With the opening of Airport Junction Shopping Mall last week on Thursday, Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm) has added yet another development milestone to Gaborone’s leisure and retail landscape.
The fully enclosed development, which covers 50 000 square metres, features a wide range of retail options which include fashion, hardware, grocery and furniture stores.
BIFM CEO, Tiny Kgatlwane, highlighted that part of BIFM’s mandate is to utilise strategies that give value and deliver returns to its clients. She said property development is a strategy BIFM uses to broaden its investments and helps the business deliver on this mandate. She further stated that in this regard Khumo Property Asset Management (Khumo PAM) is the business arm tasked with developing and managing properties in the BIFM portfolio. Kgatlwane revealed that Khumo PAM is a 50/50 joint venture between BIFM and Eris Property Group of South Africa.
“We believe that the catchment areas are from the central town, Block 6, Block 8, Block 10 and the northern part of the city. We may also capture some people from the southern portion of town who could find it easier getting to the Airport Junction mall rather than some of the other shopping centres,” said Kgatlwane.
BIFM CEO said full operation of the mall has been hailed as a significant project that will complement Botswana’s employment creation and economic diversification efforts. The mall is located along one of the busiest road in the country used by a lot of motorists and cross boarder transits. “The mall opens at a time of the progressive new developments of Block 10 and Block 8 industrial site and also Gaborone north residential area,” she said.
“Thanks to Victor Senye for his dedication and contribution as he drove the process of seeing this vision come to life during his tenure at BIFM,” said Kgatlwane.
She revealed that Bifm has been involved in Public Private Partnerships that have seen delivery of the SADC Headquarters and Plot 21 ÔÇô the Office of the Ombudsman and Land Tribunal. She said another property where BIFM is an equity partner is Railpark Mall which was officially opened by Vice President Lt Gen Mompati Merafe on Monday last week.
The Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr Gloria Somolekae, who officially opened Airport Junction, praised the development’s contribution to the economy.
“Approximately 1000 people were directly or indirectly employed during the construction phase and there will be 700 permanent jobs created when the centre opens,” said Dr Somolekae.