The Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) has indicated that it intends to turn to the service sector as a source of economic diversification.
In its annual report that was tabled before parliament late last year, BEDIA says Botswana can make returns if it sets up an Air Cargo Hub, establishing a freight hub and another hub to supply mining equipment and other logistics.
This follows a study by BEDIA, which has identified transport and logistics as ‘particularly critical to Botswana’s development plans.
According to BEDIA the service sector is increasingly becoming key to the overall economic performance of many countries.
Also the corporation contends that Botswana can attract revenue if it attracts tertiary institutions to set up in Botswana.
Through The Air Cargo, BEDIA wants Botswana to export perishables, import as well as export pharmaceuticals and vaccines.BEDIA hopes the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport can host the hub with a view of expanding the Airport to be a regional hub by year 2016 and beyond.
“This concept is expected to create 31 jobs at the outset, growing nearly to 137 by 2020, with a direct economic impact of P5 million annually in wages. Additional revenue would be accrued through airport landing and parking fees, estimated at P2million per annum by 2022,”reads the report.
The fright hub will target local and regional consolidation of movement of general cargo.BEDIA says the fright hub will basically focus on logistics companies.
According to BEDIA, on its commencement, the fright hub will create about 33 jobs that will eventually grow to 100 by 2022 with P35 million as its net value for wages.
“The shift from road to rail usage would bring Botswana Railway an estimated P8.5million annually,” the report states.
On the other hand, the Mining Supplies and Logistics Hub will be for securing and distributing comsumberables, capital equipment and spares to serve new and existing mining projects in Botswana with possible future expansions into Southern African countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is hoped that all these ideas will enhance employment opportunities, productivity and innovation capacities.