Government says it is proud of the success and growth of the private sector, which mirror its own success in creating sound economic policies and a vibrant business climate.
Dr Gloria Somolekae, the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, said this when she officially opened the Game City Branch of Barclays Bank of Botswana. She said that government sees the private sector as a valuable development partner.
Somolekae said it has always been government’s policy to provide an environment in which the private sector can grow and thrive, relieving it of the burden of providing some services.
“Our decision to scale back involvement in certain areas, as spelt out in the Privatisation Policy, should be seen as vote of confidence in Botswana’s private sector,” she said.
She added that government decided to heave off certain services, after consulting stakeholders, but also after careful analysis of the business environment.
Somolekae said the financial services sector, the space that Barclays Bank operates in, is critical to the well functioning of any economy. It can make or break an economy.
“As Gaborone turns into a destination for international diamond dealers and as new downstream industries open, the role of the banking sector will be critical in ensuring the successful development of Botswana’s diamond industry,” said Somolekae.
Further, she said that as government continues its drive to attract Foreign Direct Investment into Botswana, an essential consideration for investors will continue to be reliability of the banking system.
With increased diamond trading activities that will take place in Botswana from next year, the capital city is set to transform into a world diamond centre, Somolekae added.
Barclays Bank Botswana interim Managing Director, Aupa Monyatsi, revealed that the Game City branch has premier, prestige and standard points of services with longer business trading hours.
“This branch marks yet another chapter in the story of Barclays Bank’s long presence in Botswana, which dates back to 1950 with an agency in Lobatse,” said Monyatsi.
He said from that single agency, today Barclays Bank of Botswana employs over 1,200 people and services customers across the country through a network of 101 ATMs and 47 outlets.
“We will continue to be the leading bank in the country in terms of the market share and we are fully up to the standard in terms of service and security,” he said.