Thursday, August 5, 2021

Re-appointed CEDA boss promises turn-around strategy

Cabinet has extended Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) chief executive officer (CEO) Thabo Thamane’s contract by three years .

The extension comes a month before the end of his current contract which expires in December.

Led by CEDA Board Chairman Dr Alfred Tsheboeng, the board recommended Thamane for re-appointment for a five year term, government however whittled it down to three years.

When contacted, Thamane referred this publication to board chairman Tsheboeng and stated that he reports to the board that employed him. He declined to comment about his contract and maintained that he is still CEDA employee.

Recently CEDA revised and launched guidelines for cheaper borrowing expected to provide extended period of loan repayments with a number of added incentives for sectors that aid economic transformation.

At the time, Tsheboeng promised the revised guidelines offered an opportunity for Batswana to engage in entrepreneurship as an alternative to formal employment.

He had said clients should take advantage of these changes to engage in businesses that will add impetus to the government transformational agenda.

Recently giving CEDA update, Thamane said the sectors of the economy that they have focused on are aligned with the objective of supporting the development of labour intensive sectors that impact on job creation.  He stated that where sectors are not specifically labour intensive, they provide the enabling infrastructure to catalyze job creation in several other sectors or sub-sectors, adding that since 2009, CEDA has invested in 7 877 SMMEs.

“We have had challenges on this remarkable journey of stimulating economic growth and development in Botswana. We’ve embraced change, enabling us to implement and adapt to new technologies, systems, processes and procedures in pursuit of performance enhancement,” said Thamane.

He is of the view that the parastatal is making significant contributions to poverty reduction, improving human capital development, reducing inequality, and fostering job creation.

He further said through CEDA financing service offerings, coupled with the mentoring and training programmes, the State -owed enterprise facilitates and enables access to the resources these businesses need to either create or expand successful, sustainable businesses, thereby contributing to the development and economic prosperity of Botswana and its people.

“CEDA has increased its focus on creating employment for women through loan provision over the last few years, increasing from 18 percent of jobs created in 2009, to 50 percent in 2019,” he said.

Thamane is of the view that despite CEDA having a well-integrated monitoring and evaluation system in place, it is aware of areas where it can improve impact measurement.

He said already a process to implement such measures is place. He said they include enhanced customer tracking and better integration of social data into their reporting processes.

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