The just ended 14th edition of the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair, which was held between the 22nd and the 25th of May, under the theme ‘Making SMMEs Competent for Sustainable Economic Growth’ has been a huge success.
According to BOCCIM, the fair, held in Francistown, had more than 120 exhibitors overall. That translates to an average of a 40 percent increase in the past four years in terms of exhibitors. More floor space was taken up than that used in previous shows.
In his speech, the BOCCIM president noted that the economy of Botswana is comprised predominately of SMMEs and it is fundamental that they be nurtured so as to add value to the economy. This call seems to be achievable, judging by the number of SMMEs that turned up for the fair.
BOCCIM has also demonstrated its commitment to developing these small enterprises and seeing them evolve into large scale enterprises by subcontracting a number of services required, such as electrical reticulation, security services, catering, hiring of marques, chairs and tables and the fashion show.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Dr Tebogo Matome, who was the guest speaker, indicated in his speech that despite the fact that Francistown was on the verge of being a mining town, there was a single mining company that had come to exhibit.
Despite the challenges that the organizing committee encountered, BOCCIM remains committed to developing the fairgrounds to enable them to appeal to exhibitors from neighbouring and other countries.
BOCCIM also commended the organizing committee for their dedication in doing voluntary community service by making sure that the fair was indeed a success. This spirit was encouraged for the smooth development of Botswana and to see Francistown develop into an industrial city with more businesses emerging in the Northern part of Botswana.
Unlike last year, this year’s fair had more paved areas, improved security arrangements, minimized problem of dust, more entertainment in the form of music and acrobats, additional first time exhibitors and more small business stalls which can be used for flea market, music festivals and other services throughout the year.
Displaying its support for the youth, BOCCIM engaged a young Motswana choreographer in organizing the fashion show, hence BOCCIM remains loyal to its vision statement.