Preparations for the 4th Annual Women Business Forum exposition which will be held in Francistown from the 22nd to the 28th of August 2016 are currently at an advanced stage. This exposition offers women entrepreneurs the opportunity to come under one roof, showcase their products, learn from one another as well as to network. The exposition is targeting 150 women entrepreneurs from the North Region.
In an interview with The Telegraph on Monday, the Senior Gender Officer in Francistown Poloko Sethono who is also the Coordinator of the exposition said the exhibition will be held at Business Botswana grounds in Francistown.
“Various women entrepreneurs are expected to grace this exposition from the North Region, being Francistown and the surrounding areas, Chobe, North West District, Central District, North East and Ngamiland. On the 22nd of August 2016, these women entrepreneurs will converge at the grounds to prepare their stalls,” she said.
The categories of exhibitors will range from among others, Construction, Information Technology (IT), Upholstery, Fine Arts and Agricultural Produce.
She also added that there will also be a graduation ceremony of ten Women Entrepreneurs who have been under the incubation of Gender Affairs from different categories. Sethono also added that they have already registered the required number of 150.
She further revealed that the Northern Women Exposition has grown in leaps in bounds ever since its inception in 2012.
“More women have expressed interest in this event. This is a very important event for women entrepreneurs as it helps expose them to markets, gives them an opportunity to network and share ideas and most importantly learn from each other,” she said.
She said that the Minister of Home Affairs Edwin Batshu will officially open the exhibition add said that during the same day there will be prize giving ceremony in the evening which will be held at Adansonia Hotel. She said that there will also be a Business Forum on the 23 of August 2016 at Adansonia.
Sethono said that this year’s exposition is special more so that it came at a time when Botswana is due to celebrate its 50 year independence anniversary. She said in line with this 50 year celebrations the theme of this year’s event is “Women [email protected]: Re gatetse pele”
“The meaning of this theme is that women entrepreneurs come of age. From the day that Botswana took independence in 1966 we have seen a significant growth from women entrepreneurs. We are celebrating their existence in conjunction with Botswana’s 50 year celebrations and we expect even more growth in the coming years,” she said.
Sethono said that women entrepreneurs have the potential to add value to Botswana’s economy by creating employment through businesses. She said that last year in November, Gender Affairs came with guidelines that seek to guide women at the same time encouraging them to be independent.
“We developed these guideline to try and send a strong message to them that they can be able to turn their lives around on their own without really depending on their male counter parts,” she said.
In conclusion Sethono said that this event is very important as it seeks to stimulate interest on women particularly the youth and help them venture into entrepreneurship. She emphasized that through entrepreneurship Botswana can be able to diversify its economy away from the dependency on mineral revenue.
The University of Botswana is fully aware of the position of not sponsoring non-priority programmes which include BBA Marketing, BBA Management, Business Information Systems, Bed Adult Education, Diploma in Adult Education, BA Humanities, BA Chinese Studies, BA Pastoral Studies, Diploma in Library and Information Studies, BIS Computer Information Systems, BSc Information Technology, Diploma in Population Studies, Diploma in Social Work.
2. The programmes listed above have attracted a total of 279 Applicants and the UB Management was advised by Ministry to encourage the 279 Applicants to opt for programmes that qualify for government sponsorship and have not overshot their allocated quotas.
The Ministry wishes to note that the University of Botswana was given a quota of 3205 including 300 for PGDE. The institution has not been able to attract enough candidates to meet the quota. As at 5th August 2016, UB has received 2089 applicants.
It is also apparent that while Private Tertiary Institutions advise their potential applicants of the programmes qualifying for Government sponsorship in their advertisement, some public institutions including UB do not advise their applicants on the same and this may lead to applicants assuming that all the UB programmes are Government sponsored. The Ministry wishes to remind all applicants that all sponsorship advertisements clearly indicated programmes and candidates eligible for Government sponsorship.