BOCCIM returns national business conference
by Kabelo Seitshiro
Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Manpower (BOCCIM) Chief Executive Officer, Maria Machailo-Ellis, says the return of the 12th National Business Conference (NBC) marks the progress of the implementation of high level business resolutions.
She pointed out that the NBC, multi dimensional conference in the past, resulted in reforming policies and provided strategies for the benefit of the country’s developing economy. She said this year’s theme for the conference is ‘Interrogating Implementation: Why is it a challenge?’ and added that Botswana’s protracted implementation is considered to be a major impediment in the development of the economy.
“We are taking the sentiments of our members to the conference and we are the voice to the business community,” she said.
She further stated that in the previous conference resolutions, the government has shown progress in the implementation process. She pointed out that revision of Immigration Act for residence and work permits, business zoning, reviewing and developing of student’s scholarship as well as deregulation of transport sector are some of the major issues being advocated for.
Machailo-Ellis said that one area that is still a concern is the ability to expedite implementation. She added that possible reasons vary from not having efficient evaluation methods in place, limited resources, bureaucracy and lack of ownership of policies from key relevant and priority stakeholders.
“Not only is the NBC a discussion platform, it also creates an opportunity for the business community to gain insight into the future developments, network and contribute to the economic development,” she stated.
Machailo-Ellis revealed that BOCCIM is in collaboration with the government and added that President Ian Khama is expected to open the conference at which former President of Ghana, John Kufur, will be the guest speaker. She said that with a dismal economy, and ever changing market demands, over the last couple years, businesses have been challenged.
The BOCCIM CEO observed that Botswana has been recognized regionally for her public private dialogue structure and added that the NBC stands for that as it attracts dynamic individuals not only from Botswana but across the region.
“Private sector is incomplete without labour movements and civil societies and we have engaged them as part of the stakeholders. NBC is a prime example of the effectiveness of this partnership and one that continues to expand beyond expectations,” said Machailo-Ellis.
The NBC organizing committee chairperson, Thembo Lebang, revealed that his team is multi disciplinary and multi-sectoral in doing all in its powers to organize a successful conference. He stated that with the depth engagement on the theme and sub themes, the team is confident that it will get the best out of the presenters and speakers who have been lined up to address the NBC.
“We want to do the root core analysis and the theme, together with its sub themes, is a product of intense debate on the subject,” said Lebang.
He further stated that they have entrusted the coordination, facilitation and the management of the conference to E-consult Botswana and The Business Centre.
The NBC is a forum that sets a framework for sustainable development, investment, and business exploration and for the private and public sectors to dialogue on strategies for long term macroeconomic implementation.
This year’s NBC will be held on the 14?17 October 2012 at Adansonia hotel in Francistown.