A new partnership has been launched to support the country’s fledging small business sector while at the same time promoting economic diversification.
Tokafalo, an enterprise development programme, is a venture promoted by Government of Botswana, Anglo American, De Beers and Debswana which aims to promote the growth of micro, small and medium-sized companies in Botswana.
The programme will support small enterprises to grow into commercially viable businesses. It seeks to improve market access, establish supply chains and offer loan financing to SMMEs.
It will also link SMMEs to business opportunities with Debswana and other partners, and look to capitalise on the relocation of De Beers’ global sales function to Gaborone. Tokafala will also connect enterprises, especially micro enterprises, to existing government development programmes.
“These initiatives are fully in line with our objectives of entrepreneurship development, citizen economic empowerment and ultimately economic diversification,” said Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu.
Over the course of three years, the programme aims to support up to 560 micro and 415 small and medium enterprises. The programme is designed to bridge the current funding and advisory gap for small enterprises and to complement existing Botswana Government initiatives. However, its main aim is to motivate existing participants, such as banks, to fill the gap gradually and support the programme’s role.
The concept builds on Anglo American’s extensive experience and success in enterprise development, including Anglo American/De Beers Zimele in South Africa, Emerge in Chile and two new programmes in Brazil and Peru, as well as Debswana’s established local procurement programme.
To further support enterprise development in Botswana, the partnership will work with Government institutions to improve their enterprise development effectiveness, while encouraging coordination among the wider enterprise development initiatives.
Bokamoso, a partnership between Botswana and Anglo American, is a graduate programme that aims to stimulate the development of local talent, offering recent Batswana graduates professional and personal development opportunities across Anglo American.
Over two years, the graduates will work in different roles, gaining broad business experience. Upon completion of the programme the participants will return to Botswana, contributing to the ongoing development and diversification of its economy.
Anglo American has significant experience in graduate programmes, with more than 500 graduates, together with more than 3,000 bursaries, apprentices and learnerships currently participating globally.
Anglo American Chief Executive, Mark Cutifani, added that the programmes demonstrated the commitment of Anglo American to being a ‘development partner of choice’.
“We trust that the Tokafala and Bokamoso partnerships will enable increasing numbers of Botswana citizens to reach for, and achieve, their dreams,” he said.
“Today’s launch demonstrates the true meaning of partnership. We believe investing in talent and enterprise within Botswana will pay dividends for generations. Today’s launch is an example of what we mean by adopting our partners’ national aspirations as our own,” Philippe Mellier, CEO of De Beers Group, said at the event: