 Project Support Grants. Competitive small grants to help in assisting their innovators to enable them to buy material and tools to design or iterate their technology projects or pay for the essential steps in their business development. 6 Chapter Meetings. Includes small meetings by their rural innovators to either train each other a new skill or give feedback on an innovative design. 6 Exhibitions. Innovators and entrepreneurs at innovation centres display their technologies to the public for sales, feedback, and inspiration. 6 Cross Border Exchange Visits/Exposure Trips. Members from SADC members states get an opportunity to travel to each other’s working spaces to either learn or impart new skills about a project; and to exhibit and trade their technologies or products of their technologies on calendar dates that members will agree upon that are strategic at the time. A CELEBRATION OF MILESTONES These Hands’ bears many milestones since the organisation’s formation, some of which include: • Raising over USD450 000 in cash and in-kind grants since registration in 2015 to date. • Training over 400 people in 8 rural communities of Botswana to date. • Producing 38 prototypes to date in Botswana alone.

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• 16 prototypes ready to go to market and 1 project donated to client for use (Deep Sand Wheelchair) • 3 projects registered as community businesses in Botswana (Deep Sand Wheelchair, Hydroponic Fodder Grower and Elephant Dung Paper) • 6 projects explored for potential utility model patents and commercialization • 5 rural innovation centres in 5 districts of Botswana in the villages of Dkar, Dutlwe, Rakops, Kaputura and Lesoma • 7 trained trainers in Botswana • At least 5000 people reached in Botswana • Supported trainings and innovation centre set up in Ban Han Wao, Thailand, and Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement Area in Uganda • 2015 Ashoka Change Makers Social Intrapreneurship Fellow • 2015 Orange Africa Social Venture Prize Botswana Winners and Top 11 Continental Finalists for USSD Based Social Media Platform. • 2016 winner of the Mail & Guardian Newspaper and Gabs FM Radio’s 50 Batswana under 40 Innovation Award • 2018 World Bank Social Inclusion Heroes Competition Botswana Winner and Top 27 Continental Finalist. • 2019 Michigan State University Global Youth Advancement Network Implementing Partners for Botswana. • 2020 Africa Project against Suicide and Leadership in Obscurity Network of the United States’ Honorary Africa Outstanding Leadership Award for 2019.

TESTIMONIALS FROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS Former cohort, Tebogo Seiso is from a village called Otse. She is an Innovation Manager and leads a group of young people who are talented. Through the help of These Hands, she started an innovation centre whereby participants use the skills they are taught during workshops, to address problems within their local community. “Through These Hands GSSE, with the utmost support from Mr. Thabiso Mashaba, on a business level, I have gained insights on production, how to produce my own products and how to price products; and these are skills I did not possess. On a personal level, I realized that I have the potential to create a product that can help me better my life and the interactions have transformed me from being a “shy” person to a confident person who now has the courage to speak in public and is now an impeccable public speaker. This year I even did a television shoot with the CNN inside Africa show with the group I leads, and I have These Hands and Mr. Thabiso Mashaba to thank for their great input in my life,” she adds. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

EYELIGHT OPTOMETRISTS: PROVIDING BATSWANA WITH CLEARER VISION Research suggests that 2.5 billion people globally have uncorrected eye vision owing to owing to not having the eyeglasses they need, as well as affording to do eye tests. In fact, approximately 1.1 billion just need a pair of reading glasses to attain clearer vision. Botswana as part of the global village is not exempt from the plague of vision impairment and blindness, therefore the local stakeholders being Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) and NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs) come together to raise awareness on the condition, with Eyelight Optometrist showing its commitment to the cause by providing solutions for those needing clearer sight.


t has become a common observation locally that eye health is one of the conditions that is not normally given a lot of attention unlike other diseases such as HIV/ AIDS, Malaria, and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Eyelight Optometrist, one of Botswana’s leading eye health services offering companies in the private sector, has embarked on a series of strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to promote eye health through partnerships with government, NGOs, and public eye screening services as well. Through its government and community based

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support eye health programmes, the Tlokweng head quartered Eye Light Optometrist Botswana seeks to empower the local communities to save sight through early detection of visual impairment related conditions that may lead to loss of sight. LEADING SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES IN THE HEALTH CARE SECTOR Leading Optometrist at Eye Optometrist Botswana Thanuja Panicker reveals the organization’s partnership with the government at varied intervals to offer free eye testing to public. As part of raising the educational awareness toTHE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


wards the public and considering that the month of October marks the commemoration of the World Sight Day, this year members of the public were offered free eye testing in a campaign that supported the theme of #LoveYourEyes. Panicker is also the Secretary of Botswana Optometrists Association which too has been supporting government with a free eye health expertise to bridge gap at government. According to her, 80% of blindness or visual impairment can be cured when given urgent attention. “Vision impairment affects people of all ages, with the majority being over the age of 50. An unattended cataract and uncorrected refractive error are the leading causes of vision impairment. Other causes such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, infectious diseases of the eye, and trauma, however, cannot be ignored and need to be addressed. We are open as the private sector optometrists to work hand in hand with government to address the visual impairment,” she said. She has said private optometrists from Botswana Optometrists Association reach out to assist through the community eye testing or screening initiatives to support the health ministry. “As a private sector company in the eye health sector, we strive to forge partnerships with the government of Botswana to improve the service delivery on eye health. The government is faced with a shortage of optometrists in its public health facilities and therefore we are keen to assist to close the gap. Not all the private sector optometrists are able to offer support to government for free but different members from Botswana Optometrists Association do heed to our call as the association and commit to doing their part to highlight the importance of eye health,” said Panicker. “We have also partnered with the Tshimologo Center for People with Disability where our eye health support services extend to the disabled to promote their eye health care. We also take our eye health CSR services across the country on a campaign and some of the places we reached, we were able to conduct health screening and offer glasses to the public for free. We did this in Bokspits, Maitengwe and Bobonong. To date, over 10 000 people have benefited from our free eye health services,” she said. Moreover, Panicker who is also member of Lions Club International through Gaborone Lions Club said their services of eye health to the public also extends across borders to Zimbabwe. She said Zimbabwe in its public health sector has a shortage of experts on eye health just like Botswana. “I have been travelling to Zimbabwe to kick start campaigns in collaboration with government and Non-Governmental Organisations. But


