The managing director of Legae Investors Dr Kathy O'Connell has advised people to join investment clubs and diversify their risks by buying shares in different companies. She said many people in Botswana do not know much about shares and bonds.
She urged those who want to invest to seek advise and information about shares from the relevant people. O'Connell was speaking at a Women in Investment Portfolio Holdings (WIPHOLD) breakfast meeting at Phakalane on Wednesday. The meeting was meant to sensitise and provide information to women in business so that they can make informed decisions regarding investment opportunities. A WIPHOLD official from Johannesburg, Tryphosa Ramano described how women have come a long way as drivers of the economy in South Africa. The WIPHOLD chief financial officer said after the birth of apartheid in 1948, black women were the most disadvantaged in South Africa. She said that after the end of apartheid, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) became handy assisting those previously disadvantaged.
She said in 1994, WIPHOLD was founded with R500,000 by four successful women corporate executives. It was dedicated to women's empowerment. Its assets have now grown over R5 million. Ramano said that WIPHOLD came about as a product of African National Congress (ANC) gender policy and provides opportunities for talented young women.
She added that women empowerment has been legislated under the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act. She is happy that women make 45 percent of the South African cabinet while others have made it as ambassadors, premiers and mayors. She said every company registered in South Africa must comply with BEE and have 20 percent women in management. She said world class companies seeking to invest in the country are required to do the same.
Not only is WIPHOLD into financial services, it is a player in strategic investments such as tourism and gaming, property and telecommunications. It has invested in Stellenbosch University.
Ramano said former president Nelson Mandela once said that freedom cannot be achieved unless women are empowered. His successor Thabo Mbeki said that women can be empowered through education, skills and information so that they can participate meaningfully in the economy. She quoted a newspaper article that stated that China or India are not the next biggest economies but women are.
Bomolemo Selaledi from First National Bank Botswana said being a woman in business has never been easy. However, she advised women not to be afraid to take risks. She said that many women have succeeded in adversity. The participants at the meeting came from different financial and investment institutions.