By Bonnie Modiakgotla
Botswana is set to become the largest exporter of processed poultry meat in the whole of Africa, at least this is according to President Mokgweetsi Masisi when he delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address on late Monday.
Masisi revealed that preparations and operationalisation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) is nearing completion with regulations and incentives for the SEZs being finalised for consideration by the government this financial year. The president further stated that SEZs are a key component in advancing “our goals towards export-led economic growth.
Masisi announced that the government will not be going all alone on the SEZs, rather they will roll-out Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the development of infrastructure in the SEZs.
“On another note, i would like to take this opportunity to inform you that the first company to operate in one of our SEZs will start production during the fourth quarter of this financial year with the potential of making Botswana the largest exporter of processed poultry meat in the whole of Africa,” Masisi said.
“The initial setting up investment capital of the company amounts to P200 million. This investment together with, many others will have downstream linkages with local industry and service providers such as in transport and logistics, financial and other related services,” he added.
A new player in the local poultry business is expected to either break the stranglehold that have been dominated by few players, or even worse contribute to their continued dominance. In 2011, the country’s think tank Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) made startling findings that the poultry business is controlled by two prominent and wealthy men, Satar Dada and Derek Brink.
The report titled Competition and Trade: The Case of the Botswana Poultry Industry, exposed how the then P900 million chicken business was run by the two men, in which they had significant control of the value chain; from eggs to day-old chickens, chicken meat, and chicken feeds.