Although government is pledging its support to indigenous businesses as a way of empowering citizens, local industries have been implored to produce goods that are in line with market procurement standards in terms of quality and prices.
The call was made by various speakers at the inaugural Buy Botswana Thought Leadership Expo held in the capital Gaborone on Monday. The Expo is an initiative supported by the Botswana Investment Trade Center (BITC) which seeks to reduce the number of imports by promoting the use of locally produced goods and services.
Amongst those in attendance were the proudly SA team which highlighted how South Africa has managed to promote the buying of locally produced services and products such that the bulk of their consumables are sourced locally.
Speaking at the event Tebogo Mogaleemang of Spectrum Consultants said that, “It’s crucial for local businesses to make analytical decision as opposed to adopting a reactive rather that a proactive approach in the business sphere.” He urged local service providers and manufactures to focus the bulk of their resources in ensuring that the process of making a product or giving a service was not only cost effective but was in line with the companies’ mandate of producing quality work of the highest standard.
The Buy Botswana Expo follows a recent a plenary workshop hosted by the South African Business Forum in Botswana, in association with Business Botswana for South African retailers operating in the country. Dennis Mashabela, Executive Director of the SA Business Forum had indicated that the workshop’s key deliverables were amongst other things coming up with a framework on local procurement and market access for Botswana products and services. The workshop also alluded to value chain linkages intended to propel Botswana based manufacturing towards import substitution and export.
Both Business Botswana and South Africa Business Forum insisted at the time that the workshop is necessary as it will pave way for the process that will ensure that the trading environment is “conducive” for the retailers to help local small and medium Enterprises (SMEs).