BOCCIM (Botswana Confedeation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower) says they will be honouring a number of business personalities that have contributed to the growth of the organisation over the years.
BOCCIM is the country’s largest organisation, representing private sector employers.
Among those to be honoured are Mr George Kgoroba, Modiri Mbaakany and Mr Manhar Mooney.
Mr. Kgeledi Kgoroba will receive the highest honour, the Presidential Order of Honour (PH).
According to information from BOCCIM, the Presidential Order of Honour is “awarded for efficient and devoted service to the Republic of Botswana”. Three members, namely, Mr Manhar Mooney, Mr. Morteza Abkenari and Mr. Modiri Mbaakanyi, will receive the Presidential Order of Meritorious Services (PMS). The Honour is awarded to “any persons for actions or services benefiting Botswana or any community or organizations therein, in any particular field or sphere for any acts of courage or devotion to duty”.
Mr. Kgele George Kgoroba
Mr. Kgoroba did his primary and secondary education in South Africa after which he did a Primary Teachers’ Course. He later obtained a BSc in Biology from the University College of Pius XII in Lesotho in 1960. In 1979, he obtained his MSc from the University of Manitoba, Canada.
Kgoroba devoted 42 years of his life serving the Republic of Botswana, starting as a High School teacher in 1962 and retiring as a Minister in 2004. He served the Republic of Botswana with devotion, integrity, patriotism and love for the people of Botswana.
He developed the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) and served as General Secretary and as its President and Life president. He pioneered the “Smart Partnership” concept in Botswana, which formalised the working relations between the Government and the private sector. He also led BOCCIM with distinction as its President from 1991 ÔÇô 1994.
Kgoroba was specially elected to Parliament in 1994 and became a Cabinet Minister first as Minister of Trade and Industry, then as Minister of Education.
Mr. Manhar Mooney
Mr. Mooney is the longest serving BOCCIM Executive Council member. He has not only concentrated his energies on his business but has been involved in many activities of national importance. He has made his business very responsive to corporate social responsibility, donating to charity, and personally participating in many charity organizations, such as Cheshire Foundation of Botswana, Child to Child Foundation Botswana and Mogoditshane Rehabilitation Centre. He sits on the Boards of various Charitable Organisations within Botswana.
For 50 years, Mr. Mooney has engaged in a variety of business activities in Commerce, Industry, Finance, and Property Development. He is always keen to share experiences with young entrepreneurs and has published many business articles for the local media, and also several booklets of common interest to all sections of the community, distributed freely with a view to sharing experiences by extending a helping hand in social development.
Mr Abkenari is a geologist and mining engineer with 35 years of experience in mining, exploration for coloured mineral, petroleum and gas, research and development in solar energy, design, development manufacturing and marketing.
Mr. Abkenari started business in Botswana (Solar Power) in 1975 to exploit the use of Botswana’s abundant solar energy. Prior to coming to Botswana, he was Vice President of the Persian Gulf Sulfur Company. He has also worked for Persian Resources Development Co. and Pan African Petroleum.
In the early 1990’s, Mr. Abkenari carried out a one-man campaign for the formulation of a Long-Term Vision for Botswana. Government finally saw the wisdom of Mr. Abkenari’s passion and appointed him to the task force, which came up with Vision 2016.
He is currently the Chairman and CEO of the Kgaladi Resource Group of Companies, which has designed, developed, patented and produced high efficiency solar collector and composite technology in production of solar electrical geysers.
Mr. Modiri Julian Mbaakanyi
Mr. Mbaakanyi has a BA (Economics) attained from the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (1974) and MSc (Business Management) from Arthur D. Little Management Education Institute-Boston, USA (1981).
In 1976, he became director of an organization called Botswana Enterprises Development Unit (BEDU), which sought to engage Batswana as active participants in the economic development of this country. From 1981, he was elevated to lead the Department of Industrial Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as Director.
Mr. Mbaakanyi left the Public Service to join BOCCIM in 1984 and served as Director. Mr. Mbaakanyi continues to serve BOCCIM in the Board as the Vice President.
He is currently the Executive Chairman of Tswana Construction and Hemamo Investment. He also sits on several Boards of companies as a Non Executive Director.