The game changer

Kabelo Adamson
E-commerce strategy gives big hope to SMMEs

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Mmusi Kgafela is confident the soon-to-be-launched e-commerce strategy will prove a game changer for Small Micro, Medium Enterprises (SMMEs).

His optimism was based on the idea that such businesses will now have access to previously inaccessible markets, both local and international, to showcase and sell their products and services.

Giving an update on his Ministry’s performance this Monday, although he did not name an exact date, Kgafela promised the strategy would be launched ‘soon’.

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“We are addressing this challenge through Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) who are in the process of registering products and services of the SMMEs,” explained Kgafela, adding government intends to capacitate the SMMEs through various parastatals.

In addition, Kgafela revealed the Mnistry has also come up with a strategy to capacitate the middle-class so that they can have meaningful participation in the economy.

“Through the strategy, the Ministry seeks to create 100 millionaires in 10 years time,” he declared boldly.

On top of these strategies, Kgafela said they are also establishing an Entrepreneurship Development Fund which targets graduates looking to venture into business.

Meanwhile, Kgafela noted the Economic Inclusion Bill 2021, published in July, will make it easier for citizens to participate in the economy.

When reading the Bill in parliament last week, the Minister explained its objective is to establish the Economic Inclusion Office with the primary mandate of promoting effective participation of the targeted citizen in economic growth and development.

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The Bill has 14 parts that deal with various issues such as entrenchment of Citizen Empowerment in Social and Economic measures which speaks to opportunities to own productive land property; prohibiting transfers, allotting, or issue or transfer of any portion of private-sector enterprise owned and controlled by a targeted citizen to a non-citizen.

It also seeks to build capacity for private sector growth and encourage an entrepreneurial culture to promote global competitiveness for targeted citizens. This will be achieved by creating an environment that is aggressive in targeting global leaders in selected economic growth areas.

Once it is passed into law, the Bill will provide an opportunity for targeted citizens to conduct business with the state, as govt will give preference to local organisations.

In addition, the Bill covers various offenses and subsequent penalties, such as: provision of false information, misrepresentation of compliance status, and engagement in corrupt practices.

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