Positive strides

Baitshepi Sekgweng

UNDP’s Supplier Development Programme bearing fruits

The ATISA Supplier Development Programme (SDP) continues to bear fruits in its mission to create opportunities for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to increase their competitiveness and connect with larger markets locally and abroad.

The programme is the brainchild of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cahoots with the government of Botswana, private sector and the civil society. It seeks to develop sustainable solutions to meet global and national development challenges.

In support of this, UNDP Botswana partnered with govt and the private sector, led by Botswana Chamber of Mines and Business Botswana, to implement the programme.

ATISA SDP unites buyers, suppliers and UNDP certified consultants in a platform which creates an effective supply chain.

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Held under the theme ‘Effective and inclusive supply chains for a robust private sector’ this year’s edition brought together project stakeholders to share milestones and explore partnership opportunities.

Established in 2018, the total number of participants in UNDP’s SDP is 11 buyers, 175 SMEs which include 51 from the Youth Connekt and 45 citizen consultants.

The target was to create an average of five new jobs per SMEs. However, so far just over three jobs per SME have been achieved, making a grand total of 554 against the original goal of 875.

Delving deeper into the numbers, an initial target was set to increase the SMEs exportation rate by 10 percent – currently, they all falling way short of this, managing just a two percent increase.

It was further revealed that during the Covid-19 pandemic, 18 of the SMEs went bust.

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As for the positives, it was hoped that half the SMEs would improve their annual revenue by at least five percent. In fact, this was actually achieved by three-in-four of the businesses.

Praising the UNDP for their continued support, Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare, said, “It’s a welcome development that the SDP support footprint will expand next year since its expected to rollout to businesses owned by youth and women. In the first year of the programme, 17 percent of entities enrolled as suppliers were youth owned while 18 percent were women owned.”

The programme currently focuses on sectors of: mining, agro processing, infrastructure, energy, leather, textiles, health, digital and manufacturing.

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“This programme has strengthened local product and service diversification, value chains and job creation in several locations. We are also exploring how Zambia and Botswana can develop a regional value chain programme, a form of South-South Cooperation facilitated by the UNDP,” said resident representative of UNDP Botswana, Bydr Balazs Horvath.

Some of the SDP suppliers outcomes include: increased sales, increase in staff, more products and market diversification, on-time deliveries, quality products and increased access to funding.

Amongst others, SDP buyers include: Morupule Coal Mine, Lucara Botswana, Khoemacau Copper Mine, Botswana Ash, Kromberg & Schubert, Cresta Group, Squaremart, Choppies Group of Companies, Grand Palm and National Agro Processing Plant.

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