Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) has revealed plans to develop a framework that would restructure BOCCIM into an apex body that is more representative of the private sector.
Addressing the BOCCIM Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, President Lekwalo Mosienyane said proposals to turn BOCCIM into an apex body do not suggest that the organization will shed off its previous roles, but should rather be viewed as a broadening of the BOCCIM mandate to be more representative.
“Through the apex model, we seek to improve services to our members by improving coordination of the advocacy and lobbying activities of organized business in Botswana,” he said.
He also highlighted the tremendous progress BOCCIM made in implementing the Private Sector Development Program (PSDP). He said that the PSDP Inception Report was approved on 14th November 2013 and activities proposed in the report are now being implemented in earnest. He said the three result areas in the program relate to value chain development and complementary value chain analyses in the sectors of beef, horticulture and tourism. Mosienyane also said there is need for capacity building at BOCCIM.
“An enabling environment, micro finance policy and trade issues which are all being implemented with the support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry are necessary,” said Mosienyane.
However, Mosienyane is of the view that throughout the year and amidst all the challenges, BOCCIM remained firm on its mandate of ensuring a conducive business environment. He added that they continued to engage government through the already established public-private sector dialogue structures. Mosienyane said the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) framework continues to be the main platform for dialogue.
“Owing to our advocacy, the procedure for payment of annual license fees was simplified. As a result , you are now able to pay your annual fees on the due date irrespective of whether the health inspection report is ready or not,” he said.
Mosienyane pointed out that to that effect a new form has been developed and gazetted. He warned members to expect on- the- ground resistance by public officers and requested them to be vigilant and report any attempts to frustrate the process when they go to the councils to pay their annual fees.
“I must hasten to admit that the year was a challenging one for business as we continued to endure continuous load shedding and water rationing. Businesses took a serious knock due to underperformance by the energy and water sectors,” said Mosienyane.