Cashing in

Baitshepi Sekgweng
ASSISTANT MINISTER: Beauty Manake

SMMEs made over half-a-mill at US-Africa Business Summit

Two months on from the US-Africa Business Summit, the trickle-down effects of the four-day gathering continue to be felt.

Held at the Royal Aria Convention Centre in Tlokweng from 11 – 14 July, the business-focused event attracted 1, 331 participants from the United States and across the African continent.

This included high-ranking government officials, private sector executives, investors and multilateral stakeholders.

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While the transport and hospitality sectors made the most of the influx of international visitors, with taxi operators, hotel and lodge owners and food caterers all cashing in, the Pula also drizzled in for Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) exhibiting at the summit.

A total of P586, 136 was recorded in sales from 40 local manufacturers under the #PushaBw marketplace.

Giving the media feedback last week, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Beauty Manake, stressed the figures were testament at what SMMEs can achieve at events of this nature.

“A significant number of contacts and leads were generated, totaling 17 companies in diverse sectors such as mining, ICT, manufacturing and health. Currently, four of those companies are on the ground on fact-finding missions to learn more about the opportunities presented during the summit.”

Manake further revealed some SMMEs were still working on orders placed at the summit, including two wooden sculptures by an American client worth P70, 000, baskets of different sizes worth P20, 000 and traditional pottery order from a local hotel at the value of P10, 500.

“We believe that our local businesses will continue to tap into the market access opportunity opened for them and we will continue to facilitate and encourage them to carry on improving product and service quality as well as adopting and availing electronic paying methods to cater for the international market,” added Manake.

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P19 million was required to host the summit, with government forking out P8.2 million while the rest was sourced from the private sector and local corporates.

“There are immense opportunities to grow the tourism sector, especially VIP accommodation and leisure, which are central to being a premier host. Further, there are opportunities in developing the value chains in the event sector, which are youth-centric such as, interpretation, protocol and event management services in an effort to curb youth unemployment. Public-Private Partnerships remain critical for the development of this country,” concluded the Assistant Minister.

Cashing in
BITC CEO: Keletsotsitse Olebile

For his part, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, noted the summit as timely, coming at a point when Botswana is embracing the Reset Agenda, which calls for a change in mindset at both individual and institutional levels.

“The successful planning and execution of the US-Africa Business Summit is proof of what can be accomplished through collaborations and integration of efforts from all sectors, including the public and private sectors, media, and all Batswana, towards achieving economic goals,” declared Olebile.

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