The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the European Union (EU) and the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) will officially launch the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) on the 23rd May 2013 at Lansmore Masa Square, Gaborone, Botswana.
The EU said that the PSDP is part of the Empowerment of Non-State Actors programme agreed and signed between the EU and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on behalf of the Government of Botswana in December 2012. It was developed in partnership with MTI, EU and CDE in response to the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) initiated Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS).
This official launch follows the signing of 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 (CDE), Paul Frix in March 2013. Under the contribution, the EU Delegation has approved a total of P25 million to contribute to the efforts of stimulating and sustaining growth of the private sector via the implementation of the PSDP for a period of 3 years.
The PSDP is expected to capacitate Small, Micro and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMMEs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) by strengthening their value chains, improving access to finance and the ease of doing business as well as enhancing women’s entrepreneurship. The PSDP will have a strong link to the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) programme, which is a Government initiative to enhance local production and consumption.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu highlighted that “the PSDP Botswana marks the first major tangible collaboration between the MTI and EU Delegation within her portfolio”. She further noted that “it is paramount to link the PSDP to ease of doing business, national competitiveness and EDD”.
In appreciating the commitment of the Private Sector in Botswana during the formulation process, Ambassador Gerard McGovern noted 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 will be in charge of the monitoring and evaluation of the programme. Other key partners in the PSDP are Botswana Investment and Trade centre (BITC), Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), Botswana Exporters and Manufactures Association (BEMA), Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), Botswana National Productivity Center (BNPC), Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB), Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) and Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH).