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Laurettah Sibanda, an entrepreneur in Botswana building a successful construction and real estate development company

The world of building and construction is a tough one to break into, but one entrepreneur in Botswana is doing just that. Laurettah Sibanda, founder of Atlantis Construction Group and Developments (Pty) Ltd, is building a reputation for quality project delivery and a great approach to service. 

What does your company do?

Atlantis Construction Group & Developments is a full service building contracting company offering services from architecture, residential and commercial building and construction, renovations and maintenance. In addition to general construction, the company is also involved in real estate development with a particular focus on residential developments.

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Charlene Van Riet-Lowe, an entrepreneur bringing a new approach to dispute resolution in Botswana

Resolving disputes between communities, individuals and businesses can be a difficult process, and one that requires specialist advice and skills. In Botswana, Mediation Mechanics, founded by entrepreneur Charlene Van Riet-Lowe, is one company bringing its wealth of experience and expertise to help its clients to find solutions to their disputes. 

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What does your company do?

Mediation Mechanics is a ‘first of its kind’ in Botswana, disrupting the market some say.
It is an ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Practice, providing mediation, conciliation, and arbitration to the community, businesses and individuals. We are educating and creating awareness around the dispute resolution options, other than traditional methods. Litigation is widely used to resolve disputes and is the traditional method and what people know. At Mediation Mechanics, we inform our clients that there are other methods to resolve disputes in a way that build relationships and create opportunities to better understand the other party’s situation. This approach allows for a unique solution to be found, and the opportunity to build relationships based on understanding and empathy. Our success rate and results speak for themselves. We have created a ‘win-win’ for both parties to a dispute. From family and divorce mediation, to workplace, construction and community mediation, we have over 100 years of experience amongst our founding members.

What inspired you to start your company?

My story! I studied law a long time ago and decided that I didn't want to practice as I realized very early after graduation that the law I wanted to practice was a myth. There  were no winners in court, only emotionally, financially and physically affected people. And, there were a lot of Pyric victories. i.e. no winners at all! Years later I stumbled across mediation in my personal life and I had my ‘Ah-ha’ moment. I asked myself why more people were not using this amazing process to resolve their disputes? So I decided to find out more and got myself accredited and skilled and started Mediation Mechanics. It’s been the most amazing 12 months thus far. I love how I am able to make a difference to people each and every day in their personal life as well as at work, school, and in their communities. I am imparting skills that they are able to use in each and every facet of their lives. It’s been a WOW!.

Source: Lionesses of Africa

More Fun Facts About Botswana

Botswana is a country located in the southern part of the African continent. For the most part, Botswana has a flat landscape and is about 80% covered by the Kalahari desert. Mostly unknown to tourists visiting Africa, but nonetheless Botswana has a lot to offer its visitors.

Botswana is home to the worlds biggest concentration of African elephants, of which the highest concentration is to be found in Chobe National Park. Especially during the dry season large herds of Elephants make their way to the river banks of the Chobe river.

The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world. It’s a beautiful oasis in the Kalahari desert, whose waters start flowing from the highlands of Angola all the way over the sands of the Kalahari desert. The Delta gives life to many forms of life which seems to be unexpected in the middle of a desert.   The Okavango Delta became the 1000th inscribed site on the World Heritage List of Unesco in 2014.

The Makgadigadi pan is one of the largest salt pan areas in the world, stretching over an area of 12.000 km2. The climate in the area is harsh, very hot and with little rain. When it rains, the pan can change into a blue lake attracting many animals including flamingos.

English is the official language of the country, it is taught at schools, and is widely spoken in all urban centres. Even in rural areas, many local villagers (especially younger ones who have received schooling) will be able to converse in English. However, Setswana is the national language and the most spoken language throughout the country.

The currency used is called Pula and is divided into Thebe. In Setswana (the local language) this means rain and shield.

The Border between Botswana and Zambia is only 150 meters which makes it the shortest border in the world. You cross between the 2 countries via the Kazungula ferry.

Botswana is the worlds biggest diamond producing country in terms of value and the second biggest in terms of production. They produce about 17,7% of the total world production of diamonds. Diamonds count for nearly half of the governments value. Furthermore, diamond revenues enables every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13.

The current president, Ian Khama, is the son of Botswana’s first president after independence, Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, who is of British origin. He was born in 1953 in England while his parents were in exile in the UK due to their interracial marriage.

Source: The Travelling Chilli


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