Friday, January 22, 2021

CEDA changes look, maintains mandate

In a move aimed at improving its relationship with clients and its role in the national economy, government’s developmental house Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has changed its corporate look.

However, government as a 100 percent shareholder in the agency believes that the decision will not disadvantage the development of the small business sector.

Mompati Merafhe, Vice President of Botswana said at the launch on Thursday that he has been assured that the new identity and pay-off line does not in anyway translate to a change in the mandate of CEDA.

“Therefore, from the outset, I would like to assure Batswana that CEDA still remains a financial development arm of Government tasked with the responsibility of developing entrepreneurs through the provision of funding, training and mentoring,” said Merafhe.

The new logo and pay-off line is meant to re-affirm CEDA’s commitment to customers and stakeholders to ensuring that it reflects on its mandate.

The agency was established in recognition of the importance of the Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) in the socio-economic development of this country.

The new logo comes with new pay-off line, “finance, develop and sustain”. It also comes with the rebranding exercise of the whole agency in the coming months.

Dr Lucas Gakale, the current board chairman of CEDA praised outgoing Chief Executive Officer Thapelo Matsheka for his role in creation of the new identity.

“We are losing a great man who has contributed to the SMME landscape in Botswana,” said Gakale.

“ It is through his leadership and resilience that we are here today to launch the new logo and pay-off line for CEDA, through which we are re-affirming our commitment to our customers and stakeholders on ensuring that we reflect what we have been established to do and be,” he said.

Over the years CEDA has faced image crisis challenges, and the new look is expected to fire it up.

The agency has inherited the negative perceptions fuelled by failed government empowerment schemes like Botswana Enterprise Development Unit (BEDU), the Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) and the Micro Business Fund.

In an effort to make life easier for small businesses, government has decided to move CEDA from the Ministry of Finance to Trade and Industry, which has the interest of SMMEs at heart.

“We believe CEDA is now strategically placed to a make meaningful contribution to SMME development in this country,” said Dr Gakale.

“This move has brought CEDA closer to its partners, particularly the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA). The two complement each other, and we believe they assist government in diversifying the economy, reducing poverty and improving the livelihood of Batswana,” he said.

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