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To new beginnings

Kitso Ramono

Business Botswana unveils strategies for AfCFTA gains

Last weekend, Business Botswana hosted the Northern Gala dinner at Adansonia Hotel in Francistown, providing a platform for associates and partners to network and discuss strategies for business enhancement.

The theme of the event, “African Free Continental Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): Key to Economic Growth,” underscored the significance of the recently signed trade agreement, allowing Botswana to trade tariff-free across the African continent.

The Botswana government’s commitment to the AfCFTA aligns with Business Botswana’s mission to foster economic growth and development. Neo Nwako, President of Business Botswana, urged business leaders in the northern region to capitalize on the AfCFTA, emphasizing its potential to contribute to economic expansion.

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Addressing the attendees, Nwako called for a collective commitment to positioning Botswana as a vibrant investment and trade destination. He highlighted the opportunities the AfCFTA presents, including access to a market population of over 1.3 billion people. Nwako specifically emphasized the advantages for enterprises in Francistown and the northern region.

“Francistown, strategically placed as the gateway to the north, boasts fitting infrastructure. This Special Economic Zone (SEZ) leads to markets in the city of Harare, via Bulawayo, Zambia, and further into Africa,” said Nwako. He underscored Francistown’s connectivity through road and rail links to key locations, positioning it as a crucial hub for trade and investment.

Highlighting the diverse sectors thriving in Francistown, Nwako encouraged the private sector to leverage the SEZ. The city serves as a hub for Freight and Logistics distribution, Mining Supplies, Aerospace and Aviation, and Engineering and Electronic equipment.

The Gala dinner’s guest speaker, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, urged the corporate sector to explore the development of value chains both domestically and internationally. Tsogwane emphasized that this approach could contribute to maintaining a minimum annual average rate of real GDP growth of 6% or more by 2036, with a gross national income per capita of approximately USD12,000.00.

The event served as a platform for stakeholders to not only celebrate the potential of the AfCFTA but also to foster collaboration and strategize on how Botswana’s business community can actively participate and benefit from this continental trade agreement.

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