Following President Festus Mogae’s official visit to Japan last year, a number of Japanese investment institutions are beginning to show interest in Botswana.
This week, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation held a seminar in Gaborone to interface with the business in Botswana on the project finance packages they offer.
Led by their Senior Executive Director, Mr. Fumio Hoshi, the JBIC delegation told the business community that they had identified the opportunity to participate in the $5 billion Mmamabula power project.
Wholly owned by the Japanese government, JBIC specializes in promoting foreign direct investment in developing countries by financing the participation of Japanese companies in their promotion of projects in developing countries.
Mr. Hoshi said they think its better to create opportunities for FDI rather than dole out loans.
He said FDI creates permanent jobs and relieves unnecessary burdens on the budget thereby enabling the developing countries to unlock their money for other development purposes.
Hoshi said JBIC sees opportunities for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Botswana.
He said they will be involved in natural resources, mining, power and other such big projects.
Giving the sense of the capitalization of JBIC, Hoshi said its significantly larger than the African Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation.
Earlier on, when opening the conference, the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, said Botswana is undergoing a revolution on the power sector.
He said the construction of the Mmamabula power station is a large undertaking that will call for greater involvement of the private sector.
Financing such a project would be very important, said Kedikilwe.