Focus on Manufacturing

Kitso Ramono
HOPEFUL & THANKFUL: Gare & Moleele

Business Botswana CEO urges businesses to prioritise local production of goods

The Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare has urged local businesses and exhibitors who attended the 27th Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair in Francistown to focus on industrialization and manufacturing of end products to create jobs and boost the economy through value addition.

Gare stated that this year’s theme of “Promoting Economic Diversification Through Industrialization is in accordance with the ministry’s vision for the economy.

“We need to industrialize because it will help us stop importing goods from outside the country that we can make here at home.” We have raw materials in our country, but when it comes to adding value, we are doing nothing since we export raw materials, thereby exporting jobs to other countries and boosting their economies.

Using diamonds and cattle as examples, Gare stated that the country has resources, but in terms of sectors that make end goods from those resources and add value to the economy, Botswana is lagging behind.

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Gare went on to suggest that disruptive business models must be adopted in order to achieve economic industrialization.

“When I was the Minister of Agriculture, we took a controversial decision to ban the importation of some fresh produce, and I believe there is a need to continue taking controversial decisions to encourage our citizens to produce their own products rather than import what we can do in our backyard,” Gare explained.

The Minister also pleaded with exhibitors not to just come to the trade fair, but to collaborate and come up with ideas that would help raise the economy through industrialization, as this would provide benefits such as job opportunities and increase the country’s GDP.

In his remarks, Business Botswana CEO, Norman Moleele stated that this year’s fair has enjoyed a significant increase in private company involvement compared to previous events.

“There are 87 private companies among the 120 exhibitors at the fair and 27 were under the supervision of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), indicating a tremendous progress in the private sector, which I hope will continue next year,” said Moleele.

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