Government’s investment arm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has disbursed a total of P706 million in the year 2019/2020 for investments, against a record P753million achieved in the previous year.
During the period under review, BDC maintained strong momentum from the previous year delivering significant returns and new business for the Corporation and the P706million represented one of the highest disbursements achieved in the Corporation’s history.
Appearing before Parliamentary Committee, BDC Managing Director (MD) Cross Kgosidiile stated that the achievement, though grand in itself, fell short of the target of P1billion set at the start of the year. He said the shortfall on target was brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic which caused delayed pipeline conversion in the second half of the financial year.
“The Corporation remains optimistic in the plans and projects in the pipeline and the ability to convert these to revenue and profits for the Corporation,” he said.
Quizzed on the main projects and sectors disbursed, he spoke of services sector, mining services, property and healthcare. Kgosidiile stated that an investment of P239million was disbursed towards one of Southern Africa’s leading manufacturing, supply and distribution companies based in Botswana. He added that the company’s product range consists of fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, liquor, building materials and equipment. On mining services he stated that the corporation made a follow-on investment of P80million towards a coal mining and trading company incorporated in Botswana and listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange. He further stated that on property, an Investment of approximately P149million was made into a Pan African focused real estate income group listed in the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM), Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and London Stock Exchange (LSE). He said the Group is focused on real estate investment assets in preselected African countries (excluding South Africa) with assets underpinned predominantly by US Dollar and Euro denominated long-term leases with high-quality tenants, delivering strong sustainable long-term income.
“The corporation was formed to promote and facilitate the development of industrial, commercial, and agricultural enterprises within the framework of the Government’s plan for economic development,” said Kgosidiile.
He also spoke of healthcare and stated that an investment of P49.5million was made towards the establishment of an academic healthcare provider. He said the company was earmarked to offer a 74-bed multi-super specialty hospital in Tati Siding, Francistown. He added that a final investment of P26million was made towards the establishment of a leading international healthcare provider in Block 7 Gaborone bringing the total investment to P150million and that the 110-bed hospital provides multi-specialty tertiary healthcare services.