FRANCISTOWN – The annual Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair is due to return on the 25th to the 29th of May this month in Francistown following its two year suspension due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Business Botswana Northern Regional Manager Eileen Van De Est said preparations are already at an advanced stage.
“Registrations of stalls by exhibitors are on-going and we are expecting to host at least over 100 exhibitors. We decided to return to the grounds this year because Covid 19 pandemic has subdued. The Trade Fair will begin on the 25th to the 29th of May 2022,” she said.
Formerly known as Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM), Business Botswana was started by the business community in Francistown 26 years ago to try and stimulate business growth in the second city. It has since grown to become a national business representative body.
Van Der Est however said despite the trade fair’s return, the Covid 19 pandemic protocols will still be observed.
“The Covid 19 pandemic is still there, therefore the protocols will still be observed during the trade fair,” she said.
She revealed that that they have invited the Ambassador of Japan to Botswana Tokashi Hoyashima who will be the guest speaker. She also said they have received a number of sponsors especially from media houses such as The Patriot on Sunday, The Voice and Weekend Post amongst others. Some of the sponsors include companies such as Botswana Ash (BOTASH), BECI, Adansonia, Delight Tent Hire and Zila investment. She revealed that the theme for this year is “Accelerating the rise of a digital economy”.
“What this theme simply implies is that we need to transit into a digital economy and move with the times. Technology has proved to be efficient in improving product and service delivery. Digital economy can help us propel our economic diversification drive,” she said.
Van Der Est said that the reason why the invited the Ambassador of Japan is for him to share his country’s experience as it is one of the leading digital economies of the world. She emphasized that the Public and Private Sector needs to transit into the digital economy to be relevant and competitive. She said what is more encouraging during this year’s trade fair is that there is a lot of enthusiasm from the business community to register their stalls.
“Companies that previously did not participate in this trade fair are coming forth in numbers,” she said.
She said the trade fair is very beneficial to the business community as it helps entrepreneurs to network, interact and market their products and services. She added that this year they have added to their agenda, a business forum which will include businesses that have not registered to participate at the trade fair.