The Botswana industry has been told that the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) will run for three years with a budget of Ôé¼2.3 million (about P27 million) with the fund aimed at stimulating and sustaining growth through diversification.
Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) Director, Pauline Monare, said on Thursday that the strategy identified the gains achieved thus far, the bottlenecks and interventions that will contribute towards establishing an enabling environment.
Monare added that it will spur entrepreneurial development, attract foreign and domestic private investment while at the same time create business opportunities.
“The government, at the same time, recognises that the private sector needs strengthening for it to play this important role. It is in this context that an appropriate private sector organisation such as BOCCIM has been tasked to become the secretariat for PSDS,” said Monare.
“The PSDP is expected to capacitate Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and community based organisations to enhance their competitiveness by strengthening their value chains,” said Monare.
PSDP is linked to the on-going Ease of Doing Business and Global Competitiveness Reforms and Monare said through the implementation of the reforms, Botswana’s rankings have improved as reflected in the 2013-2014 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report and the 2014 World Bank’s Doing Business Report.
There is a direct link between PSDP and the EDD initiative as strengthening the business value chains will enhance the participation of SMEs in local procurement, which is currently being promoted through government’s purchasing power using preference margins based on companies’ turnover thresholds.
The PSDP is expected to enhance the service delivery of intermediary organisations, especially for BOCCIM, to be the real private sector voice.
“The business environment for SMMEs will be improved, focusing mainly on the reduction of the red tape and pilot on improved access to finance by SMEs,” said Monare.
CDE Head of Regional Office for Southern Africa, Sid Boubekeur, said to benefit from the PSDP, SMEs must fulfil the minimum criteria which include being a Botswana registered company. He added that one should be operating within the sectors of manufacturing, including agro industries (meat, dairy and horticulture), tourism, construction and public works, Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the European Union (EU) and the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) officially launched the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) on the 23rd May 2013 as part of the Empowerment of Non-State Actors programme agreed and signed between the EU and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) on behalf of the Government of Botswana in December 2012
The PSDP is expected to enhance SMMEs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs)’s competitiveness, improve their access to finance and ease doing business in Botswana.
Boubekeur called on Botswana registered SMMEs within the manufacturing and agro Industries, tourism, construction and public works, as well as ICT to apply in order to benefit from capacity building intervention with the view to be more competitive and better access markets and finance.