Saturday, May 21, 2022

LEA caters for all economic sectors -Motowane

Trade and Industry junior minister, Maxwell Motowane, shrugged-off accusations that Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) promotions are skewed towards agriculture at the expense of other sectors.

He said that LEA recently came up with a strategic plan focused on the agricultural sector and aimed at bolstering the contribution of  the sector towards the GDP but denied the  reports that  it has shunned other sectors.

“At┬á its┬á Strategic┬á Planning┬á of┬á 2010/2013, LEA┬á decided┬á to┬á focus┬á on┬á the┬á agriculture sector┬á during┬á this┬á period.┬á The┬á shift┬á towards┬á the┬á agriculture┬á sub-sectors┬á was┬á based┬á on┬á the realisation that the majority of┬á LEA clients┬á are in the agricultural sector; that agricultural raw┬á materials┬á are┬á easily┬á available;┬á and┬á the┬á advancement┬á of┬á government’s┬á effort┬á to┬á attain┬á food security,” he said.

He said┬á the impact of the global economic crisis┬á┬á affected┬á LEA’s┬á budgetary strength as it could not afford to build expertise in all sectors simultaneously, hence,┬á the need┬á to priorities sectors.

The chosen  sub-sectors  are:  Dairy,  Piggery,  Leather  and  Horticulture.

“However,┬á even┬á with┬á these sub-sectors,┬á the┬á other┬á sectors, such┬á as┬á tourism,┬á manufacturing┬á and┬á service┬á sectors┬á are┬á not┬á ignored,” he asserted, refuting suggestions of discrimination.

To ensure the success of their projects, Motowane┬á said : “All LEA┬á clients┬á are┬á screened┬á to determine┬á their┬á entrepreneurial┬á capability.”

It is only after  the  screening  that  an  assessment  is  made  whether  a  client  can  access  LEA  services  or  be  referred  to  independent  Business  Development Service (BDS), providers if they are interested in areas where LEA does not have the capacity to facilitate.

Established in 2004 by an Act of parliament, LEA promotes entrepreneurial skills amongst Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises in Botswana. It further provides business development service, training and mentoring through screening and facilitates business planning and management amongst others.

Motowane was answering a question from Boteti south MP Slumber Tsogwane in parliament last week.

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