Preparations are at an advanced stage for the annual Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Northern Trade Fair which will be held in Francistown on the 21st to the 25th of May. Head of Public Affairs, Marketing and Communications at BOCCIM, Shiellah Moribame told The Telegraph in an interview that preparations are going smoothly.
“Most of the stalls are fully booked. However, bookings are open for stalls in the marquee and open spaces. We are working towards ensuring that all the resources are up to standard. A water bowser will be on standby to regularly sprinkle water on the grounds to avoid excessive dust,” she said.
Moribame said they expect over 150 exhibitors to participate at the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair this year. She urged companies to participate in the fair because it is a very important platform for local entrepreneurs. She added that the fair creates a valuable platform for businesses to interact and network and also avails an opportunity for SMME’s to enhance the visibility of their products and services.
“Through this platform businesses can gain competitor insights, make key industry contacts and further solidify relationships with other businesses,” she said.
The theme of this year’s trade fair is “Investment: My opportunity to play a role in the evolving global economy; Tapping into unlimited opportunities.” Moribame said the theme is in line with the Francistown City Council (FCC) vision of “an investment centre of vibrancy by 2022.”
“This year’s theme is in support of the quest to develop the city of Francistown, which is one of the oldest settlements in Botswana. As the second city, Francistown is strategically positioned as a regional center and gateway to the north,” she said.
She added that all major roads that lead to Gaborone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kazungula and Maun pass through Francistown which makes it the ideal city from which to generate wealth. She said the BNTF will also boost Francistown’s economic prospects and thereby address concerns that the city is stagnant and not growing at the desired pace despite abundant resources at its disposal. Once again, Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) Paul Taylor will be the guest speaker.
“This is because BTC is the main sponsor of the opening ceremony,” she said.
Moribame said she is satisfied with the level of public interest towards the trade fair. The BNTF was first launched in 1994 and Francistown was chosen as the venue because at the time there was no trade fair of its magnitude in the north. The trade fair is open to all businesses both locally and in the region.