The Government says it continues to implement its transformation strategy to create jobs by revamping and resuscitating viable and sustainable business enterprises.
Briefing the media this week, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenewendo said that the EDD short-term strategy is leveraged on government purchasing power to promote local procurement. She added that this was based on the use of government interventions such as Citizen Economic Empowerment strategies, preference schemes. Kenewendo added that through this strategy, all central government, local authorities and parastatal organisations are directed to purchase locally produced products from locally based manufacturers, service providers and agricultural producers.
“The number of jobs created since mine closure is 754 and SPEDU continues to come up with initiatives geared towards attracting investment into the SPEDU Region,” she said.
She spoke of co-operative development and promotion which she said they remain a priority in Citizen Economic Empowerment as well as contributing in poverty eradication and employment creation;
To this end, Kenewendo said the Department for Co-operative Development, continues to implement the Co-operative Transformation Strategy. She added that there are currently 271 registered Co-operative Societies (financial and non-financial) across the Country. She said these Co-operatives have created a total of 130 jobs.
She revealed that the Ministry is in the process of assisting the cement industry by restricting importation of cement. She said this is following an analysis that showed that the sector has the potential to create employment for Batswana and contribute to economic diversification.
“The Ministry has put restriction on importation of salt of less than 100kg; and also exportation of scrap metal before satisfying the local demand,” said Kenewendo.
She is of the view that the Ministry actively seeks to bring investment opportunities to the attention of potential investors who have the capacity to provide capital, jobs, skills and technology to Botswana thereby contributing to economic growth. She added that investment promotion targets both domestic and foreign companies.
Kenewendo spoke of easing of the regulatory burden on SMMEs that the Ministry will review regulatory burden that may impact negatively on SMMEs. She added that this will entail working closely with relevant institutions to undertake impact assessment before any Law, Bye-Law, Directive or Policy is implemented to ensure that it does not create any impediments to SMME development and growth.