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BECI launches long term insurance instrument

Kabelo Adamson

Botswana Export Credit Insurance (BECI), a subsidiary of Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has launched a new product into the market.

The company has now brought into the market the Medium and Long Term Credit Insurance having been operating in the short-term space since establishment.

Speaking at the launch recently, BECI Managing Director Cowell Habana noted that the insurer’s mandate and strategy is aligned is aligned to government efforts for export development, a pillar which is also highlighted in the 2020/2021 Budget speech delivered a fortnight ago.

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“We give it a priority based on the need to diversify the economy of our country,” said Habana, adding that the second goal of BECI is financial sustainability.

According to Habana, BECI pioneered export trade insurance which allows enterprises to break into the export market and create new frontiers.

“To this end our government never suffered any losses due to the cover provided by BECI and it would not have been possible had it not been responsible underwriting by the BECI team” highlighted Habana.

Habana said he was proud that BECI is finally taking its underwriting to a new level by introducing the Medium and Long Term Credit insurance.

Currently the Export and Credit Insurance of 1997 is being reviewed which will see BECI’s products increase to include outward investments insurance and the Medium and Long Term Credit Insurance.

In rolling out the insurance instrument, BECI seeks to collaborate with other relevant stakeholders like Business Botswana and Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA).

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“We also work with other related institutions that provide complimentary services that we offer such as Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC).”

Habana has advised local enterprises to take up the new products that are being rolled into the market and grow into the continent and take advantage of the Africa Continent Free Trade Agreement set to take off in June this year.

One other objective of the Medium and Long Term Credit Insurance according to Habana is that it will close the financial inclusion gap.

“The Medium and Long Term Credit Insurance goes a long way in supporting financial inclusion and one the challenges facing our businesses is inability to secure funding because of collateral challenges,” said Habana, adding he is confident the new product will fill-up this gap.

Habana explained that the comprehensive policy frameworks for the new products were not done overnight, and were in fact drafted as far back as 2013.

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“This was done in accordance with the best international practices and I can confirm that as BECI we are ready to implement these new products,” Habana said proudly, describing them as game changers in the financing and insurance solution value chain.

BECI was established back in 1996 as a credit insurer wholly owned by Botswana Development Corporation (BDC).

The company basically develops and provides businesses with trade credit insurance policies to protect them against the risk of non-payment by credit customers.

Since inception, BECI has been in excess of P22 million as claims to clients.

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