On 14 November 2022, Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) and Absa Bank Botswana, in their shared commitment to drive socio-economic development in Botswana through Citizen Economic Empowerment; signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) affording, citizen-owned MCM Business Partners, an opportunity to access funding through a P500 Million pledge by the Bank. In consideration of the current economic climate where SMEs have been hardest hit, MCM and Absa remain committed to empowering and supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Botswana, with the potential for scale and growth beyond the country’s borders.
SMEs continue to serve as an engine of growth in Botswana’s economy and have increasingly assumed a greater role towards the economic development and recovery of the national economy. Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) has been at the centre of this paradigm shift and remains a key driver in enabling innovation and job creation by Batswana for Batswana. The signing of the MoU between MCM and Absa, underpin the confidence that the two entities have in the unlocked potential that citizen-owned SMEs possess in furthering their contribution to Botswana’s economic growth. SME’s face challenges such as lack of access to market and of access to funds and the opportunities presented through the MoU will directly address.
Morupule Coal Mine Chief Executive Officer, Edwin Elias when speaking to the partnership shared that, “As we take on the global realm of the energy sector as a sustainably profitable business, delivering value to our stakeholders is at the heart of why we exist and what we do. Beyond our employee value propositions, we have been intentional in setting up our Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme that speaks to our citizen-owned business partners. We see ourselves growing together with partners such as Absa Bank Botswana, as we share in the values and collective promise of Achieving Prosperity for All Batswana as espoused in Vision 2036”.
“In recognising the role those local businesses play at Absa Bank Botswana, enterprise development is one of our top priorities. As part of our Citizenship agenda, we remain committed to helping local businesses find a way to get things done by strengthening the skills, capabilities and processes that support them. We have funded over half a billion worth of assets to SMEs within the mining and retail industry value chains. This has led to over 1000 jobs directly created through the SMEs funded. Moreover, we have actively contributed to training 3,300 SMEs through various trainings provided. We look forward to the opportunities that our partnership with Morupule Coal Mine brings to the SME industry. We remain committed and steadfast in taking big and purposeful actions to support their growth.” said Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane, Managing Director, Absa Bank Botswana Limited.
As part of the Bank’s commitment to improving the long-term sustainability of SMEs, the Enterprise and Supply Chain Development (ESD) programme will also provide capacity building to SMEs. This includes support through mentoring, coaching, training, and expert support. Moreover, SMEs have access and usage of the ESD Centre’s meeting rooms, workstations, internet, and office equipment such as photocopiers, telephones, and fax machines, which the Bank hopes will ensure that SMEs have the requisite basic infrastructure and needs to operate day to day.
Absa Bank Botswana and Morupule Coal Mine continue to leverage opportunities to support and fund more citizen-owned companies, in line with citizen empowerment agendas. To date, the partnership has assisted nine SME’s in their respective journeys. The facilities approved include Commercial Asset Financing, Overdrafts and Purchase Order financing.
“Absa Bank Botswana is more than a bank. We are a partner for growth in the long term, dedicated to supporting local enterprises through their journeys. We are dedicated to finding purposeful and strategic solutions to bring possibilities to life,” concluded Pheko-Moshagane.