PRESS STATEMENT: 06 MARCH 2023, GABORONE - Government officials, institutional investors, corporate executives, environment and sustainability professionals, fund & asset managers, and many other key stakeholders in the investment space in general and green finance in particular, will convene at the Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino, on the 12th and 13th April 2023, for the Inaugural Botswana ESG and Sustainable Finance Forum 2023.
The Forum, under the theme, "Green-Growth Paradigm for Botswana ― Investment Strategies for Sustainable Value Creation", running under the hashtag, '#ESGinBotswana', the first-of-its-kind gathering in Botswana, will be hosted by the Botswana office of the MNCapital Group.
MNCapital Group is a South Africaheadquartered, Africa-focused institutional investment communications and research firm that has become synonymous with hosting high-end conferences and trainings that are specifically curated to highlight investment opportunities within the African continent, and assist institutional funds to function optimally through industry-focused training programmes like the Fund Trustees Intensive designed to provide trustees with knowledge and skills that they need to navigate their fast-paced working environment.
The #ESGinBotswana is a country-specific programme primarily developed for institutional investors and big business to come together and engage in implementable conversations that will lead to the formulation of strategies that will see the country thrive economically whilst adopting non-financial factors like the planet and people into their investment decisions.
The ESG in Africa Forum Journey
The MNCapital Group prides itself for becoming the first institutional investment communications and research firm to bring ESG-focused conversations into the African continent in the form of a conference.
On the 5th of August 2011, MNCapital hosted the first-ever ESG Conference in Africa, under the banner of, "Africa ESG Integration Forum". The Forum was held at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton, South Africa. The conference was focusing on "Integrating ESG Investment Strategies in Portfolio Management ― An Africa Perspective," and was designed to "present an opportunity for Africa's finance and investment community to meet, share, network, and discuss ESG issues in the African context.
The keynote speaker at this inaugural ESG conference in Africa, John Oliphant, then Head of Investments and Actuarial at the Government Employees Pension
Fund (GEPF) - South Africa, said, "... As long-term investors and fiduciaries, institutional investors have the responsibility to ensure that we invest in a way that promote long-term sustainability..."
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the MNCapital Group, Michael Ndinisa, said, "I am impressed by the overwhelming response and support we have received for this Forum. It's now evident that the industry is ready to implement this long-term, forward-looking investment strategy...".
At the time, the ESG conversations were around the capital markets circles and were not a huge concern, if any at all, for the corporate executives. The issues of climate change has become part of the agenda within the context of investors, governments and business in Africa, however, for a very long time, until only about a few years back, it had only been generally seen as "a good thing to do" but not necessarily something that needed to top the agenda across various boardrooms.
Now the conversations are rapidly changing, and the world is experiencing an inevitable ESG paradigm shift as external pressure for businesses to operate sustainably mounts. Now the question, now that ESG has embedded itself into the investment decision processes and the corporate strategy, can the corporate sector turn ESG into an asset? We believe that ESG is no longer just a consideration, but a business imperative, and it should play an integral part in both the corporate strategy as well as the institutional investment decision making ― and it being a business imperative, it should be viewed as a new way of doing business, meaning that businesses should continue making profits, and investors should continue getting healthy returns on their investments, only that this time around, there is a deliberate focus on the non-financial issues.
Commenting on the evolution of the ESG Conversations in Africa, as championed by the
MNCapital Group, the General Manager of MNCapital Botswana Rre Gobopaone Gasietsiwe said, "Since 2011, the Africa ESG Forum has evolved, and with be on its 9th installment in Cape Town, following the success of our post-Covid-19 pandemic offering of the same event in Mauritius last year (2022), and due to the growing need for stakeholder engagements around the ESG issues, MNCapital Group has decided to intensify its efforts of creating such platforms for these critical conversations, and hence instead of having just one (1) ESG conference that is open to the entire continent, we bring it down to the specific requirements of selected countries, and that is exactly how the Botswana ESG and Sustainable Forum has been born, and so far, the responses we are getting from the stakeholders in proof of the importance of this critical project of healing our planet, taking care of our community members, all this while we continue to build our economy."
ESG Integration is Fast Becoming Mission-Critical
The year 2020, without a doubt, changed life as we know it and ushered the world into what we have come to know as "the new normal", a world where governments, investment professionals, the corporate world, members of the communities, are in their respective ways, navigating through this bold, new world, and trying to make the best out of it.
