Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Efforts to grow private sector in progress as PSDP launches

Collaboration between the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the European Union (EU) and the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) is viewed as a grand milestone in pursuit of measures aimed at growing the private sector in Botswana for laying a more competitive environment as the trio officially launch the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) next week Thursday at Lansmore Masa hotel.

A statement from the office of the European Commission has explained that the PSDP is part of the Empowerment of Non-State Actors (ENSA) programme agreed and signed between the EU and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on behalf of the Government of Botswana in December 2012.

In that context, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, has pointed out thus, “the PSDP in Botswana marks the first major tangible collaboration between the MTI and EU Delegation within the purview of my portfolio”, adding that it is paramount to link the PSDP to ease of doing business and national competitiveness.

One of the stated key objectives of the PSDP is to capacitate Small, Micro and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Community Based Organisations by strengthening their value chains and to improve access to finance. Mention is also made of the fact that both the ease of doing business and women’s entrepreneurship stands to be enhanced.

The PSDP, according to Makgato-Malesu, is set to have a strong link to the Economic Diversification Drive programme, which is a Government initiative to enhance local production and consumption.

Sunday Standard has authoritatively established that the programme was developed in partnership with MTI, EU and CDE in response to the private sector development strategy which is an initiative of the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM).

The launch follows up on the signing of what is referred to as the Contribution Agreement for the implementation of the PSDP, by the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC, Ambassador Gerard McGovern and Director of Centre for the Development of Enterprise , Paul Frix, in March 2013.

In terms of the contribution, the EU Delegation has approved a total of P25 million to directed at measures to stimulate and enable sustainability of growth of the private sector through the implementation of the PSDP for a period of three (3) years.

In appreciating the commitment of the Private Sector in Botswana during the formulation process, Ambassador Gerard McGovern noted in a statement to the Press that the “PSDP will accelerate measures put in place by MTI to improve the business environment and assist SMMEs to access funds from financial institutions.”

BOCCIM as the voice of the private sector in Botswana has been assigned the role of oversee the monitoring and evaluation of the programme.

Other key partners in the PSDP are recorded as Botswana Investment and Trade centre, Local Enterprise Authority and the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency as well as Botswana Exporters and Manufactures Association.

In the same lists also appear the Botswana Bureau of Standards, Botswana National Productivity Center, Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana, Botswana Tourism Organisation and Botswana Innovation Hub.

The event, which will start in the morning and run for a good part of the day on the 23 May, is scheduled to feature high profile personalities, while the Chief Executive Director of BOCCIM, Maria Machailo-Ellis, is booked to give the key note address.

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