Botswana: Ministry Takes Services to Okavango Community

Shakawe — As part of its efforts to uplift the lives of Batswana through business, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry took its services to Shakawe over the weekend at an event dubbed Metlhala ya Khumo.

The ministry brought departments such as industrial affairs, international trade, trade and consumer affairs, co-operative development, economic diversification drive and some parastatals such as CEDA, CIPA, LEA, Competition Authority and Gambling Authority among others.

Speaking at the event, Minister Bogolo Kenewendo said they had realised that some of their services were not adequate enough in some parts of the country such as Okavango, hence the Metlhala ya Khumo event.

She said the ministry would continue doing the same in other parts of Botswana because they want Batswana to have a role in diversifying the economy through doing business.

Furthermore, the minister noted that initiatives such Metlhala ya Khumo could help address unemployment and poverty through imparting business skills and advice.

Ms Kenewendo also encouraged Shakawe residents to utilise economic diversification programmes as they were meant to better the lives of Batswana.

On a similar issue, Ms Kenewendo emphasised the need to resuscitate the Okavango Co-operative. She said her ministry, through the Department for Co-operative Development, was ready to help to revive the co-operative.

Ms Kenewendo also noted that the just ended Parliament session passed eight bills that would ease doing business in Botswana.

She said company registration would soon be done online to avoid travelling long distances to access the service. ENDS

CEDA chief executive officer, Mr Thabo Thamane also encouraged Okavango residents to utilise CEDA's Mabogo Dinku facility, which offers short-term loans from P500 to a maximum of P150 000 per person, payable in three to 12 months.

The funds can be used towards running expenses such as stock, rental and acquisition of micro-business assets such as equipment or tools.

Mr Thamane said there were a lot of business opportunities in Okavango, particularly in the horticulture sector and encouraged people to consider venturing into the business.

He however noted with concern that out of the P274 000 reserved by CEDA for Okavango under the Mabogo Dinku product, only P80 000 was utilised.

Meanwhile, Shakawe Village Development Committee (VDC) chairperson, Mr Lefedile Andreck said although they were encouraged to venture into business, water shortage in the area was a challenge.

Mr Andreck also appealed to the minister to encourage officers to do regular inspections in some shops as some retailers had a tendency of selling expired goods.

He also asked the minister to consider setting up offices of the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry departments in Shakawe.

Source : BOPA

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