Competition Authority Holds Annual Competition Conference

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Regina Sikalesele-Vaka, the Chief Executive Officer of Bramer Life Insurance (Pic By

Regina Sikalesele-Vaka, the Chief Executive Officer of Bramer Life Insurance (Pic By

The Competition Authority will hold the Fourth Annual National Competition Conference at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Thursday 26th March, 2015. The conference runs under the theme ‘’Competition and the Supply Chain’’. The conference will be officially opened by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse.

According to the competition body, the conference is aimed at creating a platform for the Competition Authority and the Competition Commission to engage with key stakeholders. It will draw participants from business, tourism, agriculture, labour, non-governmental organisations, civil society, government, academia and participants from the political sphere.

The keynote address will be delivered by Regina Sikalesele-Vaka, the Chief Executive Officer of Bramer Life Insurance. Sikalesele-Vaka is an accomplished leader, a woman of many ‘firsts’ who has earned her stripes in both the public and private sector. Sikalesele-Vaka, a lawyer by training, has led the Motor Vehicle and Accident Fund (MVA) and in the process becoming the youngest CEO and only female CEO in the parastatal sector at the time.

When she left the Fund, she rose to the pinnacle and became the first female and first citizen CEO of Botswana Life, and subsequently Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL). Lately, Sikalesele-Vaka brought national joy when as the Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games she led a team that successfully hosted the 2nd All African Youth Games in Gaborone, the biggest spectacle ever to be hosted in the country. Sikalesele-Vaka will share her thoughts on the state of competition on the supply chain in the Botswana market.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Competition Authority, Thula Kaira, will lead his team to introduce the mandate of the Competition Authority and what the Authority has achieved since April 2011. This conference will hear about the impact that the interventions made by the Competition Authority and the Competition Commission have had on the economy.

This year’s conference is structured into three panel discussions. The first panel discussion will feature Botswana’s giant chain store leaders such as Sefalana, Choppies, Spar and Woolworths; and representatives will discuss the state of competition in their sphere of business. The second panel discussion would see producers such as Millers Association of Botswana, Botswana Exporters and Manufacturing Association and the Consumer Watchdog critique the supply chain in the Botswana market. In this panel, the discussants would share their thoughts on the topic: Is Botswana’s supply chain sufficiently open for business to compete or it is closed?

There would be no supply chain to talk of without considering public procurement. Government and public funded bodies handle tenders worth billions of pula and these are accessed through long and often complex supply chain networks. To understand competition in this critical area the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board, BOCCIM and the Competition Authority would each help to unpack the maze of public procurement and how it adds value to the supply chain and facilitate competition.

To ensure that the panel discussions are not just a talking shop, there would be plenary discussions which would result in the conference adopting resolutions to further the horizons of competition in Botswana. This conference is about improving and building on the nation’s competition culture.

Proceedings will take place from 8am to 5pm. Contact Gideon Nkala at 71900900 for enquiries.

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