due to Covid-19 we didn’t have the opportunity to travel across the Botswana circuit, but our CSR initiatives are still ongoing and currently being offered by our other colleagues in Zimbabwe,” she added. As the organisation endeavors to expand its capacity for public education on eye health, Panicker revealed that Eyelight Optometrist will be targeting schools to extend eye screening for students who are diagnosed with eye conditions and these students will be given glasses. A GROWING GLOBAL EYE HEALTH CRISIS Over five hundred million people with eye problems live in less developed countries and face barriers to accessing essential eye health supporting services such as screening and prescribing eyeglasses too. According to research carried out on eye health by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Africa alone, approximately 26.3 million people across the continent have some form of visual impairment. However, notwithstanding the higher figures on visual impairment, WHO said with today’s knowledge and technology, 80 percent of blindness is preventable and traceable resources permitting. Cost-effective interventions are available for the major causes of avoidable blindness, however millions of people across Africa are still at risk of visual loss due to lack of preventative eye-care services.

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0 year old Founding Director of Walk of Hope, Theriso Motsumi-Motsemeng, relishes every moment to empower the communities by addressing any challenges being experienced through practical means. Since its inception, Motsemeng says that the organisation has done a lot for families and individuals in need, saying: “We have taken on such initiatives as donating food hampers and toiletries to the less privileged, we offer psychological and the psychosocial support to members of the communities, and we also run sanitary and shoe drive campaigns to donate to schools with students who need them the most.” These are but a few examples of practical assistance to communities, with Walk of Hope also getting involved in issues of health as the government sometimes needs the support of its citizenry in order to be effective. The organization also runs HIV/AIDS and Diabetes campaigns, where they teach the locals about the diseases, running public testing sessions with the help of the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Theriso credits her daughter, Selwana Motsemeng for inspiring her to make a difference to people through giving back in action back in 2008, having come to learn that Selwana’s friend was always being molested. After eventually reporting the case, Selwana’s friend found the legal help she needed and won, giving her a fresh start after such an arduous ordeal. Since then, Motsemeng realized the importance of giving, and having to be the voice for the voiceless in every aspect. FORGING CSR PARTNERSHIPS Partnerships are very vital for Walk of Hope and Motsemeng acknowledge one of them for success. “As the CSR Ambassador of Kamoso Africa, I assess the requests that come from other organizations and see how best we can assist them. As the organization can be overwhelmed with a lot of requests for food and toiletries, Kamoso Africa usually donates through Walk of Hope as we already have a base, where we know where the need is the most and we do our best to help through Kamoso Africa. Also, as the CSR Ambassador I portray the images of the X-Men of the organization. I do not walk over anyone’s rights, I treat others with love and respect and lead to bring a difference,” said the confident Walk of Hope

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Theriso Motsumi-Motsemeng,

Director. She buttressed that Kamoso Africa realised the magnificent work that Walk of Hope are doing to help the communities, hence playing a major role in helping them build the working center for Walk of Hope through their sister company Builders Mart. “This is where we help people firsthand, and we also have an initiative of feeding the hungry every Friday for free as for the rest of the week we sell food to raise money for the centre to have the doors open each day. The catering equipment was also donated by Kamoso Africa through Mont Catering. We also have an internet cafe and all the equipment that we are using was powered by Kamoso Africa. Because Molepolole where our offices are situated is a village that has water shortages, New Era College has supported us with Jorje tanks which we use for water storage,” she added. MEANINGFUL IMPACT THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


She pointed out that their CSR projects at Walk of Hope bring about a lot of impact in the lives of community members, with their pursuit of sustainability in approach based on the needs of the people. Walk of Hope together with their sponsors assess how they can collectively fill in that gap, to help and bring about change in the lives of those in need. “The communities we help are very appreciative, together with the leaders. I am humbled to have been further recognised with a few awards and been appointed as the Ambassador of Women in Molepolole. Besides all the appreciation we get, at Walk of Hope we do what we do to serve. I believe the appreciation from the communities come as a bonus, and we love what we do, and we will not stop serving and helping people regain their dignity,” she said oozing with confidence. On the other hand, Motsemeng said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought major setback in all the strategic plans that the organisation had lined up with regards to building a better Botswana. “As a result, we were not able to reach as many people as we have desired due to the travel restrictions, and nothing hurts more than receiving calls and texts of people going hungry and knowing that we cannot help in any way. However, during the pandemic, we were still helping those close to where we are based, being the Gaborone, Molepolole and surrounding areas,” she said. AREAS OF FOCUS Walk of Hope of CSR is more focused on the education and health sector. The food donation campaigns come as a bonus as part of what they do to give back to the communities as they have realised as the organisation grew, that families were going hungry. They also run shoe drives and sanitary pads campaigns where Theriso personally ask for shoes and sanitary pads from friends and family. Kamoso Africa has been the greatest back bone when it comes to bringing sanitary pads together, which are then donated to schools throughout the whole of Botswana. Walk of Hope has also left their footprint in a primary school like Ranoi Primary School where they assisted with a printing machine.


