Monday, July 4, 2022

Hunt for first CEO of BITC inches forward

Recruitment of the chief executive officer of the newly-established Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) moved a step closer after the first round of interviews for shortlisted candidates took place on March 30.

BITC was formed following the merger of two parastatals, the Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA).

Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgatho-Malesu, however, refused to reveal who would replace former IFSC acting CEO, Letsebe Sejoe, and BEDIA CEO, Lamarck Nthekela. She said the recruitment process will occur in several stages that will ensure a highly competent candidate is appointed.

“Once a candidate is identified from this process a recommendation for appointment will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration and approval,” she explained. “It will not be possible to state the expected date for appointment of a CEO but I can state that it is our wish to have the position filled as soon as possible to assist in enabling a smooth transition.”

She said traditionally, recruitment has focused on appointing a citizen of Botswana. However, if none of the candidates who have applied for the post meet its requirements or satisfy the recruitment process, a non citizen would then be considered. “It is indeed our wish for the BITC to be led by a Botswana citizen,” the minister said.

Makgatho-Malesu stressed that the BITC chief executive will be required to create shareholder value by positioning Botswana as the investor destination of choice. The CEO will be tasked with developing frameworks that encourage expansion of existing businesses, promote new investments, and identify business partners in and outside Botswana for joint ventures. Also, the job holder will be expected to promote foreign direct investment and market the BITC within and outside Botswana.

She added that the CEO will further be required to create a high-performance culture by planning and managing the performance of the BITC and employees to ensure the achievements of both short and long term strategic goals.

“Contractual agreements for the position of the CEO will only be concluded once the substantive CEO has been identified,” she said.

Transformation of the IFSC and BEDIA into one entity is a cost effective strategy to reduce public expenditure, said Makgatho-Malesu. The BITC will be geared to improving the functioning, efficiency and policy coordination of national investment promotion and export development activities. As an integrated investment promotion authority (IPA), it will serve as a focal point for investment promotion, export development and nation branding.

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