With the government continuing to improve the doing business environment in the country, cooperatives and Batswana at large have been urged to reflect on the cooperatives’ model, their contribution and what they represent.
Investment, Trade and Industry Minister, Vincent Seretse, told an International Cooperatives Day held in Selebi Phikwe that in this era, Cooperatives can no longer be run like social clubs, but rather like any business entity with all the requisite elements, as espoused in the Botswana Cooperative Transformation Strategy.
According to Seretse, the country’s cooperative transformation strategy aims to develop new generation cooperatives, which are autonomous, vibrant, competitive and profitable despite competition in the market.
Some of the elements of a vibrant and competitive cooperative embedded in the strategy, Seretse said, include cooperative branding, cooperative growth pillars and linkages.
He added that other elements are cooperative financing and insurance, encouraging youth participation in cooperatives, corporate governance and member participation and commitment.
The Trade and Investment Minister said government is doing everything within its power to ensure that the doing business environment is improved.
He said the government continues to improve the doing business environment and develop strategies and policies to facilitate enterprise development and growth.
“Strategies and policies being developed to facilitate enterprise development and growth include the Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy, Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) strategy, Industrial Development Policy and market access both regionally and globally,” he said.
Seretse further implored the cooperative enterprises to take advantage of the different initiatives to grow their enterprises.
He said the Botswana cooperative transformation strategy presents an opportunity for cooperatives to develop their enterprises to be competitive.
Seretse said the transformation strategy will give cooperatives an edge to participate in economic development by benefiting from initiatives such as the Cooperative Financing Model developed by the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA).
According to the United Nations (UN)’s statistics, one out of every six people in the world is either a member or a client of a cooperative.
Statistics further state that there are 2.5 million cooperatives employing 12.6 million people worldwide, with an asset base of $19.6 trillion generating annual revenue of $2.9 trillion.