HIV/AIDS and Diabetes are one of leading diseases that take the lives of many Batswana, and so that is why Walk of Hope educates members of the public about the diseases. To make such campaigns successful they usually hold sponsored walks and free testing sessions for members of the public. This has been done in Gaborone and Molepolole. During the time when Walk of Hope was fundraising to donate the printing machine for Ranoi Primary School, they also screened the students for Diabetes with the help of health care professionals. “Our projects are countrywide, but of course in our journey we experience challenges that stop us from spreading our wings. However, where there is a call for help, we jump off our seats and make a way to help of possible. For example, we have gone as far as Tshokatshaa because there was a call for help from students there were in need to school shoes. And of course, where we donate school shoes, sanitary pads are always a bonus for the beneficiaries. We are based in Molepolole where our Walk-in centre is, but in most cases, we are working around Gaborone and surrounding areas,” stressed Theriso. “Most parents in Botswana cannot afford to get their children a pair of shoes. Even if they to get one pair it is often difficult to replace it when it is worn out. Our campaigns relieve parents off the burden, and they can focus on other family needs. The look on children’s faces when they get a pair of shoes is priceless. At times it reminds me of the olden days when our uncles came from the mines! It was a beautiful feeling fitting on new shoes and pink dresses. It dignifies the children, boosts their self-esteem, and reduces the chances of stigmatization and bullying at school. Kids can suffer excruciating stigma, bullying, and ridicule all for lack of decent shoes. People often neglect their old, aged parents. It makes them lonely and unloved. Giving donations to them fulfills them and makes them feel appreciated,” she concluded.

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Unpacking SKI Foundation’s Breath of Life campaign Mogomotsi Goms Kaboemodimo is the CEO of SKI Foundation, an experienced former public servant, and the father of three sons and one daughter. He maintains his gratitude for 58 years of an eventful life, relatively good health, and the support and kindness of many friends to him and his family. Educated in Botswana, Zambia, Canada, and the United Kingdom (UK) respectively, he is the holder of an M.A; BAA; and a Post Graduate Certificate.


y role as CEO is to drive the mandate and objectives of the Foundation and to facilitate the Board of Trustees in their oversight of the Foundation. It is my duty also to link the Foundation with its local and world-wide network of contributors, partners and volunteers who support the aims and the objectives of the Foundation. At the administrative level it is my responsibility to project the Foundation in the public space, to run an efficient office, and to do ensure that the Foundation complies with the relevant laws of Botswana that govern the operations of Trusts,” he said. The SKI Foundation recently embarked on a flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative dubbed the Breath of Life appeal, aimed at cushioning communities against Covid-19 impacts. Leveraging his experience in senior ranking roles in the public and private sector Kaboemodimo today runs the newly created NGO foundation, launched by the Former President of Botswana Dr Ian Khama, who is a renowned philanthropist in different pillars of society. Kaboemodimo asserts that SKI Foundation’s efforts are channeled towards promoting and improving the livelihoods of Batswana through such initiatives as conservation, tourism, promotion of democracy and construction of destitute housing. The organization also supports cultural expres-

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Mogomotsi Goms Kaboemodimo,

sion, youth and women empowerment and other charitable programmes benefiting communities. THE BREATH OF LIFE CAMPAIGN “The campaign’s launch in July 2021 coincided with the hardest phase of the Covid 19 pandemic in Botswana, which was characterized by heightened loss of many lives in the country. In that context we launched the ‘Breath of Life’ appeal in August 2021 where we



reached out to Batswana all over the world to help in the fight against the pandemic. There was an acute shortage or total lack of oxygen concentrators in both government and private hospitals and clinics. This was a real tragedy as it robbed the countries of both young and adult lives,” Kaboemodimo states when speaking on what prompted the creation of the campaign. The Breath of Life appeal yielded very positive results as Batswana across the length and breadth of the country poured their hearts out to help save the lives of fellow citizens through cash and material donations, donations of which were handed over to various health facilities caring for patients afflicted by the COVID-19 virus. The latest such outreach took place in Serowe and Boteti regions where in addition to the Breath of Life Appeal, efforts by SKI Foundation were able to secure doses of vaccines that were in acute shortage in the country. HOUSING THE COMMUNITIES SKI Foundation’s efforts to enhance the wellbeing of community members remain impactful, with the organization still able to deliver homes under the destitute housing programme that started in 2010 during the term of office of President Khama. “We handed over a fully furnished house in October to an underprivileged family in Old Naledi. This brings to eight hundred and forty-nine (849) the number of homes yielded by the housing appeal programme since 2010 when it was started,” says Kaboemodimo. “We continue to receive an overwhelming volume of


requests from Batswana for livelihood assistance encompassing skills development, educational funding, start-up business support and poverty relief. For that reason, we continue to appeal to all willing contributors to assist the Foundation in meeting this diversity of needs. While it is not possible to accommodate all the requests, we thank donors and contributors that are coming through to lend a helping hand and we encourage others to engage with the Foundation as well for the benefit of our citizens,” he stated. MOTIVATED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE Kaboemomdimo indicates that they believe the future offers hope for Botswana as far as the socio-economic community empowerment programmes pursued by the Foundation are concerned. “We remain focused on helping to improve the livelihoods of Batswana through our flagship programmes. Therefore, all our activities are publicized for Batswana to judge for themselves, and to have the opportunity to make any contribution they may wish to in these efforts,” he stressed. The SKI Foundation Founding Chief Executive Officer added: “The needs of our citizens are diverse and complex but achievable. The resolve to achieve a better life for all is solid, as is the good will and the support of our contributors. The Foundation believes in the positive character of Batswana when it comes to charitable causes. With this background the Foundation seeks to accelerate the key projects under various objectives.”