The undeniable fact about the post-pandemic world is that environmental and social responsibility conversations have become topical, and governments as well as the corporate sector have come under immense pressure to take centre-stage in protecting the environment, as well as improving the quality of life for the members of their immediate communities, alongside realising their financial goals. These three (3) points of focus now have to go hand-in-hand.
Why Should the Corporate Sector Integrate ESG Factors?
The corporate world is at the brink of a major turning point as corporate sustainability, championed by the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework, is fast becoming a critical business imperative.
The management teams across various industries will continue to find themselves in a position where they are compelled by investors, shareholders, customers and other stakeholders to strike a balance between financial and non-financial factors, and then marry these into their companies' strategic corporate objectives. Because of this external pressure, some corporate executives might choose to dismiss the whole ESG agenda as merely an item on the list that they need to check off for the sake of appearing to be ESG compliant. This kind of approach would be amiss because the integration of ESG into the core values and principles of any business will avail valuecreation opportunities.
ESG Integration into the Institutional Investor Decision-Making
The Covid-19 wave hit while the world, particularly the emerging markets were making head-way with the tech-oriented fourth industrial revolution (4iR), with the talks of digitisation of most of the things that were previously done manually, like for example, introducing paperless banking technologies within banking and payments space, the rise of digital music and on-demand "television"; paperless offices, where one could sign-off a document digitally and send it back to the relevant recipient(s) without having to print it out, physically sign it, scan it and send back via email or fax machines. This was all done with the key benefits being, 'efficiency' and 'convenience'.
The pandemic, as it forced people to find "socially-safe" ways of going about their dayto-day businesses and activities, brought to the fore E, S and G issues, and it has since become pivotal for governments, institutional investors and the corporate sector alike, to place a special focus on the triple bottom-line (3BL), "Planet, People, and Profits".
This might sound like an easy approach ― simply place as much focus and resources on environmental and social issues as you do on Return on Investment (RoI), however, due to various factors involved in the process of making ESG a key investment decisionmaking criteria, there is a need for continued intensive trainings and stakeholder engagements as regulations evolve.
The Inaugural Botswana ESG and Sustainable Finance Forum 2023
The Inaugural Botswana ESG and Sustainable Finance Forum 2023 is designed as a meeting platform for the entire institutional and ESG ecosystem where participants will engage on best practices on ESG and formulate implementable strategies with the goal of aligning, planet, people and profits. We have invited participants form two key groups, namely key players and stakeholders of Banking and Finance as well as The Corporate Sector. These include, but not limited to;
Banking and Finance
• Environmentalists / ESG Practitioners
• Fund / Asset Management Consultants and Managers
• Government Officials / Representatives
• Green Entrepreneurs
• Industry Regulators
• Institutional Investors (Pension Funds, Insurance Companies, DFIs)
• Legal Practitioners
• Private Capital
The Corporate Sector
• Banking and Payments
• Consumer Goods
• Oils and Gas
• Real Estate
• Retail and Apparel
• Technology, Media, Telecoms
• Travel and Tourism
• Adrian Bertrand, Co-Founder and Practice Head, Six Capitals ESG Advisory, South Africa
• Andrey Bogdanov, Chief Executive Officer, Insight Risk, South Africa
• Elias Masilela SOB, Executive Chairman, DNA Economics, South Africa
• Gomolemo Lolo Madikgetla, Founder, Ungwa Africa, Botswana
• Kay Malela, ESG and Impact Manager, Norsad Capital, Botswana
• Khumoetsile Sekucha, Deputy Director: Credit, First National Bank Botswana Limited
• Lesego Keitsile, Head of Investments, Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund
• Lindiwe Mafavuneh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LCM Capital, Botswana
• Michael Ndinisa, Group Chief Executive Officer, MNCapital Group, South Africa
• Mothusi Mbole, Risk and Compliance Manager, Minet Retirement Solutions, Botswana
• Nature Mogotsi, Expert Risk Manager, Conference Speaker, Columinist
• Rodney Ndamba, Chief Executive, Institute for Sustainability Africa (INSAF)
• Mpho Leteane, Legal and Governance Manager, Morupule Coal Mine, Botswana
• Teboho Makhabane, Head of ESG and Impact, Sanlam Investments, South
• Thapelo Tsheole, Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Stock Exchange
• Xolisa Dhlamini, Managing Executive for Distribution, Sanlam Corporate, South
Issued by MNCapital Botswana
205 on Independence
Contact: Gobopaone Gasietsiwe, General Manager
Tell: +267 316 4166