Statistics Botswana (SB) made a courtesy call on the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) on the 15th October 2019 in order to discuss possible ways of collaboration for data sharing. The team comprised Statistician General, Director- DSMIS, Acting Director- Economic Statistics and Senior Statistician- SBR. The CIPA officials that attended the meeting were Mr. Conductor Masena the Registrar General (RG) and six members of the Executive Committee.
The SG briefed the meeting on the mandate and work of SB. He indicated that the main reason for the visit to CIPA was to get a better understanding of their work and discuss how their data obtained from registering companies could possibly be used to continually update the Statistics Business register. He advised the meeting that the Statistical Business Register provides the sampling frame for business surveys and is very critical database towards the collection of economic statistics survey data.
The RG also briefed the meeting on the mandate and work of CIPA. In addition, other members of the CIPA provided additional information on the different areas of work of the organization including registration of trade names; registration of companies; registration intellectual property; responsibility for copyrights and other areas. On the main area of interest for SB, CIPA outlined that;
- Following the passing of relevant legislation CIPA embarked on an exercise to register and re-register companies. The online re-registration started June this year and it is expected to be complete by June next year. All those companies which have not re-registered by June 2020 will be struck off the register as they will be perceived not to exist.
- This exercise is generating a new database on companies and up to the present day approximately 75000 companies have been registered.
- The required data for registration include the company name; names of directors; physical address; contact details; beneficial ownership information and other information.
- CIPA has established a unique identifier for all business establishments in Botswana that are registered with the organization. The identifier is to be used by all authorities which have business dealings. CIPA has collaborated and interfaced with a number of organizations which include Omang office, LEA, DIS, DCEC, BURS, and PPADB.
Both agencies agreed that it was appropriate and would be mutually beneficial to collaborate particularly on making arrangement for SB to access company registration data online for purposes of updating the SB Business register.
As a way forward there would be a technical team to discuss the details of data exchange thereby identifying variables of interest as well as establishing possibilities of interfacing the data systems and possible collaboration in terms of drawing and signing an MOU.