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TRC: Start by introducing us to your company, brief background of your organization including the mission and values? CP: We are a client-centric firm and pride ourselves on our efficiency and responsiveness. Law as a business has evolved rapidly over the last few years; anyone can read the law but what makes us stand out in this market is our attentiveness to our clients’ needs and our ability to preempt clients’ needs and concerns. We are very good at that; we tailor-make all our solutions and ensure that our advice takes into consideration all implications for your business, whether legal, financial, reputational, or commercial. Our goals remain unchanged: to add value, be accessible at all times, to provide service of the highest quality, and to plant roots in the community we serve. For me that community starts with the very people who work within our firm. It’s for this reason that each member of our team is encouraged to lead and drive our CSR projects. Each project must have a direct connection and value for someone within the firm in order for us to be fully committed to it. This has translated into us helping neighbours, schools within our jurisdiction and even the people within the building we work in. We take that “charity begins at home” maxim quite literally. TRC: Explain the company’s CSR framework CP: Our CSR framework is premised on creating impact. Impact is defined as a ‘marked effect or influence,’ and marked means that there’s some ability to observe or ideally measure the effect. Therefore, there must be a tangible THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


and measurable effect or influence we can measure from everything we do. Sometimes it is immediate and sometimes it requires more commitment and patience. We do not involve ourselves in projects simply for the sake of it or for publicity. It is our responsibility to build our community and that is not something we take lightly. TRC: What sectors of the economy does the company CSR initiatives target? Environmental Sustainability? Education? Community work? CP: Our initiatives are primarily people and community outreach focused. We are a business made up of people. It is therefore important for us to ensure that we plant back into the people we serve. Each year we are mindful to make an impact. Pre-Covid we identified 4 families within the communities our staff exist in and supported them with food parcels. Sitting with each family, we were able to understand the specific needs but also to see where perhaps the type of help we thought they needed wasn’t their immediate need. That’s the thing with wanting to create an impact. Sometimes the need requires time commitment rather than financial commitment. We hope to restart this project before the end of the year. Another fulfilling project was mentoring and sponsoring 4 young ladies from Ledumang Senior Secondary School to assist them with making up for lost lessons due to Covid – shift schooling. Listening to and seeing the palpable anxiety they had about their future was a very stressful time for us as a team. We are very proud to say of the 4 young ladies have been admitted into tertiary education and are well on their way to achieving their dreams. TRC: What are some of your Current CSR initiatives CP: In partnership with Dreamers Avenue (Proprietary) Limited, we celebrated National Literacy Day in September by supporting 3 local schools with book donations. Tshiamo Pilane, an associate at the firm, addressed the students at Moselewapula Community Junior Second-


ary School on the impact of literacy on our lives. Tshiamo explained that literacy for her means “the ability to read and write” and alternatively “the ability to understand information” and how literacy has broadened her dreams and aspirations. She encouraged the students to challenge themselves to not only improve academic literacy within the school context, but to improve their cultural, legal, and financial literacy and to better understand the community and world we live in. Literacy can help you not only survive in this world but to improve the quality of your life. It Is inspiring to watch a young professional speak so convincingly on the power of literacy. We are very proud of Tshiamo and support her in the many plans she has for this school. I am a strong believer in the power of reading and books, especially for a young mind. Growing up, I was surrounded by readers. Both my parents are avid readers and so reading culture was encouraged in our household. I read everything and anywhere from a very young age. It’s the greatest tool to broaden your perspective or give you perspective if there’s none to broaden and plant the “you can be anything you want to be” seed in your mind. Even as a young adult, sitting in Francistown buried in Great Expectations or some other read, I knew I was not limited by my circumstances or geographic location, the world was mine for the taking. That is what we want to develop in the younger generation today. We have plans to donate a library to a primary school and to more importantly develop a reading program within that school where our staff and clients may volunteer and teach a child to read, in Setswana and English. That child’s possibilities become endless the moment they are able and comfortable to read, you could be unlocking an engineer, lawyer, banker, artist, with that single hour you spend every Friday teaching them to read. TRC: What impact has the Covid19 pandemic had on the company’s CSR initiatives? CP: Our projects require face to face contact for the most part and we were therefore not able to achieve as much as we had hoped to. This was a result of not just the restrictions on movement for us but an increased difficulty with connecting with necessary people in offices and schools especially. We hope the worst is behind us and we can get back on course. TRC: Can you take us through what you believe the impact of your CSR initiatives has been on the firm’s brand and profitability? Brand awareness is the most immediate benefit I can think of from a public perspective. For me and for our staff it’s not about brand awareness or profitability. It’s a fulfilling sense of making a difference, something that doesn’t directly translate to impact for the business.

