Saturday, July 4, 2020

Peggy Serame praises Masisi, blames Khama for lack of FDI in Botswana

The new Trade and Investment Minister – Peggy Serame has nothing but the nicest words about her executive boss – President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Serame, however seems to have the opposite of such about his former boss, who is also former President – Ian Khama.

This week, Serame could not hide her admiration of Masisi’s leadership qualities and in the process seemingly shunned those of Khama. She went as far as blaming Khama for dragging his feet when it comes to investment promotion during his time as President of Botswana.

Serame who applauded Masisi for his commitment on the investment promotion drive also indicated that it is for the first time in a number of years that a sitting President has been at the forefront of the country’s investment promotion missions. Technically, she said, it was not the case during Khama’s era.

Serame, who was at some point Trade Ministry PS during Khama’s era said that Botswana continue to go on investment promotion missions, there is need to continuously strengthen its relationships with countries to ensure that at the end of the day, the country is in an ability to do trade, invest and even opening up job opportunities for Batswana.

“As we go there to seek investors to come to Botswana, some of the issues that most of them highlight, really relate to the doing business environment. And to be specific, when they get to Botswana, one of the things they all say is that, we are too slow in making decisions. While the licenses are necessary and everything, but we are just too slow in finally making the decision.”

The investment minister said that the slow implementation and decision making on legislations, policies and other instruments is a major obstacle to investors to turn to Botswana borders for investment.

In early 2018, a few months before Khama stepped down, Botswana started on reforming its business environment in a bid to create conducive investment climate for both foreign and domestic investors.

Already a number of laws regarding business reforms in the country were revised in parliament including that of immigration. The country has over the years been criticised for its stiff laws which are considered to be inhibiting the ease of doing business in Botswana.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.