The Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedilkilwe, says the presence and participation of various Embassies unlocks potential for increased intra-trade which should boost local manufactures, with consequent skills development and job creation.
Speaking at the Botswana Consumer Fair at Fairgrounds, Kedikilwe pointed out that the increasing annual growth of the Consumer Fair at 3-8 percent, the number of stalls between 400-500, and local manufacturers at 30 and 15 foreign exhibitors is a good omen for growth.??He said that he hoped that commerce in Botswana is developing a good base for potential growth and added that he has also been impressed by exhibitions of local entrepreneurs.┬á
“The artistic temperament, the artistic talent, the artistic innovation of young Batswana is a matter of pride.┬á Examples abound; Art works using metal material, art work in dress making, art work in recycled waste material,” said Kedikilwe.??He further pointed out that the effect of growth of SMMEs and the informal sector in translation into a firm economic base of the economy, translation into increased job creation, meaningful economic diversification, creation of sustainable livelihoods, sustainable poverty eradication.┬á He added that all of them then should translate to and gravitate towards meaningful improvement of the lives of the people of Botswana.??
He also stated that there is need to celebrate continued success and growth of the Botswana Consumer Fair as a means to an end and added that the end being the economic transformation, for the better, the lives of the people of Botswana.??“My eagle of focus lands here.┬á As SMMEs and the informal sector constitutes 35-45 percent of Botswana’s GDP, the Board and Management, and their other principals should consider innovative ways of facilitating the growth of these sectors.┬á Such facilitation can take many forms,” said Kedikilwe.┬á
He observed that increased numbers of local exhibitors and manufactures will unleash their exposure to competition, exposure to sharpening their skills.┬á ┬áHe added that as SMMs develop sound business skills, their growth and sustainability translate into sustainable job creation and product quality.┬á
Kedikilwe emphasized that product quality translates into greater penetration of both local and regional and international markets through avenues such as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to export textiles and apparel duty free to the United States of America.
“I took a quick tour around the consumer fair stalls for a first hand appreciation of the wares on display; appreciation of the mood, the air, the tempo, the temperature of the fair.┬á I found it a fulfilling experience that portends hope,” he stated.