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Lesley Baleseng on championing awareness ON THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Lesley Baleseng is the Founder and Managing Director of Abilities and Deafinite Signing. The former BTV News and Current Affairs Interpreter strongly believes in using intuition and sharing one’s individuality and gifts with the world. He founded Deafinite Signage in 2013, a company that specialises in Sign Language services, before later expanding with the formation of Abilities, a platform to drive further discourse on how Botswana can support people having special needs across the country.


he passionate Lesley for a time juggled a career in the corporate world, before finally making the decision in 2019 to focus on Deafinite Signing full time. His inspiration was founded on his belief in accessibility and prosperity for all, including the handicapped and the deaf. Today, Deafinite Signing offers sign language interpretation services for various sectors, including digital communications, television productions, events, consultations and various client specific needs. “With the demand for virtual engagements continuously growing, in working to mitigating the challenges that came with the Covid-19 era, we launched our Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) Services, interpreting webinars, online conferences, and meetings. Deafinite Signing is simple minded in its value proposition; to present access to a market that uses Botswana Sign Language and one that resonates with inclusion in different ways.” says Lesley. GOING BEYOND WITH ABILITIES Founded in 2018, Abilities is an addition to Deafinite Signing, functioning as a diversity inclusion project that uses various media and content production to facilitate disability dialogue, education, media coverage. It also functions as a portal for supporting and promoting talented handicapped people in Botswana. When asked how and why Abilities was formed, Lesley says that through the various Sign Language Interpretation settings, he was exposed to the world of people living with disabilities in Botswana, and the dreadful realisation that the culture in Botswana plays a big part in perpetuating the segregation of persons

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with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities; from the names used to the attitudes people carry on account of little knowledge on of the challenges handicapped people face. “I noticed a gap of knowledge and the culture influence that seemed unaware of a key component of life - the need to appreciate diversity in humanity! The narrative has to be changed so that people with disabilities are viewed from a different lens; one denoting uniqueness and an opportunity to fully participate in the different facets of life and strive to be their best selves,” asserts Lesley. FOSTERING THE DISCOURSE AROUND DISABILITIES The conversations around disability have been a taboo for a long time and consequentially, some mothers hide their children with special needs because of the blame that culture and society places on them and the general prejudice that exists due to lack of awareness. “I believe that the more something is talked about, the less it becomes taboo. It is key to create disability content consistently for people’s consumption so that they know better and act from an informed position in life,” he states. Abilities strives to shine light in Botswana about disability in a way that truly represents the diversity that exists within the Botswana community and culture. This is done through various initiatives, such a weekly radio show on RB2 that Abilities hosts. The show profiles and dissects different disabilities, engaging in conversations with various representatives of disability communities, stakeholders, and professionals. “It is our wish for people not to see the disability or the difference before the human being because then one misses out


on humanity. Abilities is a big supporter of persons with disabilities who pursue their passions, and our radio show covers an array of conversations that include profiling organisations that support people living with disabilities, trail blazers and gifted people within the disabled community and various commemorations during international days of recognition for specific handicaps,” Lesley says. He adds: “The current anchor Mr David Ranto is doing a beautiful job of leading the dialogue that is purposely annihilating stereotypes and myths surrounding the disability landscape in Botswana. With the recent news of the Botswana Government acceding to the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, Abilities anticipates abundance of content from the activities and changes in the Botswana disability landscape.” Abilities’ social media pages have also become a platform to showcase commemorations and special events, documenting pictures and videos to create mileage and awareness within broader audience groups. These are platforms for providing a wide range of information on different avenues the disabled and wider communities can connect and garner assistance. For Lesley, it has been quite a humbling experience to teach and make and impactful difference in the community. Future aspirations for Abilities involve expanding into television, as Lesley believes that visuals are critical in delivering messages. “Television content would be a prodigious value add and we as Abilities are open to partner and collaborate with various institutions that resonate with inclusion and are keen on creating magic to unleash everyone’s essence of humanity,” sites Lesley.

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Cocreation of Meaningful Impact Through Leadership, Mentorship & Life-ship



UNGWA Africa:



Meet social entrepreneur Gomolemo Lolo Enele Madikgetla, who demonstrates that your dreams are valid, and you can make a big impact through being a mindful and prolific individual in your personal and professional capacity. A Chartered Marketer for 10 years, a “Dare To Lead” trained personality from the Brene Brown Institute, a Regional Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) Southern Africa, a Board Director at Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), Committee Member at Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF), former Advisory Board Member – TEDGlobal, Thapong Art Centre and Botswana Media Women Association (BOMWA), of all her roles, she believes she resonates most with being a servant leader and a mom.


omolemo Lolo Enele Madikgetla is the Founder of a social enterprise called UNGWA Africa as well as Flam Arc Holdings, a boutique brand marketing and communications business. She is a curious, creative, and purpose-driven professional with 18 years’ experience mainly in strategic brand marketing and communications. Through innovation, storytelling, creativity enhancement, capacitation and mentorship, her commitment towards sustainable impact and development on the African continent has seen her get involved in notfor-profit initiatives such as TEDx Gaborone Co-Curator and Producer, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) Ambassador, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Program Mentor, 2020 Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) Mentor. She believes there is a lot more to being an entrepreneur than just founding a business. It’s about believing in incessant learning; that is learning something new each day. She is captivated more by quietly doing work that matters, that changes lives; work that will outlive and outlast her. She has always been creative and curious, always fascinated by ideas, innovation, stories, storytelling for impact as well as simply changing lives. Gomolemo has also lectured entrepreneurs and startups for about 5 years with the Lora Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This further ignited her desire to contribute to committed people doing amazing work and to intentionally bring value to the regional ecosystem. DISSECTING UNGWA AFRICA The UNGWA Africa’s public announcement took place as a result of a timely nudge at the 2019 Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) Summit in Gaborone which was under the theme, ‘Entrepre-


