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BW host Africa small business exporters

Portia Mlilo

Business Botswana (BB) held the 5th Prosperity Africa Small Business Exporters Conference in Gaborone last week.

The three-day conference, which attracted over 70 international delegates, is designed to equip start-ups, SMME’s and corporates with the capabilities needed to compete continentally.

Addressing participants at the event, BB President, Gobusamang Keebine encouraged them to be innovative when tackling obstacles.

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He also urged them use the conference to actively expand their networks and uncover new business opportunities.

“SMMEs comprise over 70 percent of our membership. Therefore, one of our strategic areas of focus is SMME development and capacitation, an imperative pillar in the growth and development of our economy. We will continue engaging and advocating for effective and innovative policies geared towards growing and capacitating SMMEs,” declared Keebine.

For her part, Assistant Minister of Trade and Investment, Beauty Manake said small businesses are the heartbeat of market economies, employing a sizeable number of youth.

“They contribute directly and indirectly to the livelihoods of the population,” noted Manake.

The assistant minister commended the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) for providing an opportunity for SMEs to grow, to the point where they can impact significantly on Africa’s future.

“The full implementation of the agreement will enable SMEs to be catalysts to dynamic and healthy industrial development by contributing more to provision of much needed jobs, income generation and ultimately poverty eradication. It is clear that with supporting policies and relevant interventions, SMEs can contribute significantly to a country’s economic diversification efforts, especially for African countries whose dominant mining sectors often come with capital-intensive productions,” mentioned Manake.

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Meanwhile, the President of Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), Kebour Ghenna noted the conference gives the chance for face-to-face interaction with executives and government officials across Africa.

The esteemed Ethiopian explained discussions centre around: finance, digital business, gender issues in business, expanding trade relationships and more.

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