FRANCISTOWN: Homegrown life insurer, Bona Life Insurance Limited on Friday celebrated the opening of its second branch here.
Officially opening the branch, the city mayor Silvia Muzila, said the opening of the branch is a welcome development, as it will help stimulate the city’s economy. “The City of Francistown being the gateway to the rest of Africa, we strive to attract the private sector to invest here through our vision 2022,” she said. Muzila disclosed that they are working tirelessly to complement the efforts of government to diversify the economy from the traditional revenue sources of diamonds, beef and agriculture to other sustainable sectors such as manufacturing, tourism and financial services.
She however added that the global economic crunch continues to place strain on economies around the world and Botswana is no exception. She said the need for individuals to reduce the burden on governments by creating security for themselves through viable enterprises, life insurance, pensions and general savings has become greater than ever before.
“I am pleased that the financial services sector has contributed to the much needed diversification with the various banks, micro-lenders, pension funds, medical aids, asset managers and insurance companies. Undoubtedly this progress has changed the quality of lives of many Batswana but as with all good things, there are some unintended consequences,” said Muzila. The mayor said the financial sector has remained very formal covering the formally employed and banked people but excluding the informal sector and those that are self employed or partially employed.
She however said the challenge is to encourage the business ventures that can offer financial solutions to the informal or excluded sector.
“We are proud of this company because it’s a citizen owned company. Almost all of the financial services companies are South African owned therefore most of their profits are repatriated denying the opportunity to reinvest that money in further developing the country,” said Muzila. Muzila said it should be noted that Bona Life already provides employment for nearly 20 permanent employees and a network of over 200 life insurance agents in banks, retailers and brokers, with nearly 20 of those in Francistown. “I call on Batswana to work closely with Bona Life by embracing contractual savings such as life insurance, annuities and pensions as these will shape their lives and those of future generations,” Muzila said.
Bona Life’s business development manager Keaobaka Ramolemoge said their company has been established to offer solid financial advice, dignity, stability and security to Batswana.