neurship as a Catalyst for Transformation.’ The new cohort was invited on to the stage and introduced to the delegates on the tone of the day’s theme. ‘UNGWA’ is a verb of Botswana origin meaning ‘Be fruitful. Grow. Multiply.’ UNGWA Africa is a wholly citizen-owned and woman-led social enterprise whose mandate includes the co-creation and curation of meaningful impact with individuals and institutions through leadership, mentorship and ‘life-ship’ initiatives, executed in a safe space, towards a sustainable future of prosperity. BENEFICIARIES OF UNGWA AFRICA’S INITIATIVES Priority is given to women and youth as a key demographic. UNGWA Africa places the development of soft skills such as interpersonal skills, integrity, and critical thinking at the forefront, ensuring that growth and transformation starts from within an individual while focusing on other key elements. Young emerging leaders from diverse sectors are paired with experienced executives and entrepreneurs, thereby positioning them to receive ally-ship, guidance, support, opportunities, skill impartation as they embark on not only reaching their set goals and moving from good to great but also preparing themselves to acclimatize in this volatile uncertain, complex, and ever changing world. UNGWA Africa thereby commits to creating shared value which is linked to three overarching ambitions: fruitfulness, growth, multiplying; by helping to develop thriving and resilient communities as well as steward resources for future generations. The company’s ambitious goals are rolled into different initiatives that address these commitments. As part of its vision and goals for creating a positive impact on society, the environment and creating long term socioeconomic sustainability, UNGWA Africa covers various aspects such as access to healthcare, agribusiness and food security, industrialization, climate change, quality education, sustainability, equality, and equity.

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THE INSPIRATION TOWARDS THE BIRTH OF UNGWA AFRICA Being both human-centered and evidence-based is important to Gomolemo, who shares that her reasons for starting UNGWA Africa are two-fold. Firstly, she wants to share what she has learnt and accrued over the years including lessons from mistakes she

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has made, through building people in a world where breaking others is the biggest ego driver. Secondly, research was increasingly communicating the glaring gap, exposing the pressing need for quality mentorship amongst women especially in the entrepreneurial and leadership space. UNGWA Africa is more about CSV (creation of shared value) which is about economic impact and social impact. Gomolemo states that, ‘The World Economic Forum 2021 Global Gender Gap Report recently shared that it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide. With this lack of parity in key areas, it has been instrumental, since inception, that UNGWA Africa places emphasis on women and youth as priority demographics. Few initiatives within the business have been extended to men such as some Scholarships as well as webinar access.’ For emphasis, she also quotes the 2019 ‘Promoting Competitiveness in Botswana: a bottom-up approach to economic diversification’ report by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) states: “Women-led and youthled companies trail other enterprises when it comes to adopting professional management practices and achieving results in terms of productivity, inventory and cash flow. For example, youth-led firms had a capacity utilization rate that was nine percentage points lower than in companies headed by their elders. This highlights an opportunity to boost SME competitiveness through management training for women- and youth-led enterprises.” CREATING MEANINGFUL IMPACT THROUGH LEADERSHIP, MENTORSHIP & LIFE-SHIP Amidst its teething stages in year one, remarkable impact was THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


made by the Mentee cohort, such as involvement in African Union Youth Envoy dialogues including the First Lady of the Republic of Botswana, excelling in Agribusiness incubators as well as production and packaging of health and wellness related products. UNGWA Africa believes that mentorship programs do not make people what they become and ought never to claim their achievements but the cocreation model exists to support, guide, and capacitate the individuals or institutions, bringing out innate excellence that they already had. The maiden year was FREE and delivered over 12-month program with mentor-mentee pairing over a 9-month cross-sector trimester model, alternating for both exposure and experience. Mentors were from Education; Development Finance; Diplomacy as well as Manufacturing and Exporting. Mentees were from Agribusiness and Food Security; Biotechnology and Indigenous Knowledge; Healthcare Naturopathy as well as Research and Engineering Mechatronics (data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence). The first year included some good highs, tinkering and experimenting, as well as a few solid failures - all key ingredients for building and for transformation. Also in 2019, the Mastercard report celebrated Botswana receiving the third place ranking globally, compared to the 2020 report where Botswana has now claimed 2nd position. These findings showed that there is significant activity in the country. Amongst the 2020 highlights were virtual engagements such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) teams during the peak of the pandemic, as well as the awarding of Scholarships (recipients included youth in biotechnology, agribusiness, media, law, and philanthropy). Like most organizations, UNGWA Africa has been affected by the Covid19 pandemic. Since it was founded at the beginning of 2020, by the time Mentors and Mentees were matched, lockdowns and other restrictions had begun. The swift need to transition to mainly virtual interaction meant that the initial plan had to change. This was both convenient from a time saving perspective but highly taxing where data cost and good bandwidth were concerned, eventually there was full optimization of digital platforms. Currently, due to the Covid19 pandemic, the programs they run are 100% virtual and are delivered over a 3-month period to women and youth. The current cohort includes graduates, entrepreneurs, and employees in the following fields: Machine Learning & Radio Astronomy; Photography and Graphic Design; Tourism and Agribusiness; Public Service and Events Management; Chemical Engineering and Green Energy; Environmental and Analytical Chemistry. Gomolemo is of the firm view that purpose-led inTHE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

dividuals and institutions collectively create exponential change. That when potential no longer remains dormant, nations rise and disruption of the status quo results in the transformation required to create prosperity. The key initiative that has been executed since May 2020 is the MOFAGO installations. MOFAGO is a noun of Botswana origin meaning ‘nourishment for the journey ahead.’ Interactive dialogue on critical issues are discussed through the virtual sessions with experts on the subject matter. Mental Health became one of the thoroughly discussed topics, with a resident specialist. MOFAGO installations have been offered for free and included intergenerational participation by individuals and teams across the world in different contexts and needing different psychosocial support, motivation, and encouragement. ‘’My experience with UNGWA Africa was fantastic, I got to meet new people and gain knowledge on how to manoeuvre around todays challenging time. I learnt new tricks through the nurture sheets on how I can manage my time better. In addition, I also got to put my hosting skills into use by hosting the Mofago Sessions. Not only did I get to learn from UNGWA Africa, but I also got to contribute towards its growth. I got to discover more about myself as a human being from a strength and weaknesses’ point of view, especially during these trying times of the Covid19 pandemic. The life-ship and mentorship program challenged me to continue putting myself up for the task, to continue learning, and wanting the best for myself. It was an overall motivation booster because it started at a time where my business was collapsing and had to find ways to save it. UNGWA became a safe space to open about these and get some insight and courage to keep on keeping on;’’ cites Tsaone Mokwatso, an UNGWA Africa alumina. The optimist social entrepreneur, Gomolemo mentions that future aspirations will mainly include the democratizing of access to vast opportunities while maintaining a sustainable model by partnering with multiple stakeholders to collectively address systemic inequalities and inequity. This will result in increased distribution and impact; thus maintaining human warmth and empathy yet leveraging emerging technology,’ she states. She further states that future aspirations include establishing strategic partnerships for sustainable impact and market-creating innovation in key sectors such as agribusiness, healthcare, STEM, cultural heritage, and the arts; Global expansion into an exponential organization with high-impact ‘small-circles’ within cities, rural villages, schools, and organizations. Addressing gender parity and systemic inequalities through further capacitation of women and youth will continue being at the forefront. The most important aspiration is to see Africa truly UNGWA: Be Fruitful. Grow. Multiply. UNGWA Africa has a vast digital footprint and can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Pearl Ranna, an Agricultural Policy Analyst, and a full-time livestock farmer, empowers farmers towards enhanced productivity through training across Sub Saharan Africa. She is the Chief Executive Officer and a Co-Founder of her newly established organization, Agrinvestec, an Agricultural Development and Consultancy Agency which runs two farmer-led programmes: African Young Farmers Network and Mosadi-Peo Support Program.


he two programmes were developed with youth and women farmers in mind. As a mother of one, social entrepreneur and visionary constantly striving for success, Pearl was also keen to focus her attention on the needs of mothers, dedicating her time to establishing a non-profit organization called Mothers Rise Up. This entity supports single mothers in rural and urban Botswana with Agribusiness and Financial literacy, with its collective initiatives making a different to the lives of women with an interest in the agro-based businesses. Agrinvestec works with the various stakeholders in the agricultural sector including farmers, farmer associations, cooperatives and initiatives in the private and public sector, providing capacity building training and creating grassroot programs for youth and women. PEARL RANNA’S PATHWAY TO GROWTH In 2016, just two years out of the college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, she convened the first-ever Women in Farming Expo held in Botswana, drawing participants from across Southern Africa to network and discuss the barriers and opportunities they face in their respective countries. She proceeded to become the founder and now former Managing Director of Unitech Farming, which provides training and support to youth and female farmers, most of whom are smallholders operating on a couple of acres or less. Unitech trained hundreds of women in basic capacity-building to run a successful farming enterprise. In 2018, Ranna became the first winner of the Climate Hackathon Challenge under which youths had to address issues relat-


ing to adapting or mitigating climate change using the various themes such as agriculture, health, energy and water, basing their solutions on the realities of Botswana. “We went through an intensive 5 day-long boot camp where we had to develop a climate change solution with a business model approach, and my solution was based on a social enterprise that would work with renewable energy and vertical precision farming in rural Botswana. This was a great success for me and my professional growth,” she added. With over 10 years accumulative experience in the farming sector, Ranna has firmly developed both youth and women programs in Botswana to catapult access to capacity building, access to market and finance, a peerto-peer mentorship and further to enhance the mobilization of social resources. “Through our key programs, we have been able to mobilize social resources and create networks of likeminded farmers that come together to share their knowledge while tapping into the opportunities that peer-to-peer mentorships offer to beneficiaries of the program,” says Ranna. “I am a young person who experienced challenges when I fell in love with farming. Navigating my way around the obstacles made me realize how much skills development and mentorship could pave way for others like myself. That is when I then joined the Botswana Young Farmers Association, and later left to create my own youth program to share knowledge,” she adds. Being passionate about seeing women succeeding in the agriculture sector which is traditionally perceived as male dominated sector in Botswana, Ranna has also created Young African Farmers Network (YAFN) programme, where her goal is to offer young people a ticket out of poverty. YAFN is a platform where both aspiring and existing young farmers can be upskilled through the necessary knowledge transfer and skills development too. The YAFN programme leverages peer-to-peer mentorship to support its beneficiaries, provides access to local markets, build on financial investment readiness as well as create a network of like-minded youth who share a common goal of succeeding in Agribusiness and Food Security development.

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Building African global excellence, creating business Leaders of tomorrow in STEAME

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hey say that to make difference in the world, you need to dream big, and for one truly humble yet inspirational woman, an insightful, curious, and passionate social entrepreneur, Captain Kgomotso Phatsima demonstrates that your dreams are valid, and you can make a big impact on the lives of others. Captain Kgomotso Phatsima is the President and Founder of Dare To Dream. She grew up in a small village called Ledumadumane which is a stone throw from Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. She holds a Commercial Pilot’s license from the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB), a Master of Science degree in Strategic Management with a focus on Aviation Safety from the University of Derby and is one of the first female military pilots in the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). Captain Kgomotso believes that the use of science, technology, and innovation to propel economies to high levels of efficiency is key to supporting socioeconomic development. She also believes that countries benefit immensely from the generation, adoption, adaptation of technology and innovation. She carries out professional coaching and team building exercises, motivational talks, also holding speaker events for corporate, schools and universities as well as brand ambassador opportunities. INSIDE THE DARE TO DREAM ENTERPRISE Dare To Dream is a social enterprise based at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park. It is dedicated to the advancement of youth, women, and girls in STEAME as well as Aviation and Aerospace, STEAME bring an acronym that stands for Science, Technology Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Entrepreneurship. Upon qualifying as one of the first female military pilots in Botswana in 2011, Captain Kgomotoso founded Dare To Dream to inspire the next generation of leaders in science technology and innovation as well as ignite their passion to the amazing world of aviation. Dare To Dream aspires to create hubs where African excellence can be nurtured and be primed for global brilliance. The organisation aspires to be the leading organization advancing the next generation of aviation and space leaders, business aviation leaders of tomorrow not only in Botswana but across the African continent. PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUCCESS The Dare To Dream foundation has partnered with different stakeholders and corporates to establish a long lasting impact on youth, women, and girls, and to date, through their different partnerships they have impacted close to 100 000 individuals within the 10 years that they have been operating. They create a long-lasting impact on the youth through offering mentorship, work placement referrals, trainings, workshops, motivational talks, flying experience and aviation exposure. Dare To Dream also conducts airport tours, seminars, leadership and entrepreneurship boot-camps, boys’ and girls’ summits, diamond industry exposure, robotics, and coding championships (tournaments), also offering sponsorship and scholarships opportunities. A BBC Africa Documentary was filmed at Sir Seretse


Khama International Airport in partnership with Major Blue Air and impacted the lives of 20 young people. After years of success in Botswana, Dare to Dream expanded its footprint to surrounding countries, partnering with Meyers AeroConsulting LLC, a United States of America (U.S.A) based consulting firm through the Fly for STEAME Southern Africa Initiative in partnership with Jill Meyers. This initiative provides educational workshops in each of these countries: Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and impacts 10000 girls in Southern Africa. Continuing in its mission to deliver a true impact and change the narrative of youth employability and entrepreneurship in Botswana, Dare To Dream has partnership with the AIRBUS Foundation, and to date they have impacted more than 3500 students across Botswana in rural and urban areas. They are also currently rolling out the AIRBUS Discovery Space in partnership with the Stanbic Bank Accelerator Space Program which targets 1000 students and is aimed at building a passion for the science technology engineering and mathematics field. Dare To Dream continuously aims to positively impact the lives of youth, women and girls through education, networking, mentorship, and scholarships. They use the latest technological advance to inspire, and shape change by supporting the next generation of leaders in STEAME as well as Aviation and Aerospace. Dare To Dream has also launched the 3 months Youth Employability Accelerator Program in Partnership with the First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) Foundation, the FNBB Airport Junction Mall branch has enrolled 30 youth individuals (15 male and 15 female) aged between 18-35years on the entrepreneurship mentorship and employability skills. INSPIRING GROWTH FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS Edwin Molatise is a member and former mentee of Dare To Dream and is currently employed as a Creative Director. He is a Visual Communications Designer by profession. Through the Dare To Dream mentorship he was awarded the President Award for Academic Excellence, Award for Outstanding Leadership, and a Master of Science Scholarship to further his studies at Limkomkwing University in Malaysia. He met Captain Kgomotso Phatsima 4 years ago and is quick to state just how much he admired her work and what she was doing for the community. And so, he decided to reach out and joined her foundation as member and mentee. During those years he was thoroughly guided, coached, and advised as he was still a university student. Through his work experience and the guidance from Kgomotso Phatsima and Dare to Dream, he performed very well at school such that he graduated top of his class and school with academic awards and a scholarship. Edwin credits Captain Kgomotso and her team’s support and guidance for his personal and professionally as she continues to inspire, motivate, and push him for the better, aspiring to one day give back to his community in the Kgalagadi region, inspiring the next generation of creatives like him.

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Articles inside

Building African global excellence creating business leaders of tomorrow in STEAME

pages 43-46

UNGWA Africa: Cocreation of Meaningful Impact Through Leadership, Mentorship & Life-ship

pages 37-40

Agrinvestec’s Pearl Ranna champions agro-sector focused initiatives

pages 41-42

Owning the principle of charity beginning at home at Peo Legal

pages 33-34

Lesley Baleseng on championing awareness on the lives of people with disabilities

pages 35-36

These Hands Global and Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) empowers rural communities through partnerships and innovative technologies

pages 23-26

Eyelight Optometrists: providing Batswana with clearer vision

pages 27-28

BIHL Trust and the importance of sustainability for building legacies

pages 19-20

Stanbic Bank of Botswana – Leading the charge in fostering an effective SEE framework

pages 13-16

Unpacking Ski Foundation’s Breath Of Life campaign

pages 31-32

Access Bank’s Quest To Drive Colossal CSR Upon Entry Into Botswana

pages 21-22

Walk of Hope spreads the gospel of hope in communities

pages 29-30

A Glance Into MultiChoice Botswana’s Talent Factory Initiative

pages 17-18
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