The Botswana Stock Exchange is advocating for the introduction of financial training in schools for the improvement of financial knowledge in Botswana.
As part of its annual activities, the BSE continue to host “open days” across the country with the latest held in the capital Gaborone over the past week.
Speaking at the open day held at Travel Lodge, the Chief Executive Officer at BSE, Thapelo Tsheole said, “It is not surprising that the level of understanding of the stock market is generally low in Botswana as traditionally the education system has been mainly focused on subjects that are not stock market related.”
To drive his point home, Tsheole gave an example of a book titled ‘Shaka Zulu’ which is still read at schools but has no value addition to students.
The call by the BSE for a consideration of financial literacy training in basic education comes at a time when a vast majority, even amongst the educated populace in Botswana, does not have basic understanding of financial principles.
Speaking at the same event, the Minister of employment, labour productivity and skills development, Tshenolo Mabeo said that the BSE open day theme is particularly important looking at the challenges of low financial literacy levels that still exist in Botswana.
“I am happy that now there is a momentum to learn more about investment opportunities that exist in the stock market and that there are platforms such as this one that facilitate that learning,” said Mabeo.
Meanwhile the BSE stated that there are lots of myths and misconceptions that are associated with the stock market, both on the listing and investment side. As some people believe that stock market is for the wealthy in some instances, foreign owned companies and this myth can be supported by a number of home-grown Botswana companies that have not explored the prospect of capital raising on the BSE.
Head of market development of BSE Thapelo Moribame says they want a lot of Batswana to participate by investing in different securities that they have at BSE. About 33 companies are currently listed on both the domestic and foreign equity boards of the local bourse.
Moribame said that they are advocating for a bigger and better stock market, more functioning and understanding what the stock market is really about.
“We are also improving on our training, I think in the next couple of years you will see us coming up with training academy so that we get a lot of people coming as to increase understanding,” Moribame said.