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Mixed fortunes for Botswana at World Expo

Baitshepi Sekgweng
BITC CEO: Olebile

Having set a target of US$100 million for local diamonds, Botswana has already managed to surpass that margin just from one online auction sale

Botswana has noted mixed results at the on-going World Exposition dubbed Expo 2020 Dubai with local artworks recording low sales while diamonds registered impressive sales.

Staged in United Arab Emirates and having started in October, Botswana has raked close to P86, 000 from the sales of leather works, artworks and jewellery.

Despite a slow start in sales over the two-month period for artworks, Botswana managed to make a bump sale of local diamonds worth US$110 million through an auction.

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According to Botswana Investments and Trade Centre Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile the best sellers at the Botswana Pavilion include mostly recycled paper pencils, walking sticks, tiny mask key rings as well as ostrich egg shell bracelets.

“Sales started on a low note more so that people are yet to get used to the products but they are picking almost every day due to word of mouth and people getting to discover our pavilion. This is not only about showcasing these goods but securing markets for them,” explained Olebile.

According to Olebile, all the artworks currently showcased at the Exposition were procured from ordinary Batswana by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development at the value of P900, 000.

Having set a target of US$100 million for local diamonds, Botswana has already managed to surpass that margin just from one online auction sale.

“The highlight of the month of October remains the diamond auction where we basically dedicated a day for viewing of our rough diamonds to generate interest. We managed to sell for US$110 million, they tell us it’s rare to sell that much during a typical diamond auction and to exceed US$100 million in one scoop,” said Olebile.

With the month of October having been dedicated to mining, mining processes, jewellery and fashion, November activities included a showcase of Botswana’s innovations and inventions.

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The month of December is dedicated to Arts and Crafts while January and February will entail showcases of Tourism experiences and Botswana foods.

With more than 190 countries at the exposition Botswana is bound to benefit a lot from value proposition sector roundtables and trade and investment conference on the 13th of March 2022 in what is dubbed Botswana National Day.

“At the end of the festivities there will be another 12 months where the organisers and United Arab Emirates will give us an opportunity to showcase our innovative Small Medium and Micro Enterprises to cultivate their access to the Arab market,” said Olebile.

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