Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Botswana, Rwanda firms court each other

Rwanda has become the latest African country to be scouted by Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) in an effort to facilitate trade and investment as well as for possible joint-venture partnerships.

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) hosted Investment and Trade Conference and Business to Business (B2B) meetings between Botswana companies and their Rwandan counterparts in Kigali, Rwanda on two day basis this past week.

During the mission, the Botswana business delegation had an opportunity to engage one on one with their Rwandan counterparts as well as undertake site visits to explore areas of collaboration or partnerships.

The expected outcome of these engagements is to see an increase in export oriented foreign direct investment inflows to Botswana, to identify goods (raw materials) or products and services that Botswana could supply to Rwanda and to realize an increase in economic activities that will drive job creation and enable self-sufficiency for Batswana.

BITC Chief Executive Officer Keletsositse Olebile said “the objective is to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Botswana and Rwanda in the trade and investment streams. The commitment will be sealed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).”

Botswana and Rwanda are no strangers to each other and the two countries have had good relations for a good number of years. Olebile said “the Investment and Trade conference provides a platform for the private sector institutions to explore trade, investment synergies as well as present opportunities for networking and knowledge exchange.”

The Botswana delegation consisted of thirty-three (33) companies from the following sectors; Agriculture and Agro-processing, Tourism and Hospitality, Mining and Mineral Beneficiation, Manufacturing, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Financial and Business Services.

Sharing the expectations BITC CEO said “Our companies will formalize collaborations, joint ventures, future exchanges and improve trade and investment.”

Rwanda Minister of Trade Béata Habyarimana said “We believe in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the solutions it brings to issues the African continent has faced for decades. The AfCFTA is one of key enablers for stimulating trade and agreement between African countries. I believe Botswana can attest to benefits of intra-Africa trade. As a continent we are in a unique position to evaluate and readjust ways of overcoming the pandemic.”

According to the Minister, under the AfCFTA Botswana and Rwanda are aligned under the automotive industry and it is critical to the African economy. It is a sector with untapped potential for creating employment and increasing capacities within the sectors.

“This conference will not only provide an opportunity for Rwanda’s export but an opportunity to learn and benchmark on Botswana’s impressive standing on trade and investment. I believe the interactions will lead to concrete consultations between Botswana and Rwanda,” Habyarimana said.

Last month Botswana hosted Mozambique to a business forum where, President Mokgweetsi Masisi met with President of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and his delegation.

The business forum was intended to generate high level business interests through a positive exchange of information on investment and private sector development issues. The success of this collaboration will assist both countries to diversify their economies and realize the much-needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that will ultimately contribute to the economic development of citizens.

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