Botswana could benefit from an interactive Canada-South Africa Chamber of Business’ 10th Annual Breakfast Seminar, which is due to take place tomorrow 3rd March 2009 in Toronto, Canada.
It is expected that the occasion will offer the Botswana entourage an opportunity to plead their case in view of the ongoing global economic meltdown which has virtually crippled the local mining industry, and communicate the country’s investor friendly policies so as to lure Mining experts and investors over whilst maintaining confidence on those that are already in the country.
This follows the departure of minerals minister, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who is accompanied by the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary (Minerals), Jacob Thamage, for the event on Saturday 28 February where he is scheduled to officially open the seminar.
Mpho Gucha, Public Relations Officer in the Ministry Of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWAR), has said that the Seminar is part of the largest Mining Investment show in the world. She added that the Canada Prospectus and Developers Association Conference (PDAC) is a large forum, which normally attracts a multitude of delegates from 108 countries, and no less than 20 000 people attended in 2008.
According to Gucha, the PDAC and the Mining Indaba, which Kedikilwe attended in Cape Town early February this year, as well as the Australia’s Africa Down-Under have been the main mining forums used by the Ministry to interact with investors in the hope of attracting them to invest in Botswana.
Gucha stated that the main reason for participating in these conferences, it must be mentioned is that most investment on exploration originates from countries such as Canada, Britain, Australia and South Africa.
“In this regard, on account of the large numbers of experts and investors that the events always pool together from all parts of the world, it becomes perfectly sensible that we seize on such ready platforms to meet potential investors who would otherwise have not been able to travel here,” held Gucha, who could not conceal her excitement at opportunity.
Gucha further pointed out that, although it is generally known that Botswana’s economy leaned a lot on diamonds, “it remains a relatively undiscovered secret that there exists yet a vast range of other unexploited minerals in our country, for which forums such as these may offer us a grand marketing opportunity to motivate the investors that, in spite of the fall in diamond sales, life must still move on.”
Moreover, “the benefit of the interaction,” she said, “should also be viewed in terms of new ideas and opinions from other equally experienced members of the mining community on how to ameliorate the impact of the global financial crisis.”
Reference is also made to the fact that South African Energy Ministers have usually always been the natural Keynote Speakers at occasions such as these. “Thus it was more than an honour for us, and we hope to put the opportunity to optimal use,” concluded Gucha.
Kedikilwe is expected to return home on the 6th March.