Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) has indicated that it intends to turn to the service sector to further local economic diversification. In its annual report tabled before parliament late last year, BEDIA indicated that Botswana can make returns by investing in air cargo, freight and supplying mining companies with equipment and logistics.
The recent recommendations follow a study carried out by BEDIA, which identified transport and logistics as particularly critical to Botswana’s economic diversification initiatives.
Through its survey of the global market, BEDIA asserts that the service sector is increasingly becoming crucial to the overall economic development of Botswana.
BEDIA recommended that, through the air cargo industry, Botswana can be able to export perishables, pharmaceuticals and vaccines. It is hoped that the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport will host the hub, with the intention of expanding the airport to be a regional hub by year 2016.
“This concept is expected to create 31 jobs at the onset, growing to nearly 137 by 2020, with a direct economic impact of P5 million annually in wages. Additional revenue will be accrued through airport landing and parking fees, estimated at P2million per annum by 2022,”reads the report.
On the other hand, the mining supplies and logistics hub will secure and distribute consumables, capital equipment and spares to serve new and existing mining projects in Botswana, with possible future expansions into Sothern African countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
BEDIA also has plans to lure foreign tertiary institutions to set up office in Botswana, paving the way for future developments that will be geared at establishing Botswana as a knowledge centre. This, according to BEDIA, will be known as the tertiary education hub, and will focus on enhancing Botswana’s future skills development. The field of studies will include business, mining and energy, agriculture and livestock management, medical science and research, conservation and veterinary sciences as well as hospitality